We had the good fortune of connecting with Kathleen Cisarik and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kathleen, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
The thought process behind starting KMC Handbags involved a lot of decision making whether I wanted to pursue KMC full-time. After I graduated from Baylor in May of 2020, I started working for Kendra Scott in Austin, Texas in Inventory Control. I always dreamed of having my own business one day but wanted to gain experience in the fashion industry, especially with one who started from the ground up. Due to Covid, Kendra Scott wasn’t able to hire me on full-time after my 6-month contract position, so I knew this would be a great opportunity to look into establishing KMC as an LCC and start researching handbag manufacturers. The process behind finding the perfect manufacturer took months…It most definitely was a long process, but worth the wait! My goal was to be made in the USA, but even better…made locally in Texas! Our manufacturer is based in San Antonio, Texas and produced The First Collection of KMC. There are several parts that drive the thought process behind starting your own business but the part that drives your business the most, in my opinion, is risk. It is scary, but if you are not willing to go all the way you will not be able to see the opportunities of success and failure down the road. I have learned and have continued learning every day about all the different parts of the business and how it contributes to making KMC successful.

What should our readers know about your business?
The story behind KMC Handbags all began in the Spring of 2018 – I always wanted to learn how to sew so I taught myself through watching YouTube videos. The first item I sewed was a headband from a small piece of fabric and soon after became the first ever bag that I sewed from gray faux snakeskin for my mom. She still has it, uses it all the time & is very proud to have the first ever KMC clutch! Thereafter I practiced and practiced and have sold hundreds of bags since that moment! We launched our first professionally manufactured collection on March 15 this year! The First Collection includes 3 unique products made of faux crocodiles including The Original Crossbody, The Essential Clutch and The Trap Tote. On launch day we sold out of various colors and variants…it was so exciting!

There have been a variety of exciting moments as well as very challenging times…so many smiles as well as so many tears. Even though there have been so many challenges along the way, I am so grateful for those moments because those difficult times have shaped both who I am and my brand KMC is today. The main concentration of difficulty has been the manufacturing process…it is far from easy & simple and requires a great amount of time, energy and capital to produce the exact vision you are looking for in your product. I cannot tell you the amount of emails, phone calls and FaceTimes I have received throughout the manufacturing process….a lot!! It has been most definitely a lot of energy and time throughout this process but I am so pleased with the result! The First Collection is so well done, I wouldn’t have changed a thing!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If my best friend was visiting Houston I would take them to many places!

Houston is all about the shopping and eating… so I would take them to my favorite lunch spot at Adair’s kitchen. I would also take them shopping at the Galleria and Highland Village where we would shop around and stop for lunch or dinner at Escalante’s for the amazing queso and margaritas. Of course we would stop at Tiny’s for cookies and also fit in a trip to see the Astros play at Minute Maid for Dollar Dogs! Lastly, we would probably go on multiple walks at Memorial Park throughout the week.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have many people that have encouraged and pushed me throughout the journey of starting my own business. I would like to thank my family and friends for being so supportive and encouraging to push me to pursue my dream of running my own business both in the difficult and exciting times. Although my family and friends have been so supportive, my parents have been some of the most influential people throughout my journey. They have been constant supporters throughout the whole process of starting my business from setting up pop ups to helping me file KMC’s taxes….they have been so supportive and helpful through it all! On the other hand, my manufacturer is truly amazing, so I would like to give her recognition as well. Being very new to the manufacturing and fashion industry, she has patiently guided me through the process of designing my own handbag line. Truly without her unbelievable help and guidance, my company would not be where we are today.

Website: kmchandbags.com

Instagram: @kmchandbags

Facebook: @kmchandbags

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