Our Her-story

I’m Kanani Breckenridge. I grew up in Solana Beach, CA and I wanted to be a vet when I was growing up because I was obsessed with horseback riding. As I got older and recognized that vets have to stick their hands in some really nasty places, I decided to focus on one of my other main passions – creative writing and poetry.

Luckily, I was good enough with that (and school in general) to earn academic scholarships (legally and legitimately) to pay for me to attend USC. Then, in my senior year, my professors informed us that 99% of writers are never able to be successful and most are broke. Once again, I rethought my plans, but didn’t have any compelling ideas.

I graduated a year early in 1998 and moved back to San Diego during the height of the Dot-Com boom. My mom, Amy Moser, (who worked in Technology Recruiting since I was one year old) suggested I join her team at TriStaff Group.

At that time, recruiting was cake! If you could source  any software engineers or web developers with a pulse who could even so much as spell the word Java you made placements. I thought “this is the best and easiest job ever!”   I found that I loved recruiting and learning about technology. Plus, I made what I considered to be boatloads of money.

Then, the Dot-Com Boom went bust. And it forced me to not only buy fewer expensive shoes but to also truly take the craft of recruiting and finding new clients more seriously. I started to truly listen to my mom’s sage advice and schooling in our business.  (P.S. If you’ve ever talked to her you know it as fact, and if you never got the chance to - truly, she is one of the best and most talented recruiters ever). Though this career started off unplanned, I realized I’d found where I was meant to be.  

Fast forward about 10 years… We survived another market bust in 2008-2009, but it was more of a hiccup. We also branched out from just technical positions and I loved working on a range of roles as well as engineering – marketing, sales, operations, and C-level and other management searches. By this time my recruiting craft was honed enough to feel confident in growing our business through ups and downs. I had a beautiful young daughter. Life was good.

Then in December 2014, my mom suffered a massive stroke. She was no longer able to work as she had some physical disabilities, but more significantly could no longer speak more than a few words. I took over all of our business, and in the past few years have billed more by myself every year (to boast I billed over $1M in 2017) than the two of us together… But, it was often lonely working without her at my company and missing her advice, overly blunt (but always honest) perspective, and inspiring partnership every day.

In February 2019, my mom suffered another major stroke, and this one was enough to take her away permanently. Through the grieving process, I realized that although I love recruiting and had awesome peers at TriStaff, I believe she would encourage me to take this sour sadness of her passing as an opportunity to make some lemonade… Thus, I decided to launch my own recruiting firm.

So, fast forward just a few frames to today… Kismet Search officially launched on March 27, 2019. (To clarify, Kismet is defined as fate, destiny, providence, fortune, and so on.)  

I chose the name Kismet Search because I believe in determining your destiny, which I do best by helping companies and people to find where they’re meant to be.  Your destination can happen by chance, but most often it happens through an active trigger or change agent… Namely, a recruiter like me.

I’m thrilled to be taking the torch from my mom and her incredible professional legacy and carrying it forward to help people find where they’re meant to be by connecting them with the most dynamic, innovative, and disruptive companies (aka my awesome clients) in the world… And I’m lucky enough to do it all from sunny San Diego, California.

That’s my story. Thanks for listening. Now, hire me and my new team at Kismet Search. We are the source of where you’re meant to be.

Kismet Search was founded by Kanani Breckenridge to create a better way to help people and companies grow and thrive.