Annie Skoch on starting her own business

Annie Skoch is a junior fashion merchandising major with a entrepreneurship minor.  Skoch, a 20-year-oldfrom Cleveland, is part of the Fashion Student Organization, I'm That KSU Girl and Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization. She has worked at the KSU Theatre Costume Shop, David's Bridal as an alteration specialist and a boutique intern and assistant manager at Say Yes to Her Dress. 

After college, Skoch plans to work full time on her business, but if working in the industry presents itself, she want to focus on Product Development. Her dream companies are: Etsy and Rent the Runway.

Skoch currently has an Etsy Shop called Anne Cate where she sells handmade accessories: specifically purses, pillowcases and jewelry. Take a look at our Q&A with our friend Annie about details on her fun new shop. 

Her Campus: Tell me a little about Anne Cate. Why do you think it is different from other handmade shops? 

Annie Skoch: Anne Cate was just featured on 47 different channels nationally – it has sparked exciting growth in the shop. Anne Cate’s skyline silhouette products allow you to take the comfort of home with you where ever you end up. Anne Cate’s accessories are more then just a purse or pillow…they're a passion, an adventure or maybe even a dream that needs to be pursued..right now. 

HC: Why did you decide to start your own Etsy Shop? 

AS: I have been a entrepreneur for as long as I can remember: sewing products for friends and selling at craft shows. I was encouraged by my mom to start selling online. 

HC: How long does it take to make your products?

AS: It only takes 10 minutes an item, but when you have wholesale orders and are trying to build inventory, sewing 300+ purses takes a lot of time just to create. The business end of the business takes even more time. 

HC: Since creating your Etsy Shop, has it been hard balancing school, the shop, a social life and campus organizations?

AS: Yes it is very hard! I don’t sleep! I have always been one to take on a lot of exciting things in life and I believe hard work is the key to success, so although there are some long days and nights feeling like I should not be going to bed with all these commitments hanging over my head, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I love being busy. 

HC: Do you work with anyone on your shop or are you the only one?

AS: Currently, I am the sole owner, creator and worker of Anne Cate. I did recently hire an independently contracted woman to help me sew and market for the holiday season. Anne Cate is growing though. 

HC: Have you met any influential people/celebrities/mentors since starting your shop?

AS: Not specifically. I have pitched my business for Jeff Hoffman, CEO of Priceline.com. He was an inspiration and truly gave some great advice. Influence wise, although not famous: my parents, the Fashion School and LaunchNet have supported Anne Cate and myself beyond belief and I couldn’t be more grateful for them. 

HC: Next semester I know you are going to NYC. When you are there, are you going to continue your shop, have someone else do it or just stop it completely?

AS: That’s a good question. I am taking it one day at a time as of now and see where sales are at in January. My TV interview has presented a large increase in sales, therefore the business is definitely growing. NYC actually presents great opportunities to hire handmade manufacturers and source materials, so if Anne Cate is still growing, Anne Cate is coming to NYC with me and will be run out of my apartment.

HC: After school do you plan on doing your shop full time and hopefully turn it into a store or continue having it as a side job?

AS: It is my dream to run my shop full time. I am going to see what opportunities arise within the next year, and will make that decision as Anne Cate progresses.

HC: How did you become involved with Etsy? Do you shop there often?

AS: I actually got on Etsy during the first few years of the website launch, so it has been exciting to grow with the company. I have been on Etsy for six years and it started slow, but now Etsy hosts over 1 million sellers. I do shop there. I am always passionate about supporting the handmade seller. Etsy is perfect to shop for a creative, unique gift. 

Follow Anne Cate on social media:

Etsy: www.annecate.etsy.com

Facebook: @annecateboutique

Twitter: @ACateBoutique

Instagram: @annecateboutique

Official Website: www.annecate.com