Ever wanted to start your own company…
Meet the 21-year-old behind the jewelry brand @SimplyCait. Caitlyn Kenny is a full-time student and business gal! She oversees everything that happens with her brand; from design to shipments. We got to hear how Caitlyn Kenny taught herself how to make jewelry and run her own company! She shared with us the Upscale and Downscale sides of running a business.
1) Meet Caitlyn Kenny…
Hi! I’m one of five children (4 girls and 1 boy). My sisters, mother, and I have shared a love of fashion for as long as I can remember. When we were younger, we loved wearing matching outfits (from head to toe). Now that we are older, our differences are apparent in our unique and personal styles, although we continue to share similar tastes. I’m going into my senior year at Georgetown University where I study Sociology and Entrepreneurship. During the summer, going into my sophomore year of college, I worked at a fashion boutique in South Hampton. It didn’t take me long to realize that, regardless of my love for fashion, working in retail (specifically as a retail assistant) was not something I was extremely interested in. Because of this realization, I decided to stop working at the store. While looking for a new opportunity, I found myself trying to figure out what I was truly passionate about and if it would be possible to align my interests with my job.
2) How SimplyCait came to life!!
During this time of self-exploration, my mind went straight to the jewelry line that the boutique carried. I was obsessed with every piece–from necklaces to earrings to rings. Promptly afterward, I decided to teach myself how to make jewelry on my own. After several failed attempts, hours of google-searching, and YouTube videos, I successfully taught myself how to make necklaces.
My sisters started wearing them around town and to school, and before I knew it their friends began asking where they could order them. I decided to make an Instagram @simplyy_cait (originally called Piece_of_Cait), to share my creations with friends and family, and to take orders.
Caitlyn also has website where you can order online: www.shopsimplycait.com. Her jewelry ranges from earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and chokers. The pricing is a great deal ranging from less than $20 dollars to $50.
Due to high demand and being a full time student, I help to design the pieces with overseas manufacturers who make my visions into a reality! And some pieces I do not design, but hand select from showrooms and other ways of purchasing jewelry with a re-Sale license!
3) What is the overall message your jewelry brands sends?
Simply Cait’s Website Mission: SimplyCait was founded in 2016 by Caitlyn Kenny, after her freshman year of school at Georgetown University. Fueled by her love for LIMITLESS style, Caitlyn was inspired to create her own jewelry line; one that would be suitable for all types of Fashionistas! SimplyCait embodies how personal style, like any individual, cannot be defined by a singular category of expression. Each piece is either designed or chosen by Caitlyn herself. Set your style FREE! Shop our beautiful mix of Minimalistic, Boho-Chic, Vibrant, Trendy, and Timeless styles! Along with online retail, SimplyCait frequently attends and hosts trunk shows in: Manhasset/NY, Georgetown/D.C., and Westhampton Beach/NY. For inquiries regarding trunk shows or pop-ups, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will get back to you as soon as possible!
Caitlyn says: Her mission is to share a collection of jewelry with the world that embraces the fluidity of fashion. While many of my pieces reflect a feminine and timeless style, I love to include unique items that are on-trend. Trends are always changing, and I love to experiment with new looks, which is why I find this aspect of my collection to be super fun and important! With this, it’s of my opinion that fashionistas of all ages can find pieces that resonate with their style.
4) What are the upscale sides of creating your own jewelry line and company?
Creating my own line has allowed for a lifestyle flexibility that I appreciate. Being the owner, I’m able to make the rules and decide when to kick things up a notch or dial things back. Additionally, I can decide who I receive advice and constructive criticism from, which is helpful in maintaining the values and overall mission of my company regardless of changes being implemented. I feel it’s important to speak to professionals who can relate to my story and have my best interest in mind. Since I work for myself doing what I love, I look forward to waking up each morning to start work, “Monday ’s are never a drag! ;)”
I have learned an indescribable amount of business lessons from my experience thus far. Which is something you can’t learn in a college classroom. For example, I’m not in the business school at Georgetown, but I have been able to learn in “real-time” and continue to work to improve myself.
5) What are the downscale sides of creating your own jewelry line company?
Being a full-time student and running a full-scale business! This causes me to rely on certain people to step in at times when I cannot do things myself. The stress of balancing schoolwork, social life, and work can be overwhelming. I oversee finances, designing/updating/improving my website, taking/editing product photos, marketing, organizing/hosting/setting up trunk shows, deciphering product prices, counting inventory, mailing out orders, etc!!
The blurry boundary between business/pleasure– Expecting friends to understand my vision, my hard work, and my reality, when it is essentially impossible for them to fully do– Learning to not be emotionally affected if/when people don’t acknowledge or outwardly support the company. For example, if or when friends don’t ask me about SimplyCait or wear SimplyCait items. Just overall being a student and relying on others to step up and take over certain areas when I cannot be there to do it.
6) What advice would you give others who want to start their own line/company?
It is harder than you think! Your company reflects the work/time/effort that you put into it. You are operating a machine that impacts your life in so many ways (both physically, emotionally draining, and fulfilling.)
You will fail, over and over again, but if you are truly pursuing your passion everything is more than worth it in the end. Some days are better than others. That is why your relationship with your business can be described as love/hate– but every day is a new day! Things rarely go as planned.
People love to share their opinion — you must learn to weed out those who do not have your best interest in mind, and not allow it to impact your relationships to a detrimental extent.
Words cannot describe the excitement and satisfaction of building something from the ground up that is not only special to yourself but bigger than yourself!!
Shop SimplyCait: www.shopsimplycait.com
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