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How This WOC Entrepreneur Scaled her Business to 400+ Stores During a Pandemic

Catherine Hildner

In the past year, over 60% of small businesses have closed due to covid and over 90% have been affected in some sort of way. Either through requiring to close their brick and mortar businesses or seeking aid and relief through PPP loans. Although many businesses were fortunate enough to keep their heads afloat, the effects of COVID on small businesses were devastating. As a small business owner who was lucky enough to keep her business alive, I sympathize with those who were faced with these unexpected challenges, as no one saw this coming and let alone were prepared. I’m grateful that my business was predominantly online and with social distancing and WFH being required through many states, the greeting card industry saw a boom in sales. 

Kitty Meow Boutique was created with the intention of bringing heart and soul into every single design that I create. I wanted to create something that fit certain milestones, celebrations, and any special occasion that needed some sort of physical memory. The way that a picture is worth a thousand words, a greeting card is a written memory that lasts a lifetime. The Kitty Meow brand is fun, FIERCE, & designed to make women feel confident, empowered, and courageous enough to take the bull by the horns in life with thoughtful details! When I first launched my brand I wasn’t too sure where I was going with it. All I knew was that my husband’s job required him to move a lot and that my current job wasn’t serving me in the ways that I needed to feel fulfilled, so I launched my business online vs. an actual store since it didn’t make sense at the time with all the moving around. It’s because of this very tactic that my business was able to survive when the pandemic hit in early 2020. Already being in the online space I leveraged my knowledge in this and was able to scale my business and get my products into 350+ stores. And I want to help you get there too! 

Kitty Meow Boutique

Kitty Meow Boutique

Don’t be afraid to get uncomfortable and put yourself out there

Stepping outside your comfort zone is incredibly scary, but it’s VITAL to the growth of your business. Especially in a “covid world”, you need to get scrappy and try new things. What got you “here” – not going to get you “there”! 

 

Show your face, and show it often

I used to get so nervous showing the woman behind the business because #1, I didn’t think anyone cared and #2, I didn’t think I was “perfect” enough. Whatever insecurities might be holding you back, you need to let them go. Remember, people buy from and connect with other people! Give people the opportunity to fall in love with YOU, and they will soon fall in love with whatever you may be selling. The best outfit you can wear is CONFIDENCE, so put on a smile and own it. No one is looking for perfect… simply show up as yourself! 

 

Understand that selling is not a dirty word

Sometimes as small business owners, and women, we can feel uncomfortable asking for the sale or simply talking about the sales of our products – digital or physical products. It’s so important to get past that mental roadblock. Go for the gusto! If you believe in what you’re selling – share a story about it.  If you know in your heart and soul it can help other people, there is no shame in screaming that from the mountain tops! There are absolutely ways to be tasteful and not turn off a potential customer, i.e. don’t be a sleazy saleswoman, but you have to be confident in your mission. Share your products on social media, share them via email marketing, get on Pinterest, reach out to the press, build business relationships – do whatever it takes to get your story out there.

 

This is a guest article written by the Founder of Kitty Meow Boutique and Mentor to Creatives, Catherine Hildner. You can connect with Catherine on Instagram or visit her website. For more female entrepreneur stories and inspiration, please visit them here.

 

Hannah Nieves is a luxury marketing and brand consultant and agency owner from New York. As the former Director of Marketing for a national home interiors brand, she now teaches entrepreneurs, brands and executives how to create profitable businesses through marketing, branding and PR.

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