Monday Motivation from Natalie Christopher, Director of Community Experience at The Kitmade Co.
Mondays can be rough and, sometimes, we can all use some motivation. Our #MondayMotivation blog series brings you tips and life hacks from industry leaders and some of the most creative entrepreneurs out there.
We sat down with Natalie Christopher, Director of Community Experience at The Kitmade Co., a women’s fashion startup delivering great fit via on-demand manufacturing. Natalie discusses developing the perfect fit, making customer service a happy place, and earning the trust of her customers.
What inspired you to start your business?
I would love to take credit for the idea of Kit, but I can’t! Kit is the brainchild of my friend and cofounder, Merin Guthrie. Her inspiration and love of women, fashion, and efficiency inspired and convinced me to jump on board and build Kit with her.
Before Kit, I served in the Army, worked for the government and US Olympic Committee, and spent a year staying home with my first child. Like Merin and so many other women, I never had time, energy, or body type to meet the standards of the fashion industry. I wanted to walk out of my house with my two kids in tow with clothes that fit well and look good. Kit is that idea. Yes, making custom clothing on an ecommerce platform is full of challenges, but we were and still are setting out to create a new type of clothing company.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Conveying that we really care. Our customers have been so mistreated by the fashion industry, we have to convince them that yes we are making a dress for them, yes we want their feedback, and yes we won’t give up on finding a fit and style just for them.
What’s been the greatest reward?
When it clicks in a customer’s head and you see the lightbulb turn on. We travel a lot throughout the spring and fall. It is really hard to leave my husband and kids back home and work the grueling hours towing bags of clothing and racks behind us, but it is all worth it when you meet a new customer, explain Kit to them, and it clicks.
What is the biggest thing you’d like to see changed in your industry, and how are you working toward making that change happen?
Customer service in the clothing industry. When a garment doesn’t fit or the quality isn’t good, it isn’t the customer’s fault. I want to see the fashion industry to start seeing their customers as people, not wallets.
Who or what motivates you to keep going, even when things get tough?
Coffee! Seriously, though, the conversations we get to have with women. Our customers are the most interesting people!
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to another entrepreneur just starting out?
Make it about your customer. Don’t think you know what they want. Find out what they want and listen to what they say.
What do you do every Monday morning to prepare and motivate yourself for the coming week?
I have an 18 month and 3 year old, so my Monday morning happens Sunday night after they fall asleep. I check my email and have a calendar meeting with my husband, Layne. That way when the real Monday morning arrives, I don’t get caught up in the frenzy of our household.
For more #MondayMotivation, check out our interview withD’Andrea Diop, Founder of Sixpence, an online wedding consignment shop. D’Andrea discusses transitioning from corporate America, empowerment, and saying “I do.”