Second only to the movie Human Centipede or the prospect of real life land sharks, I think one of the scariest things in the whole world is starting your own business.
So much responsibility!
I mean, I'm just a blogger, right? It's a micro-business, as my friend Lauren calls it. My blog is mostly a one-woman show. I don't have "quarters" or "fiscal year reviews" or anything nearly as grown-up as that behind-the-scenes at Austin Eavesdropper, and yet, every task besides the actual writing part is EXHAUSTING. I don't know how these little 14 year-old entrepreneurs do it. How do they go to school and do their homework, while running an online hand-crafted tie-dyed beret hat business from their bedroom or whatever?
Whenever I meet someone my age (i.e., 14 times 2) who is an entrepreneur, I find them fascinating. How did you do it? Were you scared? How are you so fabulous? Can we be friends?
I had the opportunity to do that this month with Karli Isiyel, the very-fabulous-indeed founder of SassMouth Apparrel, an online vintage shop.
Karli is an Ausinite, and I was so thrilled to have her presence here on Austin Eavesdropper! If you are hopelessly in love with vintage like I am, go 'like' SassMouth's Facebook page and follow their Twitter feed, where they post deals on their wares.
1. Hi Karli! You are the founder and owner of Sassmouth Apparel. How did you start this business?
I started to love thrifting as a college student. Money was tight and it just made sense. But then I sort of made it my thing, I would find great things and people would be envious of my style. So finally after years of just finding the great deals for myself, I decided that it might be a good business venture.
2. You started Sassmouth for girls who like to get their thrift + vintage on, but may not have all the time in the world to sift through all those stores. Where do you go for all those fab finds?
Oh, now I could never divulge my secrets! I go to numerous thrift stores around town. Not to sound pompous, but it's not always about the greatest thrift stores, you have to have an eye for a pattern or fabric that may be stuck in some dark corner and take it out to find the beauty!
3. How would you describe your own style?
I would say I am a bit rockabilly, I love 50s and 60s styles. Vintage clothing is so amazing, but I have a hard time finding my size. Usually I will take a modern piece of clothing with some vintage lines and dress it up for my liking. Maybe one day I can have my own line of vintage inspired clothes, that are AFFORDABLE and fit all sizes of women.
4. I love that you did your photoshoot for this site at the Cathedral of Junk. AND that all your models are beautiful, real-looking women who SMILE!
Both of which seem to underly the ethos of Sassmouth. How would you describe the "personality" of your business?
The personality of my business is simple, it's just a young gal, enlisting the help of her beautiful friends as models and promoting the fact that you can look fabulous with little money and a lot of style-no matter what size you are.
5. I am in awe of entrepreneurs. Was it scary to strike out on your own, and create this business from scratch?
There wasn't too much risk involved in this one, since I have an online store front. But it is a bit scary to spend more money on things as I get more popular. Everything has been trial and error, from how I do inventory and keep track of clothes to what I buy; and learning what sells best. It has been a huge learning experience. One day I hope to have a real store front in Austin.
6. Favorite children's book?
Wow. I was super stumped by this question, and could not remember the name of this book for the life of me! A phone call to mom was in order ... Roger's Upside-Down Day.
7. What's the secret to living a creative life, Karli?
Hmmm. I don't know if I can put it into words. I think it is something that comes from inside you. It's funny, I have a degree in graphic design and very frequently get stumped when designing. But when it comes to clothes and thrifting and vintage my mind never stops being creative! I think it just might be my passion. I guess the secret would just to never stop seeking out ways to be unique in everything you do.
* thanks for stopping by austin eavesdropper, karli! *
Pictured: Models Corey Gusnowski, Hollie Baker, and Melissa Johnson, at Peter Pan Mini Golf and the Cathedral of Junk. Photos courtesy Allison Bright.