Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in fashion but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kimberly Hutsal, Founder & Artist of Two Foxes Studio, located in Elmira, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is Two Foxes Studio, a boutique millinery and fiber arts studio. My customer is anyone that appreciates handmade, high-quality, and unique headwear.
Tell us about yourself
I graduated from a small fine arts college with a degree in fiber arts. The focus of my degree is expressing fine art through the craft medium. After college, I moved to NYC and apprenticed to a milliner who owned a boutique millinery studio in the East Village of Manhattan. There I learned this unique trade and ran the studio and retail store for a few years. Now I live upstate in the beautiful Finger Lakes region, where I have my own studio. My motivation comes from loving the sculptural and artistic aspects of hat-making. I love being in the creative energy of my own studio. Also, my clients always motivate me. I love making unique items for them and helping to bring their personal style visions to life.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is my continued growth every year. I currently run my studio from home, which allows me to work flexible hours and raise my kid. I am also part of a local marketplace, The Ithaca Farmers Market, where I set up a booth every weekend from April through November. This allows me to interact with thousands of clients every year, most of whom have no idea that the millinery trade still exists and what it looks like. I enjoy educating people on fast fashion versus slow fashion, what that means, and why it’s important. I also really love helping someone find the perfect fit for their face shape and their personal style.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Definitely, the hardest thing is having to do every job. From making my product to photographing and marketing, and selling it, it can get very overwhelming at times.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- First of all, find your passion. It’s easier to stay motivated every day when you really believe in your work.
- Also, running my business from home has really helped me grow and expand. If you have the space, it’s a great way to start out without breaking the bank; instead of having to pay rent for a separate space, I can reinvest in my business.
- Find the right market. My local market seems very unassuming because of its status as a farmers market, but it’s actually a great small business incubator space. The overhead is low, and you pay based on attendance. These little breaks make a big difference in building my business without the stress of loans or credit card debt.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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