In her own words: I started Love, Cortnie after imagining the type of clutch I would love to own, but could never find at the store/mall/online. I wanted them to be large in size, something other than solid black and for them to have a pocket on the inside. So last summer I learned to sew with no intentions of actually making anything. My grandmother taught me. I mentioned to her that it would be fun to make a clutch and she was more than excited to show me how. About a week later I started my Etsy shop for fun to see what I could do with it. The response was overwhelming. I started with just 3 clutches. I have now listed over 40 different style of clutches. It’s been amazing.
Full Name: Cortnie Hutchinson
Educational background: B.S. in Kinesiology from the University of Maryland, College Park (graduated in 2006). Then went to FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) in Los Angeles and graduated in 2007 with an A.A. in Merchandise Marketing.
Company Name: Love, Cortnie
Facebook fanpage: http://facebook.com/LoveCortnie
Instagram and Pinterest: @cortnieelizabeth
Facebook fanpage: http://facebook.com/StyleLustPages
Nothing but the truth:
What was your first job out of college and how did you land that position?
After I graduated from UMD I left my position as a Physical Therapy Tech and moved to California for school. After I graduated from FIDM I started working at a retail consulting firm in Downtown LA’s fashion district. I actually got that job after starting as an intern there. Interning is key!
When did you discover your passion for fashion?
I’ve always been into fashion. Which is why I went to fashion school after wanting or thinking I wanted to get into Physical Therapy. The designing part just happened.
Describe a typical day working, and how do you balance it all?
I usually start by heading to the post office and mailing out orders to their new homes. I then go to a nearby fabric store to pick up or restock on supplies for new orders. Once I get back home I start working on them. It’s all about time management.
What is the most important lesson you learned since starting your business?
Budgeting is super important, but I’ve really learned how to balance everything on my own. One day I will definitely have to hire extra help, but right now I’m in charge of all of the buying, marketing, selling, creating, etc. It can be a lot at times, but I love being my own boss.
Best moment of your career so far?
The recognition I’ve received has been intense. I’ve been featured on Refinery29 a few times, I’ve had an article written about me in Washingtonian Magazine earlier this year and a number features. I’m even selling my clutches in a number of boutiques around the country. The best part though, is when I hear how much a client loves their purchase. I love knowing that something I created can make someone else happy.
What’s next for Love,Cortnie?
I’m pushing to expand. I’m constantly working on getting the Love,Cortnie name out there. I hope to have my designs manufactured one day and selling in major department stores around the world.
A place that inspires me.
Everywhere inspires me! It could be a color combination, a type of fabric, a texture or even current trends. Inspiration comes from everywhere.
It’s not worth stressing over.
The small things. The things that are beyond your control. There are way bigger things to focus your attention on. Especially when you’re working for yourself.
Do you have any tips for budding entrepreneurs?
Follow your heart! So many people come to me saying that they had an idea to start something. Before they can really even explain it to me I tell them to just do it. You will never know about something until you give it a try.
What advice would you give to your 23-year-old self?
I’d tell myself to ease up on the shopping lol. Other than that, I wouldn’t change anything. Everything I’ve done up until now has led me to where I am today.
No one knows that…
I come up with a lot of new ideas for clutches when I’m in bed. Sometimes I get so excited that I can barely sleep.
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