For UA student Kayla Hickman, stitching clothes was a hobby outside of school work and her second job. It wasn’t long, however, before she found a hidden passion for design –– from there, her business venture was born.
Hickman, a junior majoring in apparel merchandising, started her clothing company, K’s Thread’s, as a way to up-cycle thrifted pieces while also getting the opportunity to improve her design skills.
A full time student and nanny, Hickman carefully manages her school work, second job and business. Her designs take approximately one week to package and ship, due to the delivery times of the wholesale websites from which Hickman receives her inventory.
“My biggest thing was trying to keep things at a reasonable price point so that people who wanted to purchase my stuff could look cute, trendy and comfortable but for an affordable price,” Hickman said.
Hickman began designing and creating her own clothes back in March, but created a platform to sell her clothing in August. Since opening, she’s sold roughly 100 pieces, listing pullovers and hoodies for $30 and t-shirts for $16-20.
Hickman started designing clothes as a hobby rather than business. After finishing a few revamped pieces for herself, Hickman received positive attention on her new designs from her roommates and friends, all encouraging her to create K’s Threads.
“When I first started I didn’t really think that it would get a lot of traffic or be noticed by people, so instead of doing a simple word or a little design, I wanted to do more intricate things,” Hickman said. “So it’s very time consuming and I’m super busy, but I’m just really thankful to be busy.”
After two months of selling clothes, Hickman has broken even with her initial investment, creating excitement for future profit, she said.
“She works very hard for what she does and cares about every customer,” said Chloe Wells, a K’s Threads client from Conway, Arkansas. “If something isn’t right, she makes sure to fix and will redo it for the customer, and not many people will do that.”
Hickman’s designs for K’s Threads reflect her personal style, simple and trendy with a bohemian flare, she said.
“Usually shirts like what she sells can be super expensive through big brands like Urban Outfitters but hers are more affordable for the same quality,” said Emma Koch, a client of K’s Thread’s.
Hickman purchases all her packaging supplies from Amazon, Walmart and Hobby Lobby.
Wesley Stakes, a client and friend of Hickman from her home in College Station, Texas, purchased a shirt and sweatshirt from K’s Thread’s, receiving her order in less than a week
Stakes said she noticed Hickman’s attention to detail in packaging and customer service with the handwritten note and encouraged feedback.
“For the future, I want to introduce designs which are more simple, yet still very cute and trendy,” Hickman said. “I started this little business as a side gig and will continue to use it as a hobby rather than a lifelong journey. I will be doing other things in the buying industry after graduating.”