It is a privilege to have Kyong An, owner of Koo De Ker, be apart of our Women Entrepreneur Series. She has been fearless in reaching and maintaining her dreams and her story is one we can all gain strength from. Her stylish boutique is located in Salt Lake City and she now has an online store. Enjoy our interview with her and pictures of Kiley, the founder and designer of Wren and James, wearing a top carried in Koo De Ker.
What inspired you to open Koo.de.ker?
I had graduated as science major from BYU and wasn't too keen on going to grad school. I moved up to Salt Lake City and began working in advertising, which was ok, but oftentimes not very rewarding. I had always worked retail off and on and loved fashion, 17 years ago there wasn't much in terms of boutique shopping. So I took a leap of faith and opened my first shop at Riverwoods in Provo.
Tell us a little about your day to day schedule?
I'm usually at the shop everyday. I start my checking my email making sure there's no fires to put out. Then walk my dog Miso and head to Pilates. Working out helps me to decompress a bit. Trying to keep up on the shop social media has become a lot more work and I try to plan out the posts for the week based on new arrivals.
Do you have a childhood dream that has become a reality in your adult life?
I would say being my own boss and owning a shop has been so fulfilling, albeit it can be quite stressful at times.
Name one food you can’t get enough of?
Lately I've been on a banana, almond, oatmeal protein shake. I'm a creature of habit and will eat the same thing for months, then move onto something else.
What’s been your favorite business milestone so far?
The fact that we've been able to stay open for 17 years is in itself a milestone. Is hard for small/local businesses these days, especially with the onslaught of online shopping.
What dreams do you have for koo.de.ker in the coming years?
The biggest goal right now is focusing on our website. We just launched it end of last year so just trying to figure out the logistics has been learning curve for us.
What trends or styles should we be looking out for in the fall?
I think the ruffle trend is still going strong. We'll probably see a lot of velvets, embellished collars and Sleeves.
You enjoy hosting dinner parties, can you share some tips/advise on what makes a successful one?
I try to make our guests feel comfortable and relaxed. Don't over complicate things and don't start a new recipe the day of a dinner party, have all your cooking done in advance. The natives get restless, so always have a cheese plate/appetizer and drinks as soon as guests arrive. Stay calm and relaxed, your guests will feel your energy.
What things do you do to relax after a long day?
I like to unwind by making dinner, going for a walk, and of course I always love a good program to watch.
What is your favorite part about being a business owner?
The connections I've made with so many women. Some of my closest friends I've met through the shop. I love getting to know my clients on a more personal level. There's so many places to shop these days, and I don't take it lightly that people choose to shop with us. I'm truly thankful.
PC: Jessica HaderlieWren & James + Koo De Ker Giveaway