If there’s any woman that deserves a cape, it’s Kathy Gittleman. I’ve had the privilege of knowing and collaborating with this superwoman for several years. Kathy’s story is particularly poignant and important because it speaks universally to mothers that are trying to raise happy kids while being professionally fulfilled.
After spending 10 years in corporate America in the field of graphic design, Kathy, like many women, took a few years off to start a family. On hiatus rearing two of the most fabulous kids around (I happen to know them. I am biased but they seriously rock!), Kathy saw that to re-enter her field she’d need to get up to speed on new technology that was dominating her field. Knowing what you will have to do to play the game again is a crucial observation to make as one ventures back to work or into a new industry.
The “Sound Career Change” Aha! Moment
Kathy realized that she just wasn’t passionate enough about the content of her old career to spend time and money to go back. She also couldn’t imagine the corporate life taking her away from a 3-year old and an infant for the better part of the day. “I wasn’t passionate enough to wake up every day and go back to my old job. I also really wanted to support other women like me in creating a different way to work and live.”
Kathy broke into the field of direct sales and spent over a decade working with Creative Memories before discovering that jewelry and accessories was just more lucrative. “No matter how bad economic times are, people will still treat themselves to a piece of jewelry.” Wherever Kathy goes, she rises to the top of her game like lightening. “What is the best part? I get to make my own rules and decide who I want to work for.“
Why direct sales?
“People don’t realize you really CAN make money. It’s all about understanding the company you represent: Will they ask you to keep inventory? Will you be charged for supplies? With some companies the markup is higher and the consultant can make more money rapidly if they work at it.”
Clearly Kathy knows her stuff because 18 years after saying NO to the corporate grind she’s a Founding Designer of Stella & Dot’s newly launched personalized brand “Keep Collective.” In just 30 days she’s grown her team to close to 40 people and earned herself four promotions.
“Keep Collective appealed to me because it tells people stories. I tie in my creative memories experience with a brand of jewelry that also helps people express who they are.”
Living on Purpose
We read stories like Kathy’s and we think “Oh I can’t do that.” The truth: you actually can make career change work for you. It’s not Kathy’s natural sales and training ability that has acted alone in her success. It is her DRIVE and BELIEF that she is living on purpose, in alignment with her values, and able to be the woman she wants to be for herself and her family.
When it comes to a career in direct sales people often say “I’m too busy, I could never do what you do. I started when my son was two months old and my daughter was three. They have grown up with me being a work at home mom. In finding a way to make it work, I’ve modeled leadership, time management, and to do what you love, all while showing them you can make a career from working at home.”
To find out more about Kathy and Keep Collective, please visit her Facebook page here. Kathy is a sponsor of our upcoming Sound Change Career Event on Monday October 20th, 2014 at 7pm at GRIND 1412 Broadway at 39th Street. This event is designed for people considering or in the midst of professional changes. You’ll get coaching, support, and hear stories of people who have and are finding ways to do what they love for a living. This event is hosted by two-time career changer and career coach, Stephanie Licata. You’ll also get sound financial advice from Amanda Steinberg, found of Daily Worth. Tickets are $119 and include and interactive seminar, materials, food, networking and more! For 10% off the early bird rate use the code “FORKEEPS” Click here More information and to purchase tickets.