By: Danae Edmonds
I was first introduced to Krystle as a customer. I purchased some beautifully crafted headbands from her and couldn’t wait to receive them. I could feel the passion that she pours into her products. I have since then had the pleasure of watching Krystle’s business grow from the sideline. She is one of the hardest working girlbosses that I have had the pleasure of working with. I can’t wait to share her story with you. She talks with us about what she has learned as an entrepreneur after quitting her full-time job to pursue her passion.
Name: Krystle Dawn
Job Title/Company: owner/designer KRZA by Krystle Dawn
Education Background: Fashion merchandising & design assistant certificate
1. Tell us a little about who you are.
I’m a girl from Orange County CA. I love the beach and definitely love the beach vibes. I didn’t learn to sew until my second year of college, and I NEVER thought I’d be doing it everyday! I love music, going to concerts, and watching the sunrise. I am a morning person and if I sleep in, I feel off all day.
2. What sparked your interest in starting Krza by Krystle Dawn?
In my last semester of college my professor made a comment that I should make headbands because I was always getting scraps of fabric and making headbands out of it. So I did!
3. Who are you most influenced by?
I am influenced by my peers. Being a part of the small shop community is so inspiring. Meeting creative likeminded people is amazing. I admire other shop owners so much. It’s crazy to think that I’m in the same realm as them because I think they are so kick ass!
4. What was your first job and how long did you hold that position?
I was a barista at Starbucks when I was 16 and I worked there for about 3 years. I always worked the morning shifts at 4am but I loved it, being a morning person and all.
5. Can you share a career defining moment with us?
The biggest moment for me was when I quit my fashion merchandising job to focus on KRZA full time. When I started my shop I never thought that I would be quitting a “real” job to do what I love.
6. What were your initial goals with your work? How have they evolved?
When I first started my shop I didn’t really have any goals. I know that may be horrible to say but I just loved making headbands and that’s what I did. Of course now I have a million goals! Sales to reach, marketing goals, collaborations, the list goes on and on now.
7. What do you think is the most important life skill you learned from being an entrepreneur?
I’ve really learned how to multitask. When you are a shop owner you do it all yourself. Come up with designs, customer service, the sewing, packing, shipping, and so much more. When I first started it was very hard to learn to do everything and still have time for myself. Now, I have learned to multitask and balance the shop life and personal life.
8. Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
I’d love to be in more physical stores. I’d love to have my items in boutiques in every state.
9. What is a typical day like for you?
I usually answer emails in the morning. Then I make food, start sewing, workout, run errands, and then sew or pack orders. I’m always on social media posting and trying to get my products out there. I try not to work past 6 pm. But, that rarely happens.
10. What was the biggest obstacle you’ve faced so far in the process of pursuing your dreams?
Growing pains have been the hardest. When I first started, I would have orders out within 3 days. Then I started receiving so many orders I couldn’t keep up. I changed my turnaround to two weeks and that was so hard because I thought people would be upset. But, my customers are awesome and totally understood the love and dedication I put into every piece and they are willing to wait.
11. What is the best piece of advice you have received?
To not forget about myself. Being a shop owner is hard and sometimes you forget to stop and breathe. So now when I’m super stressed out or on the verge of tears I stop, walk away, and breathe for an hour or two, usually with a glass of wine.
12. When do you get your best ideas?
It’s going to sound so weird but in the shower! For some reason most of my designs have been thought of in the shower. Maybe it’s because it’s the one time my mind isn’t thinking of a million things at once.
13. Can you share with us one time that you failed and what you learned from that failure?
Last summer I was contacted by Urban Outfitters because they wanted to carry my pieces online. I was so excited and I had to jump through hoops setting up a ton of accounts they have you set up, sending samples, and price sheets. In the end they never contacted me to purchase. It wasn’t a failure I guess, but it was definitely a huge let down. It took me awhile to realize that this is a business and I can’t take things like that personally. I feel like I learned so much from that experience.
14. How do you unwind?
I love true crime podcast. I can listen to them all day. I also love to go on walks/hikes. Being in the sunshine really calms me.
15. What would you tell someone else who wants to start their own business?
Be prepared to work! I get asked this question all of the time. People always ask how I got to where I’m at and honestly it’s all hard work, late nights, tears (lots of tears), stress, being scared 90% of the time, but most of all belief in what you do. It doesn’t happen over night. If you aren’t prepared to give a thousand percent you won’t get anywhere.
16. What do you hope people take away from your story?
I hope that people will see that with passion and hard work you can achieve anything. My favorite quote is “dreams don’t work unless you do”. This quote rings so true to me. I’ll never stop working toward my dreams and I don’t think anyone should. No matter how hard it gets don’t give up if it makes you happy.
17. Anything we missed that you would like to share?
Go check out my awesome pieces!!