- No products in the cart.
One of my friends and fellow designers Cliff Wilson of “Armstrong & Wilson” recently invited me to a facebook page Nordstrom Friends and encouraged me to share my story. I’d like to share it with all of you too, hope you enjoy it!
“Hope the New Year is off to a great start for all of you! Thank you Clifton Wilson for inviting me to this wonderful group. I used to work as a part-time employee at the King of Prussia Nordstrom store 6 years ago and that was my first job in retail. Even though I worked there less than a year, I met amazing people and had such invaluable experience. A lot has happened since then and I would like to share that story with you.
Four years ago my best friend from college and I decided to follow our passion and life long dream of designing for the fashion industry. It took us two years to design and produce our first handbag collection. We literally started from scratch- with no formal education in design and no network in the fashion industry. We drew our sketches, did extensive research and traveled to Europe to find the best leather tanneries and factories to produce our designs. Being an entrepreneur in a new industry was challenging – we had no mentors or investors to rely one. We self-funded our venture and established new connections that led us to partnering with the right suppliers.
Two years later we launched our brand Kristina George and it was time to sell and get brand exposure. We learned quickly that having a high quality product was not enough – buyers wanted to know what stores we were selling in, what magazines our bags appeared in and the celebrities that were wearing them. We had none of that but during the last two years, we were able to get our bags in twelve fashion magazines, several celebrities and bloggers and one future TV show. Last year we presented our collection at New York Fashion Week, we were also finalist in two categories at the Independent Handbag Awards in NYC. Last September, we had a successful trunk show in Bloomingdales SoHo. We also participated in two philanthropic events and donated bags in an effort to support their causes. We were able to establish relationships with fifteen high-end boutiques in the US and one in London. That of course did not happen overnight- there were hundreds of phone calls, emails, and walking into over 300 stores across the country and pitching our story that got us the results we were seeking.
This has truly been an enlightening experience that has opened my eyes to a new world and has helped me develop a whole new set of skills. My background in finance and my retail experience in Nordstrom were invaluable in building this new business. But the most important driver was my passion in what I’ve always wanted to pursue. And I just want to remind you that it’s never too late to follow your true passion!”