Christine Kutnick talks about Hemlets
Where are you from originally?
I was born in Irving Texas but went to high school in beautiful Austin!
What university did you go to?
What university did you go to?
I went to California State University, Long Beach.
What is the idea behind your startup?
Like many mothers, Christine was always looking to do something with her daughter that would bring us closer together. Jordana (age 13), on the other hand, always wanted to shop and was constantly asking for money to support her shopping habit! So after watching their favorite television show, SharkTank R where kids were pitching their business idea, Jordana said "I can start a business and make my own money." Like every good mother, Christine told her "of course you can!" She never knew how those words would take her on the ride of her life.
After many brainstorming sessions, Jordana identified her interest area. She wanted to create something in the fashion industry. They threw around many ideas...most of them were really bad but a few had potential. In the middle of the night, it hit Christine. "Dress up those leggings Jordana always wears!"
The next morning, the mother-daughter team set out to design an accessory for the boring legging. They went in search of the perfect way to create this new product. They talked to everyone they knew who sewed, looked at every ribbon and sewed a lot of samples. After 5 months of designing prototypes and pulling hair out, Jordana came up with the ultimate design that is used today.
Jordana serves as the Chief Creative Officer. When she is not doing homework or rowing, she is picking out fabrics and researching fashion trends for the company. She has hired her mom to serve as her CEO for the company to do all the grunt work for her.
Now they both have what they have been searching for. Christine is working on a project with her daughter and Jordana is earning money to support her spending habit.
What need does it fulfill?
It allows girls/women to change the look of their leggings and show off their distinctive personality.
What exactly does it do?
You wear the product with leggings to customize the basic clothing and add your own style.
Who is it for?
Girls who are 10-15 year old and women who are 30-47.
What was the most challenging aspect of starting up?
Keeping up the energy every day to keep the business moving. I had to quickly learn how to be resilient and how to really listen to people.
What is the next step for you and your business?
We will add a toddler line and add a line of product that has beading.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs?
Embrace your power! Look at your business as a vessel for allowing you to grow and flourish. Once you look at it through this lens, you will be able to appreciate all the bumps in the road and you will become the success you are wanting.
What resource have you found to be the most helpful and why?
My four mentors have been the best resource to me. They are be honest with me. They have saved me from making a lot of mistakes. They have also helped me look at things in different ways and challenged me.