Hello Ms.CEO Interview With Hello Ms.CEO Katie
Founder of With Love From- Katie Interview.
- Tell us a little about yourself and what inspired you to launch your business, With Love From Katie?
My name is Katie, owner of With Love from Katie. I am a wife, mom, and business owner. I was inspired to start my business just by simply being a jewelry lover. I found myself not ever leaving the house without a pair of earrings and a simple necklace. I wanted a goto piece (or five!) that would go with my everyday life of chasing kids, riding horses and still be able to wear it out on date night.
- What is (With Love From Katie) all about?
With love from Katie is all about sharing something important. Something that means the most to you as an individual. Something that you can’t just go pick up at the store and is unique to you. Every one of us are so different as individuals and it’s about embracing the good and things that will make you smile. Like being able to wear your children's names so close to your heart. Or maybe an uplifting message to keep you motivated or comforted.
- What challenges did you face early on in building your business?
The challenges I faced early in the game are, how in the heck do I get people to see me? How do I get my business out there? Even with the power of social media, how do I convince people to spend their hard earned money on me? I knew it was going to be a lot of work, but I was so solid in my product, I knew if I could even just get a few people to purchase from me, they would tell their friends. I like to say, you'll never know if you don't try.
- What was your biggest mistake and if given the opportunity to do it again what would you do differently?
Mistakes will come with the territory of starting and owning a business. It is all trial and error and I truly believe those mistakes you make are only going to make you work harder. Some days it will make you want to throw in the towel, other days it will scare the hell out of you. But pushing forward makes the victories that much sweeter. I would say my biggest mistakes to date would be is second guessing myself. Letting the bigger businesses make me feel like I couldn't compete. I say go into your business like you're just as good as everyone else. Better actually! You have to believe in yourself and what you are doing to convince everyone else to. So if I could tell WLFK something a year ago, it would be, have confidence and go all in right from the start. Take the risk and don't be afraid or intimidated.
- What do you wish they had taught you in school that you learnt the hard way?
I wish that a elective in high school on business basics would have been an option. It would have gone such a long way. Our wonderful country is built on small businesses and I truly believe this should be a class you take in HS and prepare students for that next step in life to make an honest living. Not every person has the opportunity to go to college and take these classes. Every state is different, but it can truly be confusing or intimidating when you aren't sure about which permits you may need, state tax, income taxes, business licenses, etc. Would have saved me a whole lot of headache with starting WLFK.
- What drives you to succeed, in other words what is your “WHY”?
My family drives me to succeed. Being a mom of two boys, I want to give them a great life full of opportunities. I want them to see it pays off to work hard and earn and build something on your own. Show them that you can do it all. You can still build a life and have a successful career. Don't be afraid to have an idea and execute it. They are my whole "WHY". I’m not sure I would had the opportunity if I didn't have them. I’d probably still be out working for someone else helping them build their dream.
- What inspires you personally &/or professionally in your life daily?
Aside from my husband and kids, I would say my upbringing has inspired me. I grew up on 21 acres here in Southern California. We had horses, dogs, pigs, hamsters, and all kids of fun pets. It instilled something in my soul of living a simple lifestyle. Still to this day, horses are a big part of my life. I have a awesome guy named Tex and he is a big inspiration in WLFK. He represents another life a lot of people aren't familiar with and are intrigued by. I often say I grew up in the wrong lifetime. I wish I could ride my horse into town to do errands lol. This simple life, has inspired me to create simple little pieces of meaningful jewelry that I get to literally share with the world!
- Do you practice personal development and if so do you have a favorite book that you would love to recommend?
I am always looking to learn and grow. Before I started WLFK, I did a lot of research. I wanted to do this right. I read many articles on building an online business with the power of social media. I looked at the websites and online accounts of other businesses I loved and studies what they did. What would they post? How did they connect with people? How did they layout their websites? I can’t say I sat down and read a whole book on how to start a business, I truly just did some homework and something in my gut was just telling me to go for it. Every day you have to keep an open mind. Its impossible to know it all. I am very open with my followers how I am continuing to learn everyday. I have even offered help and advice to other small businesses. We are all in this together.
- What habits did you create to help make you successful?
Building new habits is crucial to starting a business. You are in charge of your own fate. If don't work, your business won't either. You still have to set yourself a daily schedule to ensure you're giving yourself a fair opportunity at this. Sit down and come up with your daily schedule. Break your day down as if you would a 9 to 5. Don't be afraid to give yourself breaks. Its apart of the beauty of working for yourself. When you get tired, rest. Don't quit.
- What was your mindset to help ensure that your vision would become reality?
My mindset was to be a yes girl. Say yes to it all and figure it out later. If you say no to an opportunity, you could lose 5 others that could have been right behind it. Your vision can’t really become a reality if you have nothing to work with.
- How did you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
I chose to distinguish myself from others by getting personal. People love to get on a more personal level. For the first 4 months of my business, I took each and every custom order via DM on Instagram! Where else can you get that kind of service? I got to meet so many cool people from around the world and they are solid quality followers and customers. They tell their friends, then the friends tell their friends and before you know it, you become a trusted go to and people want to give you their business. Even if they could maybe find it more affordable somewhere else. I also love included a hand written thank you note with my orders. People love to know there is an actual human being on the other end of the transaction.
- How did you develop key partnerships?
I developed key partnerships by just putting myself out there. Fake it til you make it. You have to be confident in yourself for others to be confident in you to. Stay in touch with those partnerships. Don't be scared to put yourself out there. The worst they can say is no. But, what about when they say yes?! That could open up all kinds of opportunities! I love to send out little gifts around the holidays to just thank them for their business and let them know I am so grateful.
- What does women supporting women look like to you?
Women supporting women is lending an ear or lending a hand. Give them a shout out or a pat on the back. I love sharing other small business on my social media and doing giveaways or collaborations together. I hope we ALL make it!
- Based on your experience,what’s the best advice you can give to an aspiring female entrepreneur?
The best piece of advice I have to give would be, go for it! Its scary, its intimidating, will anyone like what you have to offer? We are all in the same boat! You're not alone! But, its better to have been the one who went for it, then to watch everyone else move on and succeed. I hope those of you reading this find me on instagram and come reach out. I’d love to band together and let women run the world! Let’s show them what we got!
- What can we expect from you in the near future?
I can honestly say, I take With Love from Katie day by day. Each day is so different and full of opportunity. I personally make a goal list. For example, stores I want to reach out to or people Id love to work with, then slowly chip away at that list. I am always trying to come up with new designs and new looks and it is so cool releasing them to the public. Best feeling ever. I have a feeling 2018 is going to be a great year. I can’t wait to be featured in my most recent venture, HELLO MS. CEO and see what opportunities arise! Stay tuned!
Creator & Founder of WITH LOVE from Katie INC.
SHOP @ www.withlovefromkatie.com
FOLLOW me on INSTAGRAM @with.love.from.katie