Clarinda Braun

Marketing Consultant & Educator, Ka’ala Consulting Inc. #TheMatriarchalBusiness

The tagline for #TheMatriarchalBusiness is “Decolonizing business with Matriarchy.” Clarinda Braun teaches workshops and works with clients to think differently about their businesses in a more sustainable, personal, and meaningful way. She brings indigenous and matriarchal values to the business growth and marketing process.

Clarinda’s ancestral exploration informs her work. A Fijian and Samoan woman born in Aotearoa and raised throughout Oceania, Clarinda draws from her roots the perspective that every action taken has a multi-generational impact. As a young girl, Clarinda saw her mother work several jobs to provide for their family. She trained and worked with numerous entrepreneurial mentors, soon becoming a speaking and marketing consultant and educator. For a long time, she believed her success in that field was because of her education. At one point, she realized that so much of the powerful wisdom and insight she shared actually came from what she learned from her mother and her family, emerging from her lineage of orators, politicians, chiefs and healers.

Foundational for Clarinda’s outlook was learning from the women in her life what a privilege it is to witness birth and the role of protection and facilitation that someone plays as part of that process. This concept is a big part of what guides her consulting. While she teaches entrepreneurs how to grow and make good money, she also helps them impact their community in positive ways.

Clarinda geeks out about Oceanic stories and histories told through song and dance and is so proud to be in a generation of indigenous revival. She admits she probably has too many Polynesian earrings and would travel over 5000 miles to a dance class!

🤓 I geek out about…

  • Stories from throughout Oceania that talk of creation, science, genealogy, history, love and tragedy. Our songs, chants, dances are rich with them. My favorite bedtime stories!
  • Learning about the many deities and spirituality throughout the many cultures in Oceania, and really all stories and perspectives that further highlight our rich cultures and intelligence, our differences, our closeness, and our ancestral relationships all throughout the islands. As a Samoan and Fijian woman living throughout the Oceanic diaspora, this is particularly enriching for me!
  • The many ways in which we can creatively oppose capitalist and colonialist methods of trade, business, marketing, while working “within” capitalist frameworks. The possibilities are ENDLESS ❤ and we only need to look back in time a little to find successful alternative life ways.

🎒 I collect…

Earrings made by Polynesian artists/jewelers. Not sure if that’s something to collect but I have a ton of them lol

💬 My friends ask my advice about…

Sometimes entrepreneurship, sometimes culturally specific advice/direction, but most of the time it’s just venting about life, relationships, all the very human stuff we face… but often it’s just to be heard, and they know I’m listening.

🧰 How my weird obsessions show up in my work…

Uh… all of them do! Ha! My work brings my whole self and is very personal. It’s an idea I oppose - the idea that business is business and personal is personal. That dehumanizes business to maintain the focus on bottom line, vs centering people. And if we are to center people, then that means to center our humanness, our own personhood.

So to answer the question more specifically, I do workshops, courses and 1:1 work with folks in the business community as we work collectively to decolonize business and specifically our marketing methods, through a social framework familiar to my culture — Matriarchy / the matri-focal.

🌱 What form(s) of growth is/are most important for your company?

What a loaded question! And a good one. Two things come to me from the hip.

  1. One growth “form” that I appreciate is maintaining a rich, small model. So opposing the ever-niggling “scale” temptation preached by many marketing and business coaches. The rush to scale is too often a sure way to NOT bring people with you. Our speed of growth centers our people, lest it is not FOR the people.
  2. The second thing that comes to me is - what grows long and strong is what is rooted, well, in a rich environment, inter-connected and supported and fortified by what is in it’s vicinity. Establishing all of these things takes significant time, working with others, knowing where you’re rooted. Knowing your place and how you root yourself through stories and making sense of your life experiences and expertise is a significant part of the work I help folks with.

In any case - growth that questions and opposes growth standards and expectations according to colonialist business standards is where I like to live, and get curious. 🙂

🌤️ A thing that makes me hopeful about the future of business:

Indigenous women rising… this generation is strong, and I’m proud to be a part of it, fiercely.

💛 How can companies and industries take better care of people?

I don’t think this is a difficult question. The problem is questioning the systems we have in place that are NOT centering people. When we are centering people, this is not a question. We can’t be following government mandated minimums and standard hierarchical structures.

I believe we can better take care of people by unpacking the systems we’ve been conditioned to operate with, identify how specifically they are NOT centering people, and go from there. That unlearning is the more difficult work, but it’s necessary. Anything else is a band-aid, unsustainable solution.

❓ A question I love:

Who is missing? I love the disruptiveness of this question. I recently heard this articulated by a local policy advocate/community activist, Jenn Jenkins, and I just love this reminder we are receiving and need to continue hearing - who isn’t with us? Who is assumed to be with us, but is unable or we’ve (and/or society has) made it unusually difficult to? What changes can we make that may be slightly inconvenient for us, but majorly transformational for others?

🚶 I would walk/drive/travel 500 miles to…

A dance class! Ori Tahiti, contemporary, jazz, hip hop. And I’ve traveled 5000+ miles for that, more than once!

You can connect with Clarinda on Instagram and Facebook @clarindatusitala.