If you have multiple jobs and/or skills, which one do you wish you could do more often?
I wish I had more time to work on my dance/activewear business! I’d also love to have more free time to get into photography.
Give us a specific example of how you do your job like a BOSS.
Well I worked my way up from volunteering to becoming Sonja Rasula’s personal assistant to eventually becoming the Senior Event Producer for the largest Made-in-America pop-up markets across the country. Basically, I always start out having no idea what I’m doing and jump head first into figuring it out as I go along. I’m not afraid to fail and I’m not afraid to do things I don’t know how to do - that’s what makes me a BOSS. Boom! Pow Pow. (Those are my “BOSS” sounds).
That’s amazing! How long did it take?
It took me about a year and a half to go from volunteer to Senior Event Producer. It was crazy but exciting. I didn’t know this is what I wanted to do - I started volunteering with Unique after interning at stone+cloth, and working the booth as vendors at a Unique market. I loved it and have always loved community events or anything with a lot of people doing a fun, engaging activity (farmers markets, flea markets, concert series, etc). I wanted to know more and started volunteering. A year or so later, I was producing and coordinating the same event!
What have you learned doing social media for @UniqueUSA?
I’ve learned a lot. You need to engage with your community. Get them to take photos and use your hashtag, then reward them by re-posting great photos. You need to make them feel like you are their friend and bring something valuable to their lives, not just a company bombarding them with advertisements.
What are you working on right now?
I’m working on producing our biggest market of the year the Unique USA LA Holiday Market! We expect over 20,000 attendees throughout the weekend! Woot. It’ll be fun (and a little chaotic)! And, I’m also working on producing dancewear for the Holiday season. Our company, Katie+Kellie is being featured in Dance Spirit Magazine’s Holiday guide so we’re gearing up!
When did you start Katie+Kellie? Did you know about fashion design before that?
My sister and I started Katie+Kellie about a year ago. We knew NOTHING about fashion design and it was a painfully slow process to learn - from getting the fabric to making a pattern to getting a production run etc. We had no idea what we were doing but like anything, we figured it out as we went along.
I learned from asking some of my friends including Matt from stone+cloth (who I interned for) and Dina from Clark and Madison who both have successful bag lines. Dancewear wasn’t completely the same but it was similar enough (making something, lol) that they had great insight to help us get started. My sister also coached a dance team in Utah and asked the girls what they wanted to wear and what they felt best in, which is why we went the direction of making a romper as our first product.
What is frustrating you right now?
As far as Unique, we are looking to expand to other markets which is challenging because we have to start from scratch - finding the venue, contacting sponsors, finding the best vendors etc. But it’s also exciting! We are bringing Made-in-America goods to other cities, we get to travel and explore. It’s a little overwhelming but we’re figuring it out!
We’re a huge fan of buying and supporting local artisans. What are you looking for in terms of vendors?
We’re looking for great quality and great design that are made/produced/manufactured/marketed etc all in the USA. I find vendors from looking at local shops like Poketo, Hammer & Spear, etc. But the majority of our vendors come from applying to our shows. They’ve been before or seen other friends who’ve been vendors and it’s spread from word-of-mouth.
All vendors have to apply to the market. If they want to know more - see the page: http://www.uniqueusa.com/become-a-vendor
What are you putting off right now, but you know you have to get to, but you haven’t had the time?
Re-branding my dance/activewear website, doing photo shoots of products, carrying on/redeveloping the social media aspect of Katie+Kellie, developing new products, following up with PR/Marketing efforts, reaching out to more dance teams/studios across the country. The list is endless!
What aesthetic are you going for with the re-brand?
We’re looking for a more hip, funky yet minimalist look. That seems counterintuitive but I think we can have it be minimal with hints of funky-ness We realized a lot of our customers were wearing the rompers as sleepwear, swim cover-ups and as outfits (think throwing on a jacket and boots over it) and we want to make it more versatile than only a practice outfit for young dancers.
If you could hire someone for $20/hour, what would you have them do to make your day easier?
I’d probably have them do the little tedious things that take up time in the day things like cooking, cleaning, running errands, dealing with car issues, etc.
What are all the tools (digital or physical) you use on a regular basis?
Because our company is small and we all wear multiple hats, I also do social media for @UniqueUSA. So I’m always on Instagram and checking Facebook regularly. I use Squarespace, Excel, Word, Powerpoint, Photoshop, Pinterest, Google Docs, a form generating website called WuFoo (I’m getting pretty good at navigating it!) on a daily basis - and probably more that I’ll remember later.
If you could talk to an expert to gain more insight on something, what would it be about?
I’d ask the expert what’s the best way to get the most done and spend the least amount of time doing it? How do you get hyper-efficient?! Then I’d take the extra time and focus on travel, exploring, photography.
What kind of opportunities/projects are you looking for right now?
I’m looking to work with cool, interesting, motivated people, whether that’s by doing social media consulting/freelance work to creating businesses. I’d love to connect with other creatives and see what we can do together! I love working with other small businesses.
What kind of social media freelance would you do?
In terms of social media freelance, I’d love to do Instagram and Pinterest. I can do Twitter and Facebook too but I prefer working with visual mediums! It’s more fun I think. :)
Describe your ideal client/job/collaboration.
My ideal collaboration is one that’s open, clear and creative. I want to work with people who are inspired by life and who also don’t take things too seriously. I want to have fun and get shit done.
Here here! Are there any signs of someone that takes things too seriously?
Signs someone takes things too seriously: Hmm I guess people who are rarely smiling or laughing in their day. Ha - I don’t want to work with people like that.
What is your rate, retainer, or salary range?
I’m open to negotiation!
How should someone approach you about working with you?
Email me! Kelliecockrell@gmail.com :)
This member profile was originally published on January 2015.