Kate Sancto, CEO + Founder The Mariposa Collection – Interview
Posted on July 21 2018
‘What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?’
So, I’m not really a morning person and never ready to jump out of bed first thing but my son is my alarm clock and when I hear him muttering away on the monitor I can’t help but smile and want to get up for kisses and cuddles! The second thing would be exercise, I normally go for a run along the river every morning and feel it’s a great way to clear the brain and put me in a good frame of mind ready to attack my day ahead.
Why did you start you The Mariposa Collection?
I started The Mariposa Collection for a number of reasons really.
Firstly when I got married I wanted to gift kimono robes to my bridesmaids to wear when we were getting ready on the big day. I really struggled to find exactly what I was looking for…I wanted to avoid a lot of the ‘cliche’ robes and wanted to find something a little more unique.
Secondly I wanted to find good quality robes because I wanted my bridesmaids to like them enough to wear going forward not just on my wedding day. I still wear mine every day when I am doing my hair or putting my make up on, always makes me feel very feminine and think back to my special day. This got me to thinking I didn’t just want to create robes purely for bridal parties but for everyday wear too. The ideas started flowing and the business started to take shape, creating robes for all types of occasions such as birthdays, honeymoons, bachelorette parties to baby showers.
And thirdly, it was the perfect time in my life to start something new as a few months after my wedding I found out I was expecting and decided there and then I wanted to be my own boss. I wanted to have a career but also be a hands-on mum and this has really given me the opportunity to do both. So with an affinity for beautiful things and inspired by all things floral The Mariposa Collection was born.
‘What does an average day look like for you The Mariposa Collection?’
Mmm it really depends on the day to be honest. I work from home a couple of days a week, so I can take my son to his playgroups and be hands on with him when I can. Then the other days are spent at a shared work space in the city. I find I’m constantly trying to find the right balance between work and mum life!
When I’m in the office my day starts with a morning run, feeding Hugo his breakfast and then jumping on the bus and heading into town. I love my little morning commute as it takes about 25mins but it’s a little bit of quiet that gives me a chance to read my book or listen to an inspiring podcast. Once I get to the office and have poured myself a cup of tea I crack on with work. I love it because every day is so different from fulfilling orders, following up with suppliers or working on the new collection I’m about to launch to discussing new floral designs with my illustrator and planning my next photoshoot! It never gets boring, I’m learning so much and meeting lots of new people along the way. If I can I usually take an hour out of the day to focus on something different which is usually an online Spanish course I’m participating in to continue my learning.
Once I’m home it is all about my son and enjoying some playtime, bath time and bedtime before collapsing on the sofa with my husband to enjoy a good Netflix series!
What inspires you?
It’s not ‘what’ for me but ‘who’…and that would be my husband! He is such a positive person and has a ‘nothing is impossible’ attitude. I would never have believed I would have a business right now if it wasn’t for him believing in me and pushing me to make it happen.
I guess second to him would be my passion for travel. I love visiting new countries and seeing different cultures, it’s given me great perspective and so many of the floral designs on my robes have been inspired from the places I have visited.
What do you enjoy most with running your own hustle?
I love how rewarding it can be. When I started out I really didn’t know anything at all about starting a business let alone running one…but it is truly amazing how if you push yourself hard enough you can achieve a goal. I’m 8 months in and I have learned so much more than I could have ever imagined, and business is going well. I put a lot of pressure on myself but sometimes I do just need to take a step back and realize and appreciate just how far I’ve come.
The other part I love is receiving messages from happy customers saying how much they love their robe or how it made the morning of their wedding day so perfect, that really makes me smile.
Can you tell me about a time when you almost gave up, how you felt about that, and what you did instead of giving up?
Gosh there have been so many times when I’ve felt like giving up and been extremely frustrated! We’ve run into a lot of obstacles along the way and it has been such a learning curve. A lot of mistakes were made early on during the design process when our illustrator had created these beautiful floral designs but trying to reflect the same detail and intricacy on the robes was certainly a challenge. After a lot of back and forth and trial and error we finally got the product right and we really breathed a sigh of relief! It made us realize we had to go through all of that journey to get to a finished product we were happy with – perfection takes time and obstacles are often just stepping stones 🙂
What do you think is the biggest challenge for you The Mariposa Collection?
Most certainly the biggest challenge so far is trying to get brand exposure. We spent a lot of time building a website we are happy with, but I didn’t realize the difficult part would be trying to get people to find and see the site! I’m not remotely tech savvy so working on the SEO part has been tough and I’ve realized I need to work with experts on this going forward because I just don’t have enough time to spend working on this myself.
Any advice for your previous boss?
Nothing really to say to my boss. But I guess I was an Executive Assistant before, so it feels good to work for myself and look after my own needs instead of someone else’s!
Are there any brands, business’ or business leaders that you admire?
I find Sheryl Sandberg a great role model because of her work-life balance. She’s a married mother of two young children, and is second in command at one of the most talked about companies in the world. I really admire women like her who are redefining motherhood and are making working-mothers optimistic about their future.
What would you like to achieve Professionally in 6 months / 1 year / 5 years?
I am really enjoying the journey so far and I just hope it keeps going that way. I’m excited by what the future holds for The Mariposa Collection and hope there are lots of big things to come…watch this space 😉
Any advice for talent looking to set up their own hustle?
Don’t be put off by the overwhelming feeling of doing it yourself. You will need patience and a lot of it as everything takes time and you will make lots of mistakes along the way and hit lots of road blocks…but just remember if it was that easy everyone would do it! Sometimes you’ve just got to start…
What is your favorite quote?
‘There are no limits to what you can accomplish, except the limits you place on your own thinking.’ Brian Tracy.
I find this quote particularly apt in my circumstances because I’ve surprised myself time and again with what I have managed to achieve over the years when I didn’t believe it would be possible.
Follow Kate and The Mariposa’s Adventures here;
Thank You Kate for the honest and ‘from the heart’ interview, we hope it inspires more young mothers to set up their own HUSTLE!!
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