Balancing a booming business while being a young mom isn’t an easy feat, but Kelly Fatanini does it with grace. At 23 years old, Kelly Faetanini became the head designer at Priscilla of Boston, eventually launching her own line two weeks before her own wedding. The Wedding Dish podcast dives into her impressive career and highlights Kelly’s famous convertible dresses.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN BUSINESS?
WHAT AREAS DO YOU SERVE?
Global- US, Canada, Japan and Europe.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
I was the head designer for Jewel by Priscilla of Boston for 4 years, starting at the age of 23. When POB decided to close its doors, I knew it was time to start my own brand.
The industry 10 years ago was quite limited on customizations and high-quality fashionable gowns were $4k and above. I wanted to introduce a mid-tier priced line with all the attributes of a $4k gown but accessible to more brides and be able to offer customizations at a reasonable price.
WHAT’S THE COOLEST THING ABOUT OWNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
I love the constant challenge and endless learning. There is never a dull moment and things are always changing and evolving. It’s also very fulfilling to be doing work that impacts our brides.
I want to inspire women; it’s possible to truly have it all. With grit, determination, and vision I’m an entrepreneur of a growing and fulfilling business, a wife, a mother of 3, and living with a limitless mindset.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE STORY TO SHARE?
When I moved to NY at age 21, I walked door to door looking for an internship. I was so determined to get my foot in the door in bridal, I wasn’t satisfied with the lack of results I was getting by phone so I said well, if they won’t respond to me by phone or email, I’ll just show up in person. That’s how I got started at Priscilla.
WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU HAD TO OVERCOME?
Oh gosh, where do I start? Lol.
Starting an apparel business, finding the right production partners and the mishaps in-between, managing a growing business while pregnant with twins and their birth and then leading our business through covid right after the twins’ birth.
WHAT ADVICE COULD YOU OFFER TO SOMEONE STARTING A BUSINESS LIKE YOURS?
Join support groups, have mentors and talk to other entrepreneurs constantly. It can be a lonely world as an entrepreneur and having these connections makes a world of difference.
ARE THERE ANY CHALLENGES OR OBSTACLES THAT YOU’VE HAD TO OVERCOME?
In a year and a half, my youngest brother passed away of suicide, I gave birth to my first child and our house completely flooded and we were displaced for a year as it was rebuilt. It was an overwhelming time of grief, happiness, life transition, and unsettledness. All while still running and growing my business.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU OFFER TO OTHER BUSINESS OWNERS IN A SIMILAR SITUATION?
Support, support, support. It’s the only way to survive and get through it. Be open and share, look for help, ask for help and receive help without feeling guilty. Don’t suppress your feelings. Talk to others going through something similar. I had a business and personal coach during this time and I wouldn’t have been able to manage without them.