Diva Spotlight!!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Kourtney J. Smith

Divas get in here! And bring your credit cards! Today, Kourtney J. Smith, Owner and CEO of Dulce el Amor Shoetique, joins me in the Diva Spotlight. You read that right….SHOETIQUE! Kourtney is an entrepreneur mom from Atlanta, Georgia, with a degree in Pre-Nursing/Clinical Lab Technology. She is a proud member of the Dirty Thirty Club (31), and is here to share her story with you...and her shoes! Please take a moment to learn a little more about Kourtney as we put her in the Haute Seat. You do not want to miss this!

Give us a description of what you do in your current position.

I operate an online women’s shoetique that specializes in bringing quality, affordable and fashionable shoes to every shoenista. I reach out to different brands and build a business relationship with them in order to acquire a wholesale contract. This allows me to legitimately sell different shoe brands on my website, www.dulceshoetique.com. I currently run the business by myself, so I do the buying, manage the inventory, and do all of the marketing.  I even hit the streets and sell shoes out of the back of my truck. I literally do it all!

Please give us a summary of your resume and how you landed at your current position.

Of course! Most of the jobs many acquire at a young age are in retail, but I have spent the majority of my professional career working for the government. I have worked for Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the United States Postal Service. My most recent position has been with Aramark at Turner Field, where I am the Retail Coordinator. This has really brought me back into the environment that I love-FASHION!!! During baseball season, I have the privilege to work with my mentor, Venus Bradshaw, who has exposed me to many different aspects of business and fashion: determining the next trend; how to bring customers to your brand; and how to retain customer loyalty. This experience jumpstarted my passion to build my own brand and start my own company.


What professional accomplishment makes you the proudest?

My very first sale is my proudest professional moment thus far. I started my company with my own money. I created my website by myself. I purchased the inventory on my own. I then hit the social media market and started hustling! Honestly, I wasn’t sure if my company would be successful because there are a lot of similar companies in the market, but that first sale was the best feeling in the world! It let me know that the sacrifices I am making are not in vain, and it fueled me more to keep moving forward.

What is the one thing you know now that you wished you knew at the beginning of your career?

Patience and dedication is a must. I started this company at the beginning of baseball season, so of course there was a conflict with the job that pays the bills. But every day, even if it was just for an hour, I would put energy into get this business launched and marketed. Owning your own business is very time-consuming and you can find yourself frustrated, especially when you’re not seeing the rewards instantly. So you have to have patience and never lose focus of your goals.

What is your advice for women who would like to start their own business?

Make a plan and follow your plan. Have a checklist with short-term goals, as well as long-term goals. Research not only your product, but the market you are targeting. That way you’ll know which companies to network with and what your price point is. You do not want to buy inventory for a market that is not interested in your product or cannot afford your item. This is a quick way to lose money and clientele.

How do you balance you career with your personal life?

I’m a mother of three, so most times I work while they are at school and when they are sleep at night. It’s very important to me to be an active mother in my children’s lives, so having an online business is quite convenient, especially while they are young.

What do you do in your spare time?

I love to shop and go out to eat with friends and family!!!!

What personal accomplishment makes you the proudest?

Being a mother. When the kids and I go out, people always compliment on how well-behaved and well-mannered they are, and that makes me feel good! It lets me know that I’m doing a good job.  It’s hard being a parent sometimes, but with comments like those it is well worth it.

Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years, professionally and personally?

Professionally, I believe that Dulce el Amor Shoetique will expand to a physical store location. Eventually we will expand to men’s and children’s shoes as well. Personally, traveling the world and letting my children experience different cultures is my goal.

What else do you want our readers to know about you and/or your career path?
In the next few weeks, you will be able to purchase custom shoes and accessories at Dulce el Amor Shoetique. I have partnered up with a friend who does custom items, so I am excited about that. And for your Martini Chronicle readers, we would like to offer a special. Anyone who uses the code: ProDiva at checkout will receive 25% off their total purchase! This special will run from now through November 24th!

What is your favorite martini?

The Pomegranate Martini!

Please join me in thanking Kourtney for stopping by the Chronicles and agreeing to step into the Diva Spotlight. In case you missed it, Chronicle readers will 25% off of their total purchase at the Dulce el Amor Shoetique! Just use the code ProDiva at checkout! Stop by the Dulce el Amor Shoetique at (www.dulceshoetique.com), and "Like" the Shoetique on Facebook at (www.facebook.com/dulce.el.amor.shoetique.com).

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