Mompreneur Spotlight is back! It has been a while since I have done one of these and I was totally feeling like I needed to share about this incredible mom for a while! Her story is about to spark some serious light in you! Not only is she an inspiration but at my house WE are totally LOVING her products! So without further ado, I would love to share my interview with Scarlet Kux-Kardos, the super cool mama and founder of ZAPPED!
Tell us a little about yourself….
Growing up in Northern BC, I was raised in the glow of the northern lights. Armed with awe for the outdoors, and attending design school in Vancouver and New York, I got my first job in the 1990’s during the snowboard apparel explosion in Vancouver. Playing hard while looking RAD was the way of life, and building a brand through being outside was the way business was done. In 1998, I started a performance sportswear design studio (sk2design.com) where I continue to design for international brands.
About Zapped – How did it get started?
It was my 10 year-old who made me aware of how unaware most kids are when it comes to being seen on the street. At the time, I was working with a few brands using all over reflective material for running / biking products. It was just SO cool to see the fabric reflect this hidden print when hit with light, but otherwise looked like a normal jacket. I tried to find a jacket for my son that used this same technology and couldn’t find it anywhere. For the first time in my career, I saw a gap in the market.
While the idea of launching my own brand was percolating in my mind, my husband was literally hit by lightening! He survived, didn’t gain any super powers, but it jolted me into just doing it now or never … and the name (and brand) was born!
The look of the Zapped fabric lighting up really looks like a flash of lightening! And I was really inspired by the edgy 90s rock / skate-boarding vibe which just paired so well with a lightening bolt. I looked at all the essential pieces my son wears every day and realized creating “RAD” essential kids styles all in reflective fabric would be a great launch collection. And BOOM! …
ZAPPED Outfitters is a collection of “covert reflective gear” for kids aged 6-12 with secret superpowers. Each article features microscopic glass beads embedded in the fabric that reflect light at night. It’s the first line of fully reflective active gear for RAD kids!
We offer gender-neutral essentials for long dark days of winter while RAD enough to wear every day, year round! The launch collection of ZAPPED includes a jacket, ball cap, toque, backpack, slip-on sneaker and fleece-lined high top.
This is funny … but really not funny:
At the moment, it comes down to having a job where you have to pay to work. I know it won’t be like this forever, but start-up life is hard enough and financial set-backs have been a huge challenge. I often have to look at it as a REALLY EXPENSIVE hobby.
The other challenge is wearing so many hats. There are many aspects of the business that I really don’t like doing and I’m probably not very good at either, but as a start-up you have to dig deep and know that hard work and perseverance will pay off. And yes, it’s even harder to have to pay to do the jobs you don’t even LIKE doing 🙂
Back when I started my design studio, my motivation continues to be the same:
“ … Wake up when I was finished sleeping”
Of course, that was before I had kids, however even now I love the flexibility of being self-employed.
The other thing that really motivates me is our focus on building the brand through charity partnerships and focusing on the deep meaning of our tag line.
PLAY HARD / BE SEEN means more than just our reflective gear, it means getting together, showing off our true selves, seeing the light in yourself and others. We are currently partnered with Ruben’s Shoes and Backpack Buddies to do just that.
How do you find balance between mom and business owner?
Being outside, connecting with nature, and having a life outside work and parenting. To me it’s critical to have a separate office (out of the home) and follow somewhat standard working hours. I also try to involve my son as much as I can in the business and I am amazed at what he has already learned about being an entrepreneur.
Advice to moms considering a side-hustle?
You need to try it before it’s too late. You never want to look back and say – oh man! … I should have tried it!
Failure is Data
Use POWER rather than FORCE
Be kind to yourself
Don’t spend too much time analyzing, studying, testing, trying … sometimes you just have to do it.
One funny saying I loved: “Starting a company is like throwing yourself off a cliff and assembling an airplane on the way down.”
Favourite and Fun way to market?
I have loved working with the micro-influencers and it give me such a boost to see all the beautiful kids sporting the products and hearing how much both the moms AND kids love them. We have also had a great time partnering with Backpack Buddies and Rubens Shoes at various events. We were just at the pride festival in Vancouver and it was a blast!
My boys are included in this, as we partnered together to collaborate, and as many of my followers know…I like to only partner with products and businesses that align with our vision, values etc…WE LOVE ZAPPED!
Next for the brand?
We have a really awesome new collection in the works for 2020. We are now focusing our efforts on selling the current inventory so we have the money to launch the new collection!
GO CHECK IT OUT! Links Below
Link to website: www.zappedoutfitters.com
Till The Next Post,