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KRYSTEN KAUDER - FOUNDER OF RYAN PORTER

What's a day in your life like?

I wish I could say it’s more glamourous-ha! I hate mornings, so I typically start my day around noon since I’m a night owl. I catch up on emails, hang out with my frenchie, and listen to smooth jazz. Around 7pm I typically stop working and meet my partner for dinner. I have to keep my every day life as stressless as possible to protect my mental health.

What's the hardest part of your day? Easiest? Favorite part?

Hardest part is definitely the mornings. I went through a period in my life of getting very bad anxiety at those times, and even though I am much better now, I still struggle with it. I stress about all the things have to get done during the day. My favorite and easiest is when my partner and I take my little frenchie, Dave, out for a night on the town. 

Do you work from home or in an office? If home, how do you compartmentalize work / living space?

I work from both home, and a women’s focused co working space I own, The Eleanor. I typically work from home though, because I can get more done when I’m alone and more focused. I have an office at home, but I find it more comfortable working from the living room where there is more natural light.

What's your favorite thing about Ryan Porter?

I love reading the custom words/messages come up with on their jewelry or keychains. I also love seeing people’s faces at events when they decide to put some crazy inside joke on their bracelet. Or something vulgar haha. 

Are you more productive in the morning or nighttime?

Night time, for sure. I have been a night owl my entire life, and I feel more relaxed at night. Maybe it’s knowing everyone else is in bed asleep, so I don’t feel obligated to rush to get things down. Plus, a glass of wine while working is always nice—ha!

Do you have any employees?

Ryan Porter is run by a very small team! I have an intern, a social media manager, a jewelry assembler, a photographer, and my partner is all things brand marketing.

Where would you like to be 5 years from now?

I would love to be able to have both a home in the city, and in the Adirondacks where my mom grew up. I have always loved the hustle and bustle of the city, but I definitely need my peace and quiet in the mountains. 

Did you ever think you would own your own business?

Actually, yes! ha! It was during my time interning at many places while I was in college, that I knew I either wanted to have my own business, or find a sugar daddy. Don’t judge me! haha. MTV even called to see if I wanted to be on True Life: I’m A Sugar Baby. haha

What's one phrase or mantra or quote that's brought some levity to your anxiety? 

“Uncomfortable but safe”—I actually heard this from a pilot because I am terrified of flying!

What's your initial, knee jerk reaction to stress? How do you consciously cope with the stress?

I am still learning how to deal with stress. My initial reaction is to have a drink. (Please don’t take my advice). Going on a walk, and talking to friends or family also always helps. 

Does anxiety stop you from doing things you enjoy?

Yes. I haven’t visited my father in 6 years because of my fear of flying. I finally booked a flight to visit him this month! 

What activities totally take you out of your anxious thoughts?

Being around other people. Which is funny because growing up I have the worst social anxiety. But now, since I am alone a lot of the time because I work for myself, I need to be around others whenever I have the chance. Otherwise, I will isolate myself and my anxious thoughts will creep in.

What can someone do when you're feeling anxious or in the middle of a panic attack?

What has worked for me in the past, is to look down, or to close my eyes, and think “this will pass.” Also, getting some air if you can will help.

How has living with anxiety shaped who you are today?

Having anxiety I believe has made me a more compassionate person. Someone may seem fine on the outside, but you don’t know what they’re dealing with on the inside. I try to be nice to everyone because of this.

What's one thing that anxiety has HELPED you with? 

It has helped me be more outgoing. I find that sharing my experience with anxiety has  helped me to NOT be so closed off. I have met a lot of amazing people because of it.

What's your journey with anxiety been like? Have you tried therapy? Medications? If so, how did those help / hurt? Did it take awhile to find the right therapist or medication treatment?

I have tried therapy once in a blue moon here and there. I haven’t found the right therapist for me. However, after trying a lot of medications in the past for a very short time, I then found the right doctor for me. I’ve been on Lexapro for almost a year now, and it quite literally changed my life. Medication was always the last stop for me (I don’t even like taking Advil!), but I was exhausting all other options. 

Imagine this: you're in a stadium about to see Beyonce perform when you suddenly feel a panic attack setting in. Your seat is in the middle of the row so you can't get out quickly or without running into 100 people. And it's Beyonce, you can't miss Beyonce. What do you do?

This is actually one of my worst fears! To this day, I always have to make sure I have aisle seat. However, I would plug my ears, put my head down, and repeat my mantra in my head. I’m sure my boyfriend would be there as well, and just him being present, makes me more calm.

What message/word  would you wear on your RP custom jewelry? Why? 

I use to wear our Old English necklace with the word "anxiety" on it. I wore it so others going through the same thing, didn't feel alone and would start a conversation. Now I currently wear our thread bracelet that reads "Happy." I tend to have a negative mind set, so I wear it to remind myself to try to turn things around.

Coffee or tea?

Neither! Anything caffeinated almost triggers a panic attack. I stick with plain old cold glass of water in the morning!

Girl Crush?

Currently it's Chelsea from the band Shaed. I am obsessed with their song, "Trampoline"

Anything else you'd like to share?

If anyone reading this is going through a hard time and needs to talk, DM me! @shopryanporter

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