Today we’d like to introduce you to Kirsten Geiger.
Kirsten, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
For as long as I can remember, I have had to work for what I wanted. Nothing in my life has ever been handed to me. Throughout high school and the beginning of my college career, I worked 2-3 jobs at a time. I always knew I wanted to be my own boss because I could not work a 9-5 my entire life. I met my significant other in high school and we ended up getting pregnant while we were in college. Since he was on a full-ride scholarship, I withdrew from my courses so I could work two jobs. Eventually, his career allowed me to stay home from a 9-5 and raise our son. It was a struggle for me to not provide but the cost of childcare was as much money as I was making with my two jobs. After our second child, I decided that being a full-time housewife was no longer enough for me. I tried different things like selling skincare products, creating a blog, and so on but it was all unfamiliar to me. I could not take on any part-time or full-time positions either because we would travel so often. One day, I posted some clothing on Instagram that I created for my kids and I to wear to support their dad and someone messaged me asking if I could create a custom item for them… then it clicked; I took a hobby of mine and created a business. Apparel by KG is growing and I have so many plans for the future. Now, as a mother of three, full-time housewife, and business owner I am determined to leave a legacy for my children. Also, I hope to encourage any women who do not feel satisfied today to take a leap of faith and go for their dreams.
Has it been a smooth road?
This journey has been extremely trying. From learning new tricks and perfecting my craft to time management and competition.
Some of the major struggles I have personally encountered:
“DIY” (Do it yourself)- The internet has created a generation of DIY. You can YouTube anything to learn how to do something yourself. I am guilty of this. I did not realize how it can affect someones small business until I started my own. This business is something I invest so much time and effort into and for someone to say “I can do that myself” is so frustrating and discouraging.
Competition-Another struggle has been competition, there are now so many custom apparel designers. I have had to learn that everyone has a style and I may not be everyone’s style. However, my clients will appreciate my aesthetic.
Copying- Although, copying is the highest form of flattery, it is so hard to see others make money off of your ideas, especially when they do not give you credit. Do not let it get to you.
Time management- It is extremely difficult to run a business when you have so many other obligations. I have 3 young children, a spouse, a household, my business, and 24 hours hardly seems like enough time for one day. I struggle daily trying to put time aside for my business. I have to sacrifice me time, time with my kids, time with my spouse, and many times I let the house go messy because I have an obligation to my family and myself to make this dream of mine come true.
Pricing- This has been my biggest struggle since I started. I want to be affordable for everyone but still make an income. Many times, I break even on an order because I will lower the cost for a client to be able to afford it. I use high-quality materials which cost more in production. Finding the perfect price for my clients and for my take home pay has been very conflicting.
I find it helps to use every struggle as my motivators.
Honestly, I believe the struggles do not end when you are a business owner, but the way you handle the struggles do. I have had many times where I wanted to quit but I had to remind myself why I started in the first place.
My advice to women starting their journey today is to stop making excuses, put your hair up, and go get what you want because no one is going to hand it to you. Stop comparing yourself to others, stop saying so many other people are already doing it… do you know how many different companies sell bottled water? BOTTLED WATER. GIRL, you got this.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with APPAREL BY KG – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
Apparel by KG. I am a sole proprietor for a custom apparel business. I create custom t-shirts, jackets, onesies, bibs, sweatsuits, bathing suits, and so on for women, men, and children. I have branched out into creating many other custom items as well. Most recently, I have created “Will you be my bridesmaid?” boxes and even disposable wristbands for an event. I am unique because I can create a design completely from scratch or replicate an idea a client sends me. If a client sends me a design they found on Pinterest, I try to add my own spin on the design.
As a business owner, I am proud of being authentic. I am not afraid to show my clients that I am breastfeeding my newborn while fulfilling a 60 shirt order or that I travel every few weeks and will spend hours trying to complete orders before I have to head to the airport. I own up to my mistakes and will go the distance to fix any that I have made. I am proud that I can provide high-quality products at an affordable cost. I think being a successful brand is being confident but humble. I would not be where I am without my clients, but my clients come back to me because of my work.
I am also proud that I can say I support all my local business owners, especially BOSS MOMS and GIRL BOSSES.
Every Monday, my friend and I post our local female business owners. We call it “Girl Gang Monday.” The idea is to help normalize shopping local and help bring business to our “Girl Gang.
What advice would you give to someone at the start of her career?
- Website: apparelbykg.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/apparelbykg/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ApparelbyKG/