Krystal Taylor is EVA’s specialist for web maintenance, design, and development. Her strengths lie in graphic design, social media marketing, and web design/building. She loves to be creative, both at home and at EVA, and her flair for creativity can be found in her quality work. She does a little bit of everything on top of her design work, and is indispensable as a project manager to her clients. Krystal is an avid advocate for self-care, and frequently reminds her clients, and her co-workers, to step away from the workplace and take some time for themselves. As such, she is an invaluable member of the EVA team.
Tell us about yourself. Where do you live? What do you like to do for fun? Any hobbies or skills?
I’m a 41 year old mother of two teen girls, and two adult step children. I live in North Central Florida, about a 20 minute drive from the beach. In addition to being a virtual assistant, I own River City Bath Works, a handmade soap, cosmetic, and gift store that sells in local shops in my area as well as online. My passion is creating useful art and handmade products, and I came into it through 4-H as a child as well as participating in a local soap-making class with a friend. I find stress relief and peace in creating with my hands.
Why/how did you become a virtual assistant?
I was previously working in the non-profit sector, in the areas of addiction prevention, homelessness prevention, and crisis counseling. I had a very difficult time maintaining a typical 9-5 routine, as I had a child at home with a disability that required frequent trips to occupational and physical therapy a few times a week. I was finding it difficult to maintain a regular routine. I loved my work, but it just wasn’t a good fit for my life at the time. As a mom and business owner with a separate full time job, I knew first hand how difficult juggling life and work could be. When I heard about Emerald Virtual Assistance, I knew I could help other entrepreneurs get their valuable time back and focus on the success of their business. I was instantly drawn to the flexibility of working from home but also making a meaningful impact to those who need help managing their crazy schedules.
What do you love most about your job?
The personal connection I have with my clients. They’ve become friends as well as the face of their company, and I enjoy helping them succeed. In addition, I love that I can work anywhere, literally. I went on a trip to Europe for Christmas, and visited the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, and France for three weeks—all while choosing to continue work as usual. There’s nothing quite like video chatting with a client from an airbnb in Paris.
What are you passionate about in the workplace?
Self-care for my clients. Maybe it’s leftover from my previous work, but I make a concerted effort to ensure my clients aren’t burning out by reminding them to get up and stretch, asking if they are getting enough heads-down time to complete their work (and guarding that time), reminding them to take a break to eat, and anticipating their needs so they can focus.
What do you bring to the table at EVA? What type of work do you do as a VA?
I do a little bit of everything, but my primary strengths are in graphic design, web building and design, blog work, social media marketing, and other creative work. I am a project manager for my current client.
What would you tell potential clients about why they should hire a VA?
The amount of time that a VA can set free from your schedule sneaks up on you. Mundane tasks like email management, scheduling, editing, and transcribing can all be incredibly time consuming and can eat away at your actual productivity, and you may not realize just how much those tasks are consuming your day. An in-person assistant can be great, but a virtual assistant keeps overhead costs down and can still get the job done. Don’t let the virtual part scare you off, either. A VA can connect from five states away and still be a joy to get to know while still maintaining a professional and productive atmosphere.
What is something you wish people knew about being a VA?
I wish that people knew that we are so much more than the typical “assistant” as seen in the theaters. It’s so much more than getting your coffee (but we can sure find a shop that will deliver to you and do that too). We do everything from the mundane to complex, and many virtual assistants are trained in specialized areas, like research, information technology, marketing, and copywriting and editing.
What is something surprising or interesting about yourself that people might not know?
I once spent a year in service with Americorps NCCC, a program similar to Peace Corps but located in the United States only. One of my projects was as a camp counselor for the Double H Ranch, a summer camp for children with critical illness that wouldn’t otherwise be able to have a typical summer camp experience. The camp was one of many founded by actor Paul Newman and writer A.E. Hotchner and funded via profits of their Newman’s Own food line. The camp is an amazing experience for anyone who has the opportunity to be a camper, staff, or volunteer, but I also had the rare chance to meet Paul Newman himself. He visited the children in the camp every summer until he was too sick to do so. That man ate dinner and played with the kids like he was one of them—running around the table in the dining hall like any of the campers. No celebrity was there that day, just a good human named Paul—and kids and counselors alike loved him dearly.
Thank you, Krystal!