Featured Member: Julie Kissell turned her hobby into a business

Turning a hobby into a full-time business hasn’t been easy, but Julie Kissell’s passion for fashion and her desire to help other women achieve success continue to fuel her determination for success.

Meet IAW members in Featured Members, a weekly column where members highlight their careers and businesses. Today, the spotlight is on Member Julie Kissell. Innovator and Influencer Members: to be featured in Member Spotlight, contact us at memberservices@iawomen.com.

Always on the Hunt

Like so many of you, I have always had a love of shopping. My love came in the form of the hunt for good quality at fantastic pricing, especially once I moved from a small town in Northeastern Pennsylvania to California. I couldn’t afford to purchase high-end clothing at full price, so I figured out how to do it on a budget.

Turning Things Around

Years later my husband, child and I moved back to my hometown to be closer to family. Good jobs are very hard to find in this area. But when my full-time job took a turn for the worse and I felt like I was being mistreated, I knew I had to do something. So, I turned a hobby into a business.

Starting my on-line store began when I purchased a dress for myself for a holiday party. Something came up and we couldn’t attend the event. I knew the dress had value so I listed it on eBay with the bid starting at $150. When the dress went for $750, I knew I had to keep going. I invested the money I made right back into the business and did the same with all of my profits for quite some time.

When the Going Gets Tough…Anything is Possible

Although it was hard, I never gave up or gave into others telling me it wasn’t going to work. I think when you are passionate about something and you work hard, anything is possible. You don’t have to put up with anyone, anywhere mistreating you. Sometimes you are in a job or situation where all seems hopeless. If it makes you feel bad, then it is wrong for you. Believe in yourself. Doing nothing won’t change the situation, so do something to make it better. Always remember, with passion and perseverance, anything is possible.

Challenges, Rewards and Paying It Forward

Running a business by myself is both challenging and rewarding. There is a lot of time and work required to maintain the 100% customer rating my business has earned but it is so rewarding to know that I am doing it. I also find it gratifying when I get messages from customers thanking me for selling them an item they wanted but couldn’t afford at retail price. Everyone deserves nice things and making this possible for women on a budget is rewarding.

My future goals are to grow my business and provide jobs for local women. I live in a small town that does not offer women many good-paying jobs. I know so many with a college education who are smart and work so hard, but still do not make much more than minimum wage. I would love to grow my business and provide jobs for women in a town that is in need of economic growth and more opportunities.

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