Welcome to our One Woman Shop Member Spotlight series, where we highlight what's going on in the businesses and lives of One Woman Shop members. Interested in joining this ambitious group of go-getters? Apply today! Today's Spotlight is on CUTEnCRAFTY founder, Kendra Barnes.
Hi there, Kendra! Tell us about yourself and your business.
Hi! My name is Kendra. I am a wife, daughter, avid thrifter, DIY project enthusiast, and self-proclaimed foodie. By day, I am an International Economist and in my spare time I run CUTEnCRAFTY, LLC.
My company specializes in wedding gifts for the groom, bride and bridal party. My main product is the “Cold Feet” label which is a cute gift that is usually delivered to the groom by the Maid of Honor on the morning of the wedding. It can really put a smile on a groom’s face - which is great to ease those pre-wedding jitters.
What led an International Economist to start a business that specializes in wedding socks? Though I realized during undergrad that I was not passionate about my career track, I continued my education and went on to earn my Master’s … because it seemed like the thing to do. I received a B.S. and M.S. in Agricultural Economics and started working full time for the government. Soon after, I met my husband and we got married two years later.
I made my first “Cold Feet” label ever for my husband for our wedding in April 2013. The morning of, I took my husband’s wedding socks and I made a label for them that read: “Just to make sure you don’t get Cold Feet. With love, from your bride”. I had the “Cold Feet” socks delivered to him by the Maid of Honor. It made for a great photo opportunity, put a smile on his face, AND ensured that he didn’t wear a pair of his holey socks to our wedding!
That fall, my husband was wrapped up in fantasy football three days per week. I started to get bored and wanted a hobby of my own. I had been encouraging my cousin to get on Etsy and sell her products and it hit me - now was the time to act on my craftiness and my desire to explore my entrepreneurial spirit! I spent an entire weekend getting my own Etsy shop up and running… and the rest is history! Since then I have sold over 3,500 pairs of “Cold Feet” socks and other items via Etsy and in three brick and mortar stores in D.C. and Pennsylvania.
I started this business on a whim, and instantly fell in love with entrepreneurship and the creativity it allows me to exercise (while making a little extra money!). I daydream about pursuing entrepreneurship full time but can’t help but wonder if that is the responsible thing to do. Should I leave the stability of a government job to pursue a passion? For now, I am making it work doing both but it may not be sustainable for long, especially since my business is growing so rapidly. Do any of my fellow OWS members have this issue? If so, how are you handling it?
What's your favorite social media platform and why?
Instagram! Most of the business resources that I have come across (including One Woman Shop) have been found through Instagram! I truly believe that it is one of the most powerful forms of social media and has an extremely far reach and broad influence.
What is the #1 lesson you've learned since being in business on your own?
Accept failure, embrace the lessons learned, but don’t get discouraged… growth awaits.
What's your one piece of advice for new solo business owners?
Just do it… take a leap of faith. If I hadn’t stepped out on faith and pursued my dream, the question of “What if?” would have been worse than trying and failing.
Give us a shameless plug for your latest project/product/freebie!
For the past year I’ve only featured gifts for the groom and groomsmen, but I am happy to announce I’ve recently added items for brides and bridesmaids! These champagne labels are such a cute way to ask your BFFs to be bridesmaids, and this coffee mug is great for brides and brides-to-be! More new items to come so stay tuned! I am so happy that you took the time to read my story.
In fact, One Woman Shop ladies, I’m so grateful, I’d like to give you 10% off your order if you shop with me! Just use the code THANKYOU at checkout.
Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us, Kendra!