Krisha Hinkle creates colorful, personalized totes with a distinctive character. She named her business Jacks & Kate, after son Jackson and daughter Savannah Kate. She and husband Chris have since added Annabelle Louise to their brood. As a stay-at-home mom for three kids under 4 years of age,” says Krisha, “I sew to keep myself sane.”
MomIncorporated: How did JacksandKate evolve?
Krisha: I was working in the banking industry full-time. When all of that started to go under, I found myself laid off. I was pregnant with my second child and knew I had to do something — if not for profit, for my sanity.
Strangely, I never liked sewing. I actually had a friend sew my eighth-grade home economics project. This was definitely something that happened over time. I bought a sewing machine and spent many weekends learning from a group of experienced sewers. What I didn’t learn from them, I taught myself … and practiced, practiced, practiced.
MomIncorporated: What inspired you to create and sell your totes?
Krisha: My children Jackson (Jacks) and Savannah Kate (Kate) were my biggest inspirations. Their crazy, cute personalities and quirky outfits (put together by my husband) began to influence my mixing of colors and patterns. My now very dear photographer friend, Summer, convinced me I should sell my bags. We first met when she was scheduled to photograph my kids. She convinced me that I must start selling my designs. In fact, she purchased the first one.
MomIncorporated: Tell us about some of the challenges you faced from idea to business conception, and how you overcame them.
Krisha: Fear of failing was my biggest challenge. I finally realized I had nothing to lose if “they” didn’t like my designs. I should just do them to do them. If “they” like me … then it’s an added bonus. At least, that’s what I had to tell myself to get going.
MomIncorporated: How do you get the word out about the business?
Krisha: A majority of my business is local. So, I still get a lot of my orders the old-fashioned way … word of mouth. I also have an Etsy shop and Facebook fan page. I’ve recently started to participate more actively in online giveaways. I do a bit of advertising as well. My next project is a blog. I’ve been told it’s a must-have in the world of online sales.
MomIncorporated: Are you making a living from the business, or is it just a sideline?
Krisha: Not quite making a living yet. It definitely has the potential to be my primary source income in the future.
MomIncorporated: Do you have plans to grow the business? If so, what do you envision for the future?
Krisha: I do. Right now, it’s all logistical. A big hurdle right now is finding an employee I can pay who is also qualified. I’m still figuring out how to get from point B to point C. One thing I’m sure of is I don’t want to grow my business too fast. I’ve heard and read this can be a big downfall to any new company. I’m going slow;y and learning as I go.
MomIncorporated: How have you juggled being a mom and an entrepreneur?
Krisha: This is probably my biggest obstacle of all. Quite simply put, that’s exactly what I do … juggle (or shuffle). I haven’t figured out yet how to do both, and I honestly don’t think it’s possible to have both equally. All of my kids are young and at home for the most part. I have to do most of my work around naps, lunches, snacks. I do the majority of my work after they have gone to bed. For now, I will continue to juggle.
MomIncorporated: What advice do you have for would-be entrepreneurs?
Krisha: Don’t go in thinking it will be easy. It isn’t. But don’t let that scare you into not doing something. I still have to remind myself every day not to look and see how far I still have to go, but instead, how far I’ve come.