"A Southern Mess for a Business Wreck"

– Cassidy, Pockets and Pearls

My business journey has not been one like what you see in the movies. You know, when the girl has a dream of owning her own company and at the end of the movie she’s filthy rich AND she gets the guy!! Yeah, that’s not me.

I am 22 years old, and I started Pockets and Pearls out of thin air back in January 2016, and since that day, it has caused nothing but stress, sadness, guilt, and everything in between. I have invested over $10,000 in this business, and I don’t see me getting my investment back anytime soon. I do this all by myself, I work 24/7, my family tries to support me, but it’s hard for them to understand, and the worst part; I don’t take care of myself like I should.

People ask me the same question all the time, “If it’s caused so much trouble for you then why don’t you just stop?” I never know how to answer that question, partly because I’m asking myself the same thing. All I can say is that deep down in my heart I know Pockets and Pearls is going to make a difference. Note: I didn’t say I’m hoping it will make a difference. I literally know it will, because I can hear God telling me. All I want for Pockets and Pearls is to be a brand that spreads awareness about bullies, but not in the way that you might expect. I want Pockets and Pearls to be able to help kids understand that are being bullied how important it is to love the ones who bully. Because we have no idea what those kids have to go home to. Whether it’s an empty house, parents fighting, or not knowing if their mom was able to buy groceries. I want to be a brand that loves, understands and forgives. I think kids need that type of calmness in their lives.

Now whether or not Pockets and Pearls actually will make that happen, who knows, but I am writing this to you today so you will know exactly what not to do while starting a business! Most importantly, though, I want to tell you that whatever dream or goal you may have, I have faith that you can do it! So please please don’t give up. If I haven't given up yet then you are not allowed to give up either!

Before I tell you my story, I need to paint a pretty little picture in your head about me. I have a two year old son, who is literally the cutest turd you'll ever meet! I am very out going and love talking to people. But the most important thing you need to know about me is: I have zero business experience and dropped out of college when I was 18. <— That right there would have prevented most of this from happening. So for real, listen to your mama and hit the books! Now that you know a little bit about me, I want to take you on a wild ride about my business, Pockets and Pearls.

Pockets and Pearls happened by a huge accident. Actually, it happened because I got excited and impatient; that’s never a good combo. The plan was I was going to buy a couple handbags and just slap them on eBay and make a couple bucks. Yeah, well, that plan lasted a solid two minutes, because the next thing I know my entire tax return (close to $10,000) is almost gone. You know that saying; “Everything’s bigger in Texas”? I guess I took that a little too seriously. So how in Heaven’s name did I go from spending $200 to $10,000? (okay future business owners, warm up your pencils).

  1. I got way too excited about it and purchased more inventory that I had planned to. -$500

  2. My brain was moving too fast and I ended up hiring a programmer to build me a custom website. -$2,000

  3. If I’m going to have my own website I need a name right?! Well when I fell in love with Pockets and Pearls I did not want anyone in the state of Texas to take that name away from me. So without thinking I registered a DBA (doing business as). -$100

  4. By now I have probably spent $500 more dollars on inventory, and we gotta add all the supplies you need for your inventory. Like price tags, printer ink, shipping supplies etc... -$200

  5. Pockets and Pearls needed a logo, so I made one, but I still had to send it off to a company so they could clean it up. -$79

  6. By now everything is rockin’ and rollin’, and I am so excited about my little business. That was when I wanted to look into starting my own T-Shirt brand. So, in my mind, I needed to get Pockets and Pearls trademarked so people won’t “steal” my brand! -$500. Am I starting to stress you out a little bit?

  7. So I have all my inventory tagged and my trademark papers in the beginning stages of getting approved. Which, by the way, I did that in the beginning of March 2016, and it is finally going to be registered on August 2nd. Anyways, it wasn't until then when it came to my attention that there was a company out there who had a very similar business name as mine. I was mad, upset, and scared all at the same time. That was when I got my first doubt that maybe this wasn't such a good idea, but I still had hope and a lot of stupidity left in me. So while I was freaking out, I hurried and jumped online and filed as an LLC, because I was thinking that if something were to happen I would be safe because I did everything the right way. -$450 Oh, did I mention that at this point my website was BARELY live.

So now I was really running out of money with all the inventory I kept buying, paying my programmer, and all the stuff he needed. And of course bills, bills, bills. That is when I came across this miracle known as Kiva.org. Being 22 with no credit, there is no way anyone is going to lend you money. That’s why Kiva is a company I look up to, because they really do care about the person on the other end and WANT to help them. I couldn't believe it. That $500 loan was going to get my back on track and get this baby rolling.

That was until three days before I received the Kiva loan; my website was hacked. So in hind sight, I didn't get to use the money on what I was hoping to use it on. I never even saw it. After my website was fixed I was then hacked another four times. Which officially put me in dept. I shut the site down, and I was ready to call it quits but giving up on myself is worse than any other type of feeling one can imagine. It’s one thing when people call you a failure, but when you call yourself a failure, it’s like you're telling the Devil that you surrender. Maybe I’m just stubborn who will not take no for an answer, but I believe with my whole heart that everything happens for a reason. If I hadn't gone through hell then I wouldn't be sitting here writing this letter to you.

This was just a small glimpse into this crazy journey that I have taken myself on, but hey, someone has to make the mistakes! Even though I have had a few errors, I have also learned a lot. I was a complete newbie to the website world, but now I can write html code, complete web design, and work on both Shopify and Wordpress. I have turn into the Poor Marketing Queen, and I know every thing about business from legal, planning, accounting, purchasing, and taxes. I could go on and on. Sorry, I had to brag a little after basically telling everyone I have no idea what I’m doing!

I hope that you keep working hard to accomplish your dream, and just know that you have a Texas cheerleader rootin’ for you! And if you are ever wondering if a decision will be a mistake or not, just come ask me, I’ve probably already made the mistake!

Thanks for taking the time to read about my Beautiful Mess,

Cassidy Rae,

Proud owner of Pockets and Pearls, LLC


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About the author

Kathinka K. Nakstad

Kathinka moved to San Francisco to pursue her BBA degree, with a major in marketing. Being form Norway, she time to time misses the different seasons (especially winters with snow). One of her hobbies consists of finding a part of a city and explore it for a whole day. Checking out cool boutiques, and the best places to eat. Two of her favorite places to visit are Budapest and Vienna. No wonder her dream job would be to travel the world and write about the places she visits.