Exploring Web3 With Kafi Atiya D’Ambrosi (@studiokafi)

Today we’re speaking with Kafi Atiya D’Ambrosi. Kafi has spent over a decade as an emerging artist in the local Baltimore, MD arts scene. In 2012 Kafi became the first African American woman to open their own photography studio in the Station Norths Arts District. Kafi's art practice includes photography, performance art, theatre, poetry, speaking, writing, curating and acting as an art festival director. She began her journey into Crypto as a curiosity, learning about bitcoin and investing in 2019. Kafi entered the Web3 space in 2022 being onboarded as an artist and quickly became involved training + onboarding artists. Her genesis collection was minted in March 2022. She has a podcast called KAFI + STUDIO. Her consulting business is called The CSUITE PIVOT. She continues to pursue her entrepreneurial path, photography, NFT art, writing + holding space for survivors. Kafi is mother to a young emerging, digital artist, and author known as Finn Decypher, who is also her greatest work of art.



[00:00:00] Jessy: Hi everyone and welcome to the WIIM Podcast. Women in Influencer Marketing is a first of its kind exclusive networking group made up of inspirational women. This podcast is where we explore influencer marketing and get real about women in business. Find us wherever you download podcasts, and of course, you can always find us at iamwiim.com. That’s iamwiim.com. 

Hey guys, what’s going on? Welcome back to the podcast. My name is Jesse Grossman. I’m so happy to be here this week at address my microphone, this guest this week. So good. So Kafi actually won a little contest we ran, during one of our last events, the best influencer tech event and the contest was, be really creative as on social media. Essentially tag us and we’ll invite you onto the podcast. 

So it’s no surprise that her entry won because she is like at her core, a creative. So I’m gonna introduce you to Kafi in just a couple minutes, but before I do, I have a couple of fun announcements. 

It is officially December, which means that all month long, once anyone buys some merch from our merch shop, a hundred dollars every a hundred dollars, and it’s like cumulative, so if you buy 50 and you buy 50, we’re still giving it away. And that being a VIP level scholarship, worth $499. 

We have a really great queue of people who have applied to our scholarships over time since we opened it just a few months ago, and this is just the month in particular that we really, really wanna give back.

It’s also beyond being the holidays, just a nice time to like level set and prepare yourself for the next new year. So being that we’re less than a month away from 2023, oh my God, I wanted to give away a few scholarships because I know that I’ve spoken to many of you who are like eager to hit the ground running. Some of you who are unfortunately out of work and could really, really benefit from the membership that WIIM offers.

So, again, throughout the entire month of December, if you spend a hundred dollars or more for every hundred dollars we are giving away, one VIP scholarship worth $499, which is a year long membership to WIIM.

So I’m very excited to start giving those away. And we’re going to share on our screen now, all the kind of merch that you can buy. They make such good gifts for the holidays. I’ve purchased some of the items myself just to like check the quality and I don’t know, I wanted to have ’em right?

So I’ve got, a hoodie. I’ve got a few shirts. I’ve got the laptop case. I’ve got a few things, and the quality’s really good, which is why we’ve gone with this vendor in particular. So we try to keep the prices reasonable. And I would highly recommend that if you do want them for the holidays to order ASAP so that they get to you in time.

They make awesome, awesome gifts for colleagues and people in the business. And I’ve seen a few of you guys mention in our Facebook community, like, what are you guys getting for people for the holidays? So I don’t know. I always feel a little weird about being like, buy our stuff. But if you’re listening to this show and still curious and still looking for some gifts, they do make awesome, awesome, awesome gifts. They’re good conversation starters too. I love good things that are conversation starters.

So the next thing I wanna mention, guys, we have two really awesome events. Coming up, they’re officially on the website. They’re also open to the public. As of today, both events were available for pre-sale for our members only, and starting today, the day that I’m recording this, they’re officially live for everyone to purchase. Two events. 

Event number one, we have our 2023 State of the Union that is a virtual event, so you can attend from anywhere. It’s on December 20th and details are available on our site. We have such a good panel lined up for you representing all areas of the industry. 

So we have someone from, TikTok, we have someone from Hunter, we have someone from, find your Influence. We have people from the brand side, agency side platform side management side. Lot of people, but a great combination and it’s gonna make such a good conversation. So I’m really excited about that. Again, December 20th, check that out on our website. 

And the next event I guess that we’ve got, cuz we have so many more that we’re gonna be bringing to you guys in 2023, this is an in person event, which I’m so excited about. This is our second in person event for 2022. Get excited for 23 cause there’s so many more to come. And this one is our LA experience. 

So this one is on January 10th starting at 6:00 PM for members and 7:00 PM for guests. So it is officially open. You can check out our website for both tickets, and everything of course will be linked in the show notes. That’s iamwiim.com/events. Plus I, to be clear will be at the LA events in a case that wasn’t clear and I would love to meet you guys.

Oh, one more thing before I forget. I’m giving away two tickets to that event. Just for our podcast listeners, because I’m gonna be at that event and I am so like craving meeting you guys because I love my podcast listeners so, so much. You guys are incredible. You listen every week and you’re so engaged with the community and I wanna meet you guys.

So if you are in LA or you’re planning to travel there for this event, which a lot of people are, we are saving two tickets just for podcast listeners. All you have to do to win them is DM us the word. LA Ticket. The word’s LA ticket. DM us at iamwiim, that’s I A M W I I M on Instagram, and we will give the first two people their tickets. 

So I’m excited to hear from you and I would love to meet you guys in person. So I’m very excited about that. Again, it’s on January 10th in Los Angeles, more cities coming soon. We will also link in the show notes we have, a little wait list. So when we come to a city near you, you’ll be notified.

So guys, it’s like the most incredible time meeting everybody in person and having that in real life experience. So we’re gonna be doing it more. I would love to see you.

All right, a little bit about today’s guest. Her name is, Kafi Atiya D’Ambrosi. She spent over a decade as an emerging artist in the local Baltimore Maryland arts scene.

In 2012, she became the first African American woman to open her own photography studio in the station, North’s arts district. Kafi’s art practice includes a lot of things. It includes photography, performance, art, theater, poetry, speaking, writing, curating, and acting as an art festival director. 

She began her journey though into crypto as a curiosity, learning about Bitcoin and investing back in 2019. She entered the Web3 space in 2022, being onboarded as an artist and quickly became involved training and onboarding other artists. 

Her Genesis collection was minted in March of this year, 2022, and she herself also has a podcast, which you’ll be able to tell when you listen to this episode. She has like the most incredible voice. I could listen to her for hours. Her podcast is called Kafi and Studio, K A F I and studio. Her consulting business, is called the C-Suite Pivot, another really great name. 

She continues to pursue her entrepreneurial path, photography, NFT art, writing, and holding space for Survivors. Kafi is a mother to a young emerging digital artist and author known as Finn Decipher, who is also her greatest work of art. So without further ado, very excited to introduce you to Kafi.

 I appreciate you being on today and, I think it’s cool to share how we connected, right?

[00:09:56] Kafi: Yes.

[00:09:57] Jessy: You attended, I guess most recently, one of our events, the best at influencer tech event…

[00:10:04] Kafi: I did.

[00:10:05] Jessy: Yeah. 

[00:10:05] Kafi: I was interested because, I’m in Web3 and we use AI tools and, AI is a part of Web3. I was interested in learning about marketing tools and so because of what I’ve been involved in, I said, I need to know. I wanna learn how to be a better marketer.

So, In my background, I have a background of being a consultant and working with creative people, musicians, managing a couple of musicians, being a creative coach, meaning I’m not necessarily in every week life coach they call me, Sure Shot. They used to call me Studio Kafi, Power Hour, where I came together with my clients and really created sort of a pivot for them. 

And so in this new era of Web3, I wanted to learn more about what influencer marketing was. It’s so important, more, than a lifestyle influencer, but really specific. And so it’s very hard work. It’s very specific. A lot of people, make jokes about, influencer, but really it’s very dedicated. It takes a lot of discipline and so this year I decided to lean into things. I decided to shift my career completely and I dived into Web3.

I showed up curious as an artist, as a photographer, poet and writer into the Web3 space on a Sunday, and the following week I was onboarding other artist into the space. I do not recommend that, but I have a background in education, training and teaching. And so I spent a week about 60 to 70 hours learning, researching and being immersed in the subject. And so a semester or two later, I was able to help teach other people. 

And so I engaged with you and attended a few of your live sessions on LinkedIn and followed you and kept trying to dive in and learn, what is this influencer marketing about in women in influencer market about, I love supporting women and people who identify as women.

And I loved your energy and your kindness, and you seem to have such a great team supporting you. And so I wanted to learn more and I wanted to attend your live event, and you stated that, if you make a poster real about the event, then you could possibly win, being featured on the podcast. 

And so when I saw that, I said, oh, I’m gonna win that for sure. I loved each and every one of your featured, vendors and I mentioned them and just everyone had something specific to give and so I really enjoyed it.

[00:13:13] Jessy: And I just think there’s like a very specific type of person, like woman in particular who’s I want this and I’m gonna go after it.

And so like I was thinking of different ways I wanna feature like more and more voices on the podcast and people I don’t even necessarily know. But just to come on and be able to get to know people. And I thought at that event, and other events since I’m like, I just really wanna put out there that like, if you wanna be featured on the show and you wanna put yourself out there, let’s do something a little creative and a little like off putting, right?

It could be offputting for a lot of people, I feel like a lot of people might want something, but they don’t necessarily always go after it or they make up a bunch of excuses. So all of that to say, long winded way of saying, I admire so much that you put yourself out there and because you wanted something. 

So I’m thrilled to have you on the show today, get to know you better. I heard you mention that your background is an education. I’d love to get to know a little bit more about you maybe your upbringing and a bit about the educational piece. 

[00:14:22] Kafi: Sure sure. I think I was always a curious child. My name is Kafi Atiya and it means quiet gift. And so all of my friends would laugh hysterically at that or do laugh hysterically at that. My mother moved from Boston, Massachusetts when I was about six years old, to attend seminary in western Massachusetts in a place called Lennox Mass in the Berkshire Mountains.

And, a very much an idyllic place, the home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra during the summer. And so I had a very interesting, culturally diverse childhood, meaning a lot of people from around the world came to this seminary.

I grew up with Scandinavians, Europeans, Asians and so even though I had a sheltered childhood, I also had a giant world view. And so when I was six years old I began participating in the Christmas theater in Montreal. Every year we would go and perform for a week or two, in Montreal and I heard French for the first time and I said, mom, I want to learn French.

And so when there were French students, I hung around French students on campus. Every year at my church, a group of people from our sister church in France came for about six weeks, and my mother. I guess I was a well behaved, very mature child. I began working when I was 11 years old. Don’t recommend that now, but I began working as a babysitter at 11, no 9 years old.

And so because I was mature for my age, I was allowed to go and travel, around the East coast with this French team. I immersed myself in French, and so eventually I became an interpreter at a very young age.

I have a background in event management. Around the time I was 15, I began doing weddings, with an older woman who became my mentor, taught me how to plan and manage events. My schooling and private school, we were always much more mature for our age. Even as freshmen, we were very focused, about our lives. We were focused about not, involving ourselves with boys. We were very much focused on our studies, our future, college.

So it’s very interesting. And then a lot of times, teens or, kids in high school, they wanted Nikes and, they wanted, different things that regular kids want, but we were focused on traveling the world. So it wasn’t, did you get the latest Levi Jeans,it’s like it’s did you get your passport? Did you get your Visa? Are you going to Poland for this summer? Are you going to South America for this summer? Where are you traveling to? 

And so we had this crazy worldview. We were learning languages. We were traveling the world at a very young age. And so when you have an international worldview, and you’re learning languages, the world opens up and additional worlds open up to you and you fall in love with people. 

And so I always say, when you fall in love with someone, you must learn their language, right? And so I had this extraordinary upbringing and Yo-Yo Ma was my first crush. And I used to think I snuck onto the tingle with campus. 

I thought I was unobtrusive. I was the only child of color in my town, so I thought I was sneaking onto the tingle with campus at nine and 10, watching Leonard Bernstein and Yo-Yo Ma. And Seiji Ozawa practiced with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. But of course, being older, I know that I was not an obtrusive and they allowed me to do that.

So I just had a magical childhood and began work. I graduated high school early, began work immediately. I went to seminary part-time and my major was linguistics and so I studied to teach English as a foreign language and studied anthropology because I wanted to know about people and, I loved culture, people languages. I loved teaching English. I’ve taught English in Brazil Montreal, Canada and France.

I’ve traveled to, Hungary. And a few other places. I’ve been to Cuba on a medical mission, delivering hospital supplies and goods. I think I’m a godmother to a 30 year old in Cuba. Cuba was magical and so I’ve been able to travel the world and have definitely fulfilled a lot of things on my bucket list, and so i’ve had a lot of different jobs because I’ve always never felt tethered.

I’ve always worked to be able to travel, so a lot of people are working from home. A lot of people are digital nomads, but I wanted to be a nomad before it was popular. So that’s part of my upbringing. 

[00:19:53] Jessy: No, I love, what a cool upbringing. I’m like, I’m gonna be brought up like that I feel like you’re like surrounded by so much like art and music and then chose to study culture and then I totally see it through line to what you are doing today.

And I know a little bit about it and I wanna learn more. I know that you’re doing some exciting work, in Web3 and the Metaverse specifically. I wanna maybe start there. Some of our most popular podcast episodes have actually been the handful of ones that we’ve done on Web3 in the Metaverse.

[00:20:32] Kafi: Mhmm Right.

[00:20:33] Jessy: So, It’s a topic that I’m fascinated by and just wanting to learn more and more about, so I would love to just start with that. First of all, how did you get into the Metaverse? Cuz there is a distinction right? Between having a curiosity but then like going deep into it and like really putting your imprint on it. So what got you the metaverse and the degree that you’re in it today? 

[00:21:02] Kafi: I’m gonna be transparent. Utterly transparent. So going through this time in Covid we saw the rise of mental health issues, people who didn’t know they had mental health issues. Things rose up to the surface, and so I thought just for the health of my family, to take therapy, work on myself, work on my personal development.

And so some of us suffer, especially I as an artist, we suffer from depression from time to time. I was struggling, I felt really pregnant with art and I didn’t know how to break through, so I went to therapy. And I thought I was doing great. I was attending my therapy and so my therapist said, how are you doing today? And I thought I was doing great and I looked down and I saw that I was wearing the same shirt for the consecutive previous, two weeks.

And I said, I thought I was doing great, but I’m not doing great. My therapist said, there’s a reason you don’t have a car, I need you to go into your shower and take the cleansing shower. I’m like, what do you mean the cleansing shower? She said, I need you to go in, put the Epsom salt in and wash your trauma away. It is not for you. 

I said, okay, I’m gonna do it today. She said, then I need you to sit in your chair and do the work. You have everything you need. You need to start that podcast. You need to do the thing. Do the thing you’re called to do. I was like, yes, ma’am.

Then I have an amazing friend, who is a TikTok influencer and has a media company. His name is Todd Collins, and I was like, Todd, hey Todd, should I do by Shopify store? I spent $800 on it. I only made $200. He’s like hey, I’ve been a millionaire lost it all, I’ve been married, divorced, lost it all. Right, he said, I need you to burn your bridges. I need you to burn everything down and start again. I’m like, so does that mean I can reclaim my dream of the business that I wanna start? He said, yes, but burn everything down. 

So I took those two pieces of advice and I sat and I started writing things down. I’m like, I think I wanna learn about NFTs, right? So this is a Sunday, so I called my girlfriend in New York City, my favorite Dominican friend. I was like, okay, I wanna learn about NFTs. We’re gonna learn about NFTs. So let’s take Sunday, we’re gonna, dive in, we’re gonna go Google it, we’re gonna learn. So that’s what I did. That was a Sunday.

On Monday, I said, I’m gonna call my friend Miss Queen Earth, who’s a fantastic NFT artist. I’m gonna call Queen. So I went to her, social medias to contact her and she was doing a Facebook Live. I was like, oh, with another friend of mine, Kay Mayfield, who’s big in the space of the NFTs. And I said, okay, there’s a Facebook Live. I went, listened. I finally understood it because I did a bunch of research.

The following day I had a one-on-one with Queen Earth, one-on-one lesson. That was Monday. Tuesday I had a one on one, Wednesday I was in a lunch and learn. Thursday I was in clubhouse all day and, doing my research also on this side all week, I’ve been doing my own research simultaneously. And then by Friday in miss Queen Earth’s, room on Clubhouse, I began helping her on board, and I did that for three months straight. 

In the meanwhile, I met a gentleman called BK Khan, and we had a conversation about China and antiques and Web3. And I began doing AMAs. So that’s called an ask me anything. And it’s what we do in the NFT space when you have an NFT project and you can ask the person anything about their project.

And there is a former app called Connect Club, which was a Web2.5. It was sort of like, clubhouse but your avatar could move in the space and there was a metaverse room. You could sit on the couch with your avatar. You could go in the corner and have a one-on-one with someone during the event.

And so I began, interviewing people and hosting and being a moderator in these rooms regarding NFT projects. I knew enough to onboard people, I began interviewing people. And then I knew it was serious, I interviewed a couple of people from Hong Kong, and there was an energy project called the Meta Art Project. They were featured in Vogue, Singapore. 

And I was like okay, it’s getting a little serious. And then my first jolt that what I was doing was getting a little more serious in Web3 was I interviewed the seven top CEOs in Asia, for an event called Asia in the Metaverse, it’s on my YouTube channel, Kafi + Studio.

And this was sponsored by a Vietnamese Web3 magazine and they streamed it into Vietnam. And so we were, in this Web2.5 room in this Metaverse room. And then we were streamed into a conference room in Vietnam, and so we were being translated or interpreted into Vietnamese. 

And so I’m interviewing a CNN reporter who does all the finance on CNN. I was interviewing CEOs, from India, Singapore, Vietnam, and Hong Kong. And so then I realized, okay, maybe I’m, gaining some traction in what I’m doing and this is a real job. 

Then the next thing that happened was, I did I was a participant in an event called Connect Chellas So again, on the same app Connect Club, we decided to have a music festival. We had 10 stages with 10 to 20 musicians on each stage. So we had over 200 musicians in the app performing simultaneously, that was my first giant event. 

So I had participated in a couple other events, but that was the first one where I had my own stage, I was gathering musicians and managing them. Then I participated in June in another large event actually onboarding a platform into Web3, and that was 2020. We onboarded teaswap.live onto Voxels. And so for a month we interviewed three to five CEOs a day.

And we were, streaming on five platforms at a time. So on Connect Club, zoom, YouTube, Clubhouse in Voxels. And so that’s when I realized, okay, I think I’m a podcaster. I’m a host, I’m a moderator, and we just onboarded these people into the metaverse, and this is a virtual event and we’re streaming on five platforms. I don’t think anyone’s ever done that ever before, simultaneously.

[00:28:39] Jessy: And so being the, person who’s like bringing all of these people in and being like the shepherd to bring them, into it, what surprised them about it? What questions did they have? I’m curious about that transition and what that felt like.

[00:28:58] Kafi: I think they didn’t know how much it takes. It really takes a team. It takes a team to market it, to manage it, to continue it. And then I don’t think they realize that even with our small team, that we actually make what we do look easy. Because originally I have to go back a little bit, when I began being mentored by BK, what my team may or may not have known is that, BK I don’t think he disclosed this to them. He had already trained 130,000 influencers in China. And so in China, I think the market is very different.

We look at boy bands like BTS and we see the amazing virality of them, and we think they’re amazing, they went so viral and people think it’s organic. They went viral organically, and I think maybe you and I both know that’s not true.

So what they use in that part of the world is KOLs, Key Opinion Leaders. And so as I began to try to investigate my new mentor, and couldn’t find him. I said, oh, I know what type of person this is, because things are different.

In the west, people who are wealthy or establish want to be seen. People who are established, in Asia or different parts of Asia do not want to be seen online. They protect their family. They didn’t want their family to be seen, so I knew what kind of person that he was. And, I knew I was in a KOL training, Key Opinion Leader Training.

And so because of that, I set my purpose right. And so even though I was in a team, I had my own individual goals at the end of the year. I knew that I’d be in this for a year. I knew that if you do take KOL training, a one day training is anywhere from $17 to $3,500 for the day because it’s so rapid.

And I also knew that some of the top TikTok influencer, some of the top clubhouse influencers who have a million people following them who have a million people on TikTok, were trained by him also. And so I knew I had the right mentor and I wasn’t necessarily trying to be an influencer, but I definitely wanted to know about Web3. I definitely wanted to do what I was doing, I was really enjoying it. I finally felt like I fit somewhere.

And the thing about Web3, and I repeatedly say this all the time, is that you have the ability to bring all of your skills. So I grew up with theater, music, musicians, managing musician. Sometimes falling in love with one, married one, working behind the seat, doing stage management, producing shows. 

Then I’ve been in healthcare industry. Working for the president of Johns Hopkins, helping to establish the international department at Johns Hopkins, knocking on every embassy door, in Washington DC to help establish the Johns Hopkins international office.

Right creating sister programs in Africa, in Europe, and South America. So my background’s in healthcare. And then, working from a very young age in business administration, also having a background in event planning. Then also, I’m an artist. I’m a photographer, I’m a poet, and even though I struggle, I’m a writer too, untapped and I have to dig in a little deeper for my writing.

So with Web3, you’re able to bring all of your skills to the table and they’re actually validated, whereas in corporate America, you have a job description and there are often punitive, things that happen to you if you try to step outside of your job description. So if you’re a receptionist, but then try to do, some strategic planning of the executive committee, you get in trouble for that. Even if you have experience in executive planning. If you’re supposed to answer the phones, you can’t leave the phones. To go to the executive committee planning meeting right.

But in Web3, you can bring all of your life experience, whether you thought of it as a skill. So I’ve done music management, I’ve been in music and theater and production my whole life but because I was never chasing it, because I wasn’t, trying to be a famous musician. I’m not trying to be a music producer, even though I’ve produced shows, that was never my calling. I never considered it a skill that I should be paid for. I just did it because I work with musicians and yes, I was paid for it, but I never pursued it.

But coming into Web3 when I’m doing a virtual event and I have musicians, and I throw a virtual event and I can pull together 10 to 12 musicians for a stage, pull together all of their music sets, run this stage properly, introduce them, do the interviews, do the write-ups. It’s bringing all of my skills together.

[00:34:38] Jessy: That’s brilliant like to have a place where you know it not only celebrates the variety of skills that you’ve, not created, but the variety of skills that you’ve cultivated, with this background, but also to be able to have a place where you could explore all of that and improve all of them and see how they interact with each other. I find that really fascinating.

I said before on the show that I think that a lot of people will relate. I was also told that, you’re a little all over the place. Like you really need to focus and, you can’t do too many things. Like you’re a little scattered. And the truth is, whether you are in Web3 or in influencer marketing or an entrepreneur or all of those things, you are so much better equipped to handle problems and problem solve when you have a really diverse background. So I think it’s great that you’ve found, this community and all the people in it that seem to really celebrate, your dynamic background. I think it’s brilliant. 

Like for those who are listening who haven’t really experienced Web3, the metaverse, like anything, they hear these words and they’re maybe even a little intimidated by these terms cause they just have never experienced it themselves. Could you break it down for them in terms of an influencer marketer, or even just a marketer, like somebody who works in marketing that’s curious about the metaverse, like where should they begin their exploration? 

[00:36:15] Kafi: Sure sure. So one of the first things we tell people is, number one, be brave. Just be brave. Another thing we tell people is do your research. And so I remember I told someone, I said back in the day when Web2 came up after Web1, we have Web1, where it was read only then we had Web2 where you could engage. And a lot of people did not have personal computers at that time.

And this was before the age of Google. We used to have something called Alta Vista. And before Alta Vista, there were some other things that I can’t remember, but because people didn’t know how to even use a search engine, you had to use keywords. And I remember people would call me to ask them to find things on the internet.

So when Google came along, I was afraid of Google because it was new. And so we always have a fear that comes up when something is new. And so this is how I explained it. So my mother wanted to make an NFT because my child, is also an artist. and They’re 14 and they are actually onboarded online.

I made a wallet for them to store their NFTs. But I onboarded my mother, who is 74 years old, and this is how I explained it. So all they knew was that ETH is money, Ethereum. So you’ll see ETH or 2 ETH trending on Twitter. 

And so what I explain, like we talked about, before we went live is that the Web3 is the internet, and it is as vast as the world.

Number two, when we’re talking about blockchain technology, Web3 uses blockchain technology and the key word to blockchain technology is decentralized. So right now our money is in a bank. It’s in a central location, and we don’t understand how, those transactions happen. We just put our card into the ATM machine.

In the month we put our pin in and if we’ve worked or if we’ve accrued money, money comes out of the ATM machine, but we don’t know how those transactions, we just know the PIN talks to the atm and then the bank talks to the machine, and the machine gives us money. It’s a central location.

In Web3 using the blockchain, there is a thing called transparency. Transparency and a lot more authentication, meaning we get to see how the transaction is done. We get to see where it starts and where it ends. And so with Web3, one of the things we talk about is sovereignty, currently in Web2. And people have used it as a meme or have made these posts like, I don’t own the rights to this song, or, Facebook Facebook is trying to steal my images, all these different things.

But basically, if you put content on the web, right now, you do not own those images if you put it on a platform, it is written in the fine print. In Web3 because of their transparency, when you put content in Web3 on the blockchain, you have sovereignty, you control your own content.

No one is able to monetize that. You own everything that you put out. So when you are creating something like an NFT, which is a Non Fungible Token, and so fungible means it’s copyable, non fungible means you cannot copy it.

For example, we never say I’m uploading an NFT. We say we’re going to mint an NFT. And when we think about the mint, we think about the US mint, right? We think about gold nuggets getting an imprint. We think about those money plates and all the heist movies that we have, and we think about the value of the plates, right?

How they’re Uncopyable. Uncopyable, non fungible. Those plates are non fungible, which is why the thieves were always trying to steal the plates because the plates where you mint money, they’re non fungible. 

So let’s talk about minting. Let’s talk about assets, right? So NFT and anything can be an NFT. is a digital asset right? Why do we need a digital asset? What is a digital asset? This is what I told my mom. I said, mom, ETH is money, right. When we take out a mortgage, we have to list our assets because there’s monetary value in the assets, and you have to count how many assets, or how much value your assets have.

The other thing is when we’re talking about the blockchain, I refer to the blockchain as, multiple continents, right? And so the blockchain has different platforms. I refer to the platforms as Europe cuz sometimes I used to go to Europe for the summer and way back when I was a young pup, before the European Union, you had different currency for each country.

When we went to Italy, we had the Lira, when we went to France, we had The Franc, when we went to England or the UK, we had The Pound. So each platform on the blockchain is like a country in different platforms have different currencies, or in Web3 different cryptocurrencies.

That is how I explain the blockchain cryptocurrencies in digital assets. Does that help?

[00:42:31] Jessy: It helps so much. It helps a lot. You could tell that you have a background in education and that you have your own podcast and I can just sit here and listen and learn from you for a long time. I appreciate it.

If you could give just like any advice to someone who, this has ped their interest, but they’re like, I don’t even know where to begin. I’m intimidated, or I just don’t have the time. What is it that you think makes the Metaverse so valuable that you highly recommend people to explore it?

[00:43:14] Kafi: So the very thing that I think, about Web3 and again, let me just clarify. You have Web3, which is an internet using blockchain technology, meaning you have the ability to preserve memories, your digital assets in perpetuity. Okay. And so what this does is it creates opportunities for creators like myself, like yourself, to make a digital imprint for now, to create autonomy and sovereignty for their art.

Whether you’re a painter, a photographer, especially, for musicians It’s making such an impact on the world that record labels are trying to get in on it, and, NFT musicians are saying too late. So Imagine this, you’re a musician. You spent the last 20 years you’ve, signed up for all of the things that make you an official musician, BMG, copywriting all those things, and you’ve struggled.

Then you become an NFT musician where you are autonomous. You are your own label. Just like when you enter into cryptocurrency and crypto is risky, and I am not giving financial advice. You must do your own research, but you become your own bank. As an NFT musician, you are your own label, right?

So imagine I’m a musician. I strum a few keys on my guitar. I mint my nft, it goes viral. I sell my record. My record costs $50 for the complete record, and someone resells my record, right? I get 10% royalty on my record in perpetuity. I pass away. Guess who gets my royalties? My child. My grandchildren, it’s on the blockchain forever, right?

And there’s no cut because I recorded my song without any help. I did my artwork, right? And so I’m seeing musicians who have made more. Even in a bear market, in six months as an NFT musician and NFT creator than they have in the past 20 years touring, making music, being on Spotify, being on different platforms. Okay.

And so the one thing that I would tell someone is number one, Web3 is here to stay. Number two, the practical applications of Web3 and blockchain are already integrated, whether you want to see it or not. NFTs are being called different things, right? 

But already we’re seeing it in Clubhouse. Clubhouse says, connect your wallet. You can have a gated event. Meaning if I have an NFT. And I have an NFT project. If someone’s bought my NFT, I can create, a special event for my community. And that’s the one thing I haven’t mentioned. The number one thing about why we create NFTs, the number one thing that, this community stands on is the word community.

And And so we see bored ape yacht club that’s a community. We are building Web3 upon community, and community is first. We see a lot of articles and it says Community is number six. But in reality, community is first, we’re able to create community around our projects, and it requires authenticity, communication, consistency, transparency right, and content. 

Which is why we’re here, which is why I’m here with you, because I loved your content. And so Web3 is here to stay. What we’re also seeing is, ticketing with NFTs, and so to reduce fraud, we’re seeing larger corporations and brands using NFT ticketing We’re also reducing the, barrier to entrance where we are allowing people to buy NFTs to buy digital assets without having to have a cryptocurrency wallet. So you can buy my digital asset with your card. You can look at my digital collections in my art and buy it with your credit card or your debit card.

So the barrier to entry is being lowered and lowered. We’re seeing, fashion companies put in NFT to track their their new fashion lines. Blockchain technology is being introduced in every avenue of business, and so it’s here to stay. It’s not going anywhere, and it’s the next evolution of the internet. It’s best to get in now. Get in now. 

[00:48:23] Jessy: Absolutely. Best to get in now. And like you explain it so well. It’s like there’s so much upside and of course with anything new, proceed with caution. Like you were talking about like cryptocurrency for a sec and before we started talking even, and you’re like, I’m not a financial expert. I’m certainly not gonna tell anybody to invest in crypto. In fact, like I’ll speak personally the crypto that I’ve invested in you I’m waiting it out because nobody’s making any money in crypto in the past, many months. 

So that’s just such a slight piece though of Web3. But, the metaverse is, I think what’s probably most applicable to our listeners and the people that tune into our show. So I think you did such a fantastic job of explaining the excitement around it and the promise of it and, why it’s really worth checking out.

And it’s an exciting time of year, being the end of the year and everyone’s thinking and wanting to plan, into 2023. I cannot believe that. It’s almost 2023. Oh my God. 

[00:49:34] Kafi: Amazing 

[00:49:36] Jessy: Amazing.

but I think this would make such a perfect bucket list item to add to, things to explore and really take time to learn for 2023 and, or, we get a little bit of time off around the holidays, hopefully most of us, and if you do, just like pop into, listen to Kafi’s podcast or check out Clubhouse. There are less people on it, I’m not gonna lie, but there are really interesting people that are on it, and that’s really what matters the most. It’s such a great place to explore and learn and meet. And one of the things that I appreciate so much about Web3 personally is that everyone seems so welcoming.

The sort of mo that I’ve been, given is we’re all learning. It’s so new that, there are very few people that could self proclaim expert status and most people, even when they are, they don’t. 

[00:50:40] Kafi: We do not, like I am not an expert, right. 

[00:50:43] Jessy: Yeah. 

[00:50:45] Kafi: Am reluctant because the one thing my friend Vesi Mink says she is an NFT musician and artist. She always says the onboarding never ends. So even as I’m teaching a master class, and I’m even reluctant to call it a master class for NFT onboarding, I’m also learning about Defi. I’m learning. Staking, I’m learning more about cryptocurrency. I’m learning about creating my own coin, possibly one day. So still learning every single day.

Someone asks me a question on my podcast about, what do you think about the SEC? That was like you know about what happened with Kim Kardashian. And I said you know what? In reality, I think someone just forgot to put a sticky on her day planner .That she is supposed to put a disclaimer about, her cryptocurrency, partnership, because we still have to learn about what’s current in the news. 

This space is rapid, so the reluctancy to call ourselves an expert is because I started at the end of January. I’m a speaker and I’m teaching in November. Or it’s even started before that, right? I started in January. I started at teaching in January. That’s how fast this space moves. So a in web three is two or three years somewhere else, but we’re still learning at the same time because the technology Is rapidly changing. We’re still learning. The onboarding never ends.

So every single day I’m learning something. So stuff that I was interviewing people about in June, I just heard the same talk recently and I said, I finally get your project. Your project is fascinating. Is this what you were talking about in June? He’s yes. I was like, oh. I get it now. Fascinating. I wish I understood you when you were speaking to me in June, right? I’m all on board, right? 

So that’s how quickly the space moves and once you know it, there’s still more to learn. So I’m learning every single day, even as I explain the beginning, and then sometimes you think, oh, I don’t know enough. And then when you’re in a room of someone and they say, how do I open my opensea wallet? You’re like, okay, maybe I do know a little something, but you gotta stay humble, right? We don’t call ourselves experts, because no one’s an expert because the technology is changing every single day. It’s becoming safe. 

And so again, I say, do your research. Yes, the community’s very much welcoming, very much and so we love to onboard people. And then, we love educating people and sharing. And yeah clubhouse is changing, because they saw an app like Connect Club that offered Web2.5, and yeah, we liked moving around. It wasn’t competition for Clubhouse, but you know what? We loved what being able to be in a clubhouse type environment, but move around. We loved being able to turn on our video and look at each other face to face. We loved being able to have a screen and have a movie night.

Imagine being in Clubhouse and having a movie night with everybody. We could stream from YouTube or Netflix or Prime video. We had movie nights. We also had the ability to have, an NFT gallery. And show our artwork and have an art show. So yeah. 

[00:54:20] Jessy: So fun. I’m just excited also for our, listeners to check out your resources. So we are going to link all of those down in the show notes because…

[00:54:34] Kafi: absolutely.

[00:54:34] Jessy: You are such a credible, resource for people and just…

[00:54:38] Kafi: You’re my resource.

[00:54:41] Jessy: You’re my resource too. So..

[00:54:43] Kafi: I’m learning from you every day. I dial in, I’m like, what should I learn? Oh, I didn’t know I need to do this. I struggle with consistency because I’m easily distracted by sparkly things and I’m an artist butterflies,turtles. So I’m learning how to plan and being proactive and dialing my energy down a little bit.

[00:55:08] Jessy: Never dial your energy down. No, I love your energy. Seriously. Fantastic. That’s what’s gonna attract a lot of people to you. To your content, and just like what you’re putting out into the world. So thank, I’m just appreciative that you could spend, the last bit of time with us.

I am going to drop into the show notes, of some resources that you’ve shared with us and ways for people to get into touch. So thank you so much for coming off the show today.

[00:55:39] Kafi: Sure.

[00:55:40] Jessy: And, thank you everyone for tuning in and we will see you next week guys.

 If you enjoyed this episode, we gotta have you back. Check out our website for more ways to get involved, including all the information you need about joining our collective. You can check out all the information at iamwiim.com. Leave us a review, a rating, but the most important thing that we can ask you to do is to share this podcast. 


Thanks for listening. Tune in next week.

Kafi Atiya D’Ambrosi


Kafi has spent over a decade as an emerging artist in the local Baltimore, MD arts scene. In 2012 Kafi became the first African American woman to open their own photography studio in the Station Norths Arts District. Kafi’s art practice includes photography, performance art, theatre, poetry, speaking, writing, curating and acting as an art festival director. She began her journey into Crypto as a curiosity, learning about bitcoin and investing in 2019. Kafi entered the Web3 space in 2022 being onboarded as an artist and quickly became involved training + onboarding artists. Her genesis collection was minted in March 2022. She has a podcast called KAFI + STUDIO. Her consulting business is called The CSUITE PIVOT.  She continues to pursue her entrepreneurial path, photography,  NFT art, writing + holding space for survivors. Kafi is mother to a young emerging, digital artist, and author known as Finn Decypher, who is also her greatest work of art. 

Book Your Session