The Beginning of an Industry

Where do I even begin?! Well first let me welcome you…

Welcome: 

To the space where innovation meets reality for the young entrepreneur.

To the blog where honesty is everything.

To the mindset of a woman of action.

Hello! My name is Kat. I am a junior student college athlete. I have been a huge fan of sports for the entirety of my life. I have played everything from hockey to tennis (what I currently play in college). An active lifestyle is what I strive for, yoga pants and sports bras consume 93.7% of my closet, and clothes without pockets annoy me. I also live to find adventure and I never stop moving (I’ve been told I can be a restless sleeper too).

Before I turned 20, I was the owner of 3 trademarks, 4 provisional patents, and my very own business. Yes, you read that right. I am not one to brag, but all of that came with a price, physically and mentally.

This blog is my diary and an inside look into the mind of a young entrepreneur (possible grammatical errors included). So here it goes…Let me warn you though, if you stop reading now, you are going to miss out on some serious life advice, mistakes, mishaps, and triumphs.

I pride myself on being the HARDEST-WORKING person in a room. I may not be the most intelligent, skilled, or knowledgable individual (I for sure will be the clutziest), but I make damn sure that I try to work harder than anyone.

I have always been a very driven, organized, and passionate type of person. Since high school, I thought I had figured my life out. (Here is me, right now, mentally laughing at that thought because I was quite sure of it.)

My family can be broken down into two main categories: business-owners and doctors. I was that kid who watched Untold Stories of the E.R. and Boston Med with pure enjoyment.

My mom remembers vividly at her doctors appointment, me in the waiting room watching Animal Planet, then the receptionist apologizing and changing the channel because a graphic surgery of a Golden Retriever was taking place. I looked at her and explained that I had already seen this episode, but not to worry because this dog’s hematoma will turn out to be benign. She looked at my mother speechless. Thus, I was always certain I needed to go into the medical field. I wanted to help people, and be able to support my future family (literally my thoughts at 7 years old; I am a planner).

My parents were planners, too. Even before high school, we would have long talks about what I wanted to do. In high school, my dad helped me do extensive research on the top medical programs across the country. Playing tennis in college was towards the back of my mind.

I ended up choosing Grand Valley State University, a hidden gem I might add. My deciding factors in going were their top Nursing Program (I wanted to be a physician’s assistant from there), decent tennis scholarship offer, and their state of the art library. Total nerd move right?! I figured since I will be there so often, I better love it.

My freshman year was incredible. I loved being on my own time, despite the fact I had to manage tennis, class, and four different clubs. Being a part of all of that made me an incredible planner because if I did not plan accordingly, my entire week would fall apart.

Fast forward to my second semester of freshman year. I felt pretty comfortable with my schedule and grueling science classes, but I would find myself getting bored (with the very little free time I had). I am a do-er. The words “lazy”, “procrastinate”, and “un-motivated” are not to be associated with me. 

I overheard a girl on my team talking about her sister who paid for her entire grad-school by selling headbands. “HEADBANDS?!” I thought. How simple. She started selling off Etsy, reasons I will get into in a later blogpost, but it took off from there.

A lightbulb went off. I thought, why can’t I come up with something like that for some extra cash? I have college bills piling up. I was creative and artsy. I even make a lot of my own jewelry, so I started to research. Although, I realized the difficulty of the market place in differentiating yourself from others.

THEN…one day after practice, I went into our Recreation Center to workout with teammates. All we needed to enter, was our student ID, but we carried extra cash, wallets, keys, and belongings that were not necessary. Our gym lockers did not lock, and cubbies were open for anyone to steal our things. I was too nervous to leave my things, so I had to carry a large wallet and keys around the gym at each machine I used. I looked like an idiot. Everyone else had way too much trust in the other strangers at the gym.

For weeks, I looked online for a simple, gym-friendly, accessory to hold just an ID and maybe a key. Unfortunately, all that came up were running belts. UGHHHH. They are bulky, unfashionable, uncomfortable, and too big for the simple things I needed.

Here’s my epiphany…I found out that I am not the only one with this problem!!! I decided to do something about it.

My mother had her own Bridal Store, with a very talented seamstress. I was able to meet with her, explain my design, and BOOM, the Wrist Locker was born. It solved all my issues because it is specifically the length of an ID, it is comprised of high-performance-dry-wicking athletic fabric (I am picky with my clothes), it stretches to hold chapstick or keys, and is machine-washable.

From there I learned to sew, tell the low from high-quality fabric, and spread the word about creating a more enjoyable workout experience.

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I kept getting told (over and over and over again) that the way I sell my product and create products with purpose, is my calling. The following semester I switched my major from Nursing to Entrepreneurship.

This is NOT the end of my story. There is so much more too it, I promise. There are plenty of informative and sarcastic posts to come because I think that sharing my journey as a young female entrepreneur is just as important as building my own brand in order to support myself, my family, and my community for the rest of my life.

Share. Subscribe. Enjoy. AND Learn (from my mistakes & stay tuned for more!!!)

 

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