Katydid and Katydid Wholesale have a truly inspiring origins story. Founder Katy Messersmith had no idea she had a future in fashion when she went to Ghana to volunteer at a prenatal clinic. After her luggage was lost, she reached out to local seamstresses and the creativity stuck with her long after she left, inspiring Katy to keep designing shirts and bags when she returned to Dallas, Texas.
Katy’s work ethic, and her trendy sense of fashion, grew a small fashion business from a one-woman operation into what Katydid Wholesale is today: a dynamic leader in the stylish apparel and accessory industry for women who love adventure and want to look good doing it. It has grown into a multi-million-dollar brand that was even added to the coveted Inc. 5000 list as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States.
Deb Bailey: Welcome to Women Entrepreneurs Radio, Katy. Please share with us how did you get started as an entrepreneur.
Katy Messersmith: I found my calling when I traveled to Ghana, Africa for a two-month volunteer trip. The airline lost my luggage, so I worked with a seamstress to design replacement outfits made from colorful local fabrics. When I returned to Texas, I placed my designs on eBay, and they sold lighting fast.
As the company grew, I realized I didn’t want to just sell other people’s bags, so I started my own brand, Katydid! Now, we also design women’s hats, jackets, tees, scarves, jewelry, and more.
Deb: What are some of your successes and challenges?
Katy: Our successes and challenges revolve around “fast fashion” and keeping up with the ever-changing style trends. You have to design pieces quickly in order to stay ahead of the trends. However, it’s a fantastic creative outlet that allows me to create clothing I’m passionate about.
Deb: What advice would you give to women entrepreneurs who are just starting out?
Katy: I would recommend that they build : a strong network, complete with successful friends and mentors, early on. During the early years of Katydid, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out things on my own. My business may have grown even faster if I had turned to my more experienced friends earlier.
Deb: What is your favorite activity to relax and unwind?
Katy: I spend time with my family—I have a little toddler that keeps me motivated. I also enjoy a nice relaxing day that includes going to my chiropractor to be readjusted!
Deb: Thanks for joining us. Please share website and social media URLs
Katy: Please stop by our retail site to get trendy women’s clothing and accessories and check out our Instagram, Facebook or Twitter pages. Businesses can also buy wholesale boutique clothing from our wholesale site!