Happy Monday readers!
A few weeks ago I introduced you to a fabu brand - Kitsch. They sell amazing hair ties that are good for your hair and accessorize your wrists! It's a fun brand that is all about looking great without spending too much. Well, the co-founder, Cassandra Morales took some time out of her busy week to answer some interview questions.
Her story is one of tenacity and ambition. The girl works 15 hour days and loves it! That's passion to the core. She showcases that if you have a dream, take action and continue to follow your instincts, you can accomplish what you want in life. Read on to learn more about how she got her start and her tips for young people wanting to make it in the fashion industry!
Can you tell me a bit about yourself, your company and how you got your start?
I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin. Some would call it the middle of nowhere, but I would like to think of it as heaven. (I’m a little bit country) I got my first taste of real fashion when I worked at Christian Dior as an intern. Coming straight from the Wisconsin to Manhattan was a wide awakening. The second I got off the plane my whole world shifted and I knew fashion was my calling.
I’ve always been crafty, so making jewelry was like second nature to me. Sometimes I’ll design a whole collection and not even be thinking about designing. I’ll be chatting or singing and I’ll just look down and be like “OH! That’s cute!” haha.
When I started Kitsch I wanted to make sure I created something that was affordable AND good quality. When I was in my early twenties I would always see the cutest jewelry and clothing but it was so far out of my price range it was depressing! I’ve also never been one to buy the “fast fashion” items as I’ve always thought purchases should be for life (or at least a good couple of years). The Kitsch brand is comprised of a wide variety of hair and jewelry accessories.
I’ve always been a fan of multi functional items, so repurposing the hair tie was my “Eureka” moment. I have crazy long hair and the stretched out black binder was just not cutting it anymore. After the hair ties took off we expanded into an online store and we are launching a jewelry line this September. It’s bonkers! I think people are going to flip for it. It’s classy, funny, and on trend – which is what we hope all items under the Kitsch brand fulfill.
What led you to start your own business and has your past experience helped with this endeavor?
I always knew I was going to be my own boss. I didn’t know what I was going to do, but I knew that anything to do with fashion made me feel amazing. I worked in all areas imaginable in this industry. Retail, wholesale, design, corporate buying, and production - it’s exhausting thinking of all the jobs I’ve had! I learned so much working for other people, mostly on what not to do. I’ve always been a self-starter. Even when I was working for other companies I was always thinking of the next project that I was going to do. It was a very natural transition for me to break off and start Kitsch. I was ready to fulfill my dreams of being an entrepreneur.
How did you discover your passion and can you give tips to young people trying to find theirs?
As I said before, designing comes so naturally to me. I don’t even feel like I’m working a lot of the days (even though I put in 10-15 hour days regularly). I think passion should come naturally. I don’t think you should ever have to force passion. I always tell my friends who ask for advice to do whatever comes natural to them. If you feel like you’re consistently swimming upstream then stop what you’re doing and let go. You’ll be more successful (and happier) when you do something that comes natural to you.
What is the best part about your job?
By far the best part of my job is working with my Fiancée and my dog Howie. There is nothing I love more than to create with the two loves of my life. We make a great team.
What is the most difficult part about being an entrepreneur?
You are always “on”. When you’re at home, you’re working and when you’re at the office, you’re working AND being a role model. It takes a certain type of person to be able to juggle that. It really isn’t for everyone, but I love it. I’m crazy like that.
What does a day at the office look like for you and your business partner?
My days are so crazy. I don’t even know what I ate for lunch today to be honest. Every day is something new and exciting. I try not to plan too much otherwise I’ll be overwhelmed.
What was the process like starting your accessories business and how did you learn the ins and outs of running a business?
Well, I have 6 years of education in fashion. As for experience - I treated everyone as my mentor, and I still do. I just watched, learned, and made a lot of mental notes. I believe one should never think they have learned everything there is to know. There is never one way to do something. Just because hundreds of people are doing something one way doesn’t mean you have to too. You never know when someone can teach you something. It’s always about keeping an open mind.
Can you highlight a bit about your brand, the trends you are focusing on this season and who the customer is that you create for?
Kitsch has become known for our elastic hair ties and headbands that are available in a wide variety of colors, patterns and fabrics. We are always creating for the fun girl. We have a saying “Stack. Layer. Collect” which is something we feel the Kitsch customer is always thinking.
What is your creative process like when it comes to creating your product?
I definitely follow trends, but I always keep a little bit of a classic touch in everything I do. I only design things that I would wear. Bottom line.
What advice do you have for budding entrepreneurs out there?
Stay Positive. The more attention you put on mistakes the more mistakes will happen. The more attention you put on success the more success you’ll have. I really believe and live by this. There will no doubt be bumps in the road, but you have to continue to push through and not get caught up on it.