August 12, 2010

collective couture.

you know i'm all about the pursuit. making your dreams your reality. so when my little sistercousin told me about her best friend's adventure and pursuit i was suddenly giddy. i've heard about this dream for quite a while. but watching it become a reality is so satisfying. katie cavanaugh, who literally graduated from college less than a week ago, is an entrepreneur. she is in the process of launching an online clothing boutique, Collective Couture, with a spin-off of several other side projects. let's get some snaps going for miss katie... 
collective couture's owner/operator- katie cavanaugh with my sistercousin, christinareagan
q: has it always been your dream to work in the fashion industry? do you have a background in fashion merchandising or the like?
a: I worked at Painted Pink, an upscale women's boutique, the summer before I went off to college and loved every minute of it! Upon arriving at Auburn, I initially wanted to follow in my father's, as well as grandfather's, footsteps wanting to be a doctor. I soon realized that this initiative was driven more by my past obsession with the television show "Nip Tuck" because when it came to Organic Chemistry I was doomed. I found myself bored to death!  So naturally, I looked to occupy my time by finding a part time job. A brand new boutique that was similar to Painted Pink had just opened and was hiring, so I applied just for the fun of it. I was hired and loved it so much I continued the job throughout my 4 years at auburn! I was a buyer and was able to go to Atlanta Apparel Mart many times! When deciding what to do after college I naturally picked to be in the industry I knew so much about!
one of the fabulous tops sold at CC.
q: how did your vision for collective couture come to fruition? 
a: It was my dream to start my very own women's boutique, but I was moving to Gulf Shores where the market is very unstable being that it is a tourist destination. I had looked into spaces for lease around the area. My father who was lending me the money to start my business advised against starting a small business in a tourist destination because 1.) the unstable economy (especially with the oil spill) and 2.) with the state of the economy being where it is. At the time, I was taking a website design class at Auburn and learning to code HTML so naturally, I thought to take the online route. This way I could reach everyone from any location. I found many comparable sites that I modeled my business plan after. 
romp, romp romp, jump, jump, jump
q: what is your dream for the future (professionally)? 
a: I hope to expand and grow the company over the next 10 years. I would like to significantly grow my inventory and begin shipping and advertising nation wide. I think the business model I have started, selling cute and stylish clothes at a fraction of the cost of competitor stores will take me a long way. Having low price points on my inventory just means that you can get more bang for your buck.  I've been working very hard to get quality made pieces that are also affordable!
do you need this? i do. 
q: what is your favorite part of your job/starting your own business? 
a: As simple as it, I like that I control my own destiny (along with God's help). I can put in 18 hour days or I can put in 8 hour days. I can grow this business as big as I want or keep it as small as I want. Another one of my favorite parts is that I work from home so I can roll out of bed grab some coffee and head upstairs to work in my pajamas.

one of collective couture's current items
q: who is it that you give credit for influencing you the most professionally? 
a: It all started with Pat McDonlad giving me the job at Painted Pink that spurred my interest in the fashion world and ended with my former boss at Simply Charming, Haley Penney. Working with Haley was a dream come true. She took an active roll in showing me how the inside of the business worked. I was not just a sales associate that rung up clothes and got customers a dressing room. Haley knew that I was thinking about starting a store of my own one day so she took measures to ensure that I would know what I was doing. She took me to market and then let me go by myself at times too. This helped me understand budgeting delivery dates as well as how to navigate Market. She also taught me how to pay taxes, control inventory, as well as work quickbooks. Without Haley, I would have been lost. I owe a lot of my success to her help!

if you live in or near the birmingham area on this monday, the 16th, i will be having a Collective Couture trunk show. you can email me at for further information.
another beautiful top that you can find at CC. 
in a few weeks check: collective couture for all your styling needs! yes.... i said needs.
where there is love {for pursuing your dreams},
there is art. 

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