About Me

I’ve had a keen sense of justice and fairness since I was a child, and have always had the urge to make things better. My family fled a dictatorship in Romania Opens in new window and we came to Canada as refugees when I was four. I learned English in kindergarten and grew up in Hamilton Ontario, moving around every few years and changing schools often. Because of this, I never really felt like I belonged, and I would often look around the room and check for others who were also left out.

My parents joined a church when I was a teenager and it gave me my first taste of really belonging to a community. And while organized religion wasn’t for me, I flourished in a structure that was devoted to “trying to be good” and my natural leadership tendencies started to take root.

I left my working-class background to study English and Women’s Studies at the University of Victoria. There, I took that “do good” attitude and joined many activist and student groups. It was the time of the anti-globalization movement and protests like the WTO in Seattle. I explored and grew into my values including intersectional feminism, Indigenous and global solidarity, environmental justice and labour rights. I also had the space and freedom to discover my queerness.

I’ve always felt comfortable with technology and communication so I gravitated towards it with every issue I worked on. I started learning how to make websites in the late 90s in order to help create Indymedia in Victoria. I got involved with campus and community radio and had both music and political shows throughout the years in Hamilton, Victoria and Vancouver.

After I graduated, I moved to Vancouver and promptly got involved with organizing a political music festival for many years (Under the Volcano, RIP) and started working at a Public Interest Research Group where I taught university students how to be activists. I started gravitating towards communication and design and after taking some classes and working part-time as a library assistant, I got a job as a graphic designer for the Vancouver Public Library. I was juggling both jobs and multiple volunteer obligations when I suffered a head injury that made me recalibrate my vision of meaningful work.

I could no longer work, sitting at a desk, 9-5, under fluorescent lights. I had been starting to help friends and community groups make websites in my spare time and after taking a year off to rest and recover, I decided to learn coding for real. I flew to Toronto to take a front-end web development bootcamp from the people behind Ladies Learning Code.

When I came back, I was determined to start my own business but was offered a job as a web developer for Vancity Credit Union. I took that contract and quickly realized again that sitting at a desk, 9-5, under fluorescent lights just wasn’t for me.

Since 2015, I’ve been running KunStudios full-time. I’ve taken my background in organizing, my tech skills and my leadership abilities and combined them to problem-solve, strategize and create meaningful websites for organizations working in the public good.

My sweet spot is mid-sized organizations who have undergone some kind of strategic planning and know what they want to achieve. I use my insider/outsider perspective to advocate for the inclusion of all users, push for accessibility, and create simple and effective solutions.

Check out my client list with links to case studies and sites I’ve built, my services page, and my Linkedin Opens in new window for a more detailed work and education history.

I now live in a housing co-op in East Vancouver with my partner and cat. I love riding my bike and reading books in coffee shops, hiking in the local mountains, camping (especially on Vancouver Island) and travelling when I can.

Values

I use technology to advance causes for the public good. I think the process is just as important as the final product and I approach all my work with these values:

Social justice

I work with progressive clients to build a more just, sustainable and meaningful world.

Mutual respect

I collaborate in a spirit of mutual respect, with clear communication and good intentions.

Curiosity

I’m genuinely interested in you and your work. I ask questions. I try to find the root of any problem, even if it’s not a quick or easy solution.

Accessibility & inclusion

I prioritize accessible and inclusive design, content and development in all the websites I build.

Appropriate technology

I will never push a shiny new app on you, or talk you into technology that’s not necessary for your organization or website.

Sustainability

Building websites may not be as resource-heavy as other sectors, but they still require infrastructure to operate. I recommend companies that use green energy and try to build light sites that load fast and use less resources.

Testimonial

I was very grateful to work with Krisztina. She understood my vision, provided clear expectations and creative (and beautiful) solutions to an initially complicated website concept. Overall, I was very impressed with the final outcome of the website.

I appreciated Krisztina’s dedication and focus, and always felt confident that the job would be completed above my expectations. She was easy to get a hold of and her professional, can-do attitude made a seemingly daunting project a lot of fun!

Harpreet Johal
Senior Public Engagement Specialist, David Suzuki Foundation