Black Female Business Owner CEO Spotlight
Cortnie Eliabeth Of Love Cortnie
1. Where did you grow up?
In Columbia, Maryland. I lived there almost my entire life until I moved to California for fashion school for a year and half. I’m now living in Miami and have been here for the last year.
2. What do you want to make sure your audience knows?
I’m a perfectionist and it gets so unnecessary at times! It comes in pretty handy though since I do make my items by hand. I only want to give people the best. Quality wise and when it comes to the materials I use.
About your brand?
Love,Cortnie will be 5 years old in September of this year. I can’t believe it has been this long, but at the same time I feel like I’m just getting started.
3. What made you decide to begin?
A lack of unique clutches available. Everything was too small, satin or all black. I wanted a large clutch that made a statement and was just as fun on the inside. I had no intention of making handbags or even starting a business. My hobby eventually evolved into one.
4. What is the motto of your brand?
I purposefully don’t have a motto. I strive to create unique pieces for women that love to stand out, not blend in.
5. Brief background/ synopsis on your brand
It began with wanting to learn how to sew. I was in between jobs and my grandmother taught me. I had the crazy idea to make a clutch, so I learned. I week after learning how to sew I had my Etsy shop up and running with 3 different styles of clutches. It’s been over 4 years now and I’ve expanded into accessories, bucket bags, totes and I’ve done over 200 different styles of clutches.
6. What is the most rewarding part of your career?
Getting to set my schedule and make my own rules.
Not being able to shut it down when I should. My phone is literally like my office on the go, my office on the couch, the office while I sew. I can literally spend all day working on different aspects of my business. In the morning I’m shipping out orders and running any errands, I come back and send out shipping notifications and then I work on more orders. Hours later I stop sewing around 6-7pm. Then it’s time to pack up the orders I completed for the day to be shipped the following day. In the evening I’m online updating my site, tending to social media (also throughout the day) and blogging on some days. While I’m super grateful for everything that I do, making down time for myself could use some work.
7. Who depends on your success? Who are you doing this for besides yourself?
The only one depending on my success is me. I work my business full time and it pays the bills. There is no way I’d want to go back to a 9-5. So I make sure to keep working so I can keep paying my bills. I hope to one day retire my mom. If I could do it now I would.
8. If you weren’t in your field what would you be doing?
Before I went to fashion school in L.A., I went to college at the University of MD, College Park where I got my BS. Can you believe that I almost got into Physical Therapy? I worked as a PT Tech for over a year and majored in Kinesiology (the study of movement). It was a lot of work, but I had a hard time seeing myself in that career field.
9. What is going to be your legacy?
I just want people to know that anything is possible. I know it sounds cliché, but I started out with little money and really just doing it for fun. I had no plans to be making bags and had no idea I’d still be doing it later and full time at that. My brand was born in my grandmother’s kitchen and I didn’t even know it at the time. If you truly love doing something you have to pursue it. And that’s exactly what I’m doing. I want people to remember my story.
10. What projects do you have coming up? What should we be looking out for?
No big projects coming up, but I do plan on introducing a new style soon. *rubs hands together* I used to be absolutely terrified to make bags with straps. I conquered that fear and started making bucket bags and totes. I hope to bring a leather backpack on board soon. I’m reeeally excited about it.
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Hey there! I’m Melissa, co-founder of Trials n Tresses, natural hair and beauty lover, binge tv watcher and lover of life. When I am not creating content for TNT, I’m busy teaching the future of society.