Interview with Diane Prince Johnston – CEO & Founder of Winnie & Kat

Interview with Diane JohnstonTell us a little bit about Winnie & Kat and how it got started.

In 2009, I had to take over a family business on the brink of bankruptcy. Every day, I commuted three hours on Los Angeles freeways and flew to offices around the country. On one drive home, I knew I needed to make a change. Because of that, I hired someone to help run the company and I eventually sold my shares to him. Finally I had the freedom to re-invent myself and create a new life. Six months later, I founded a new social selling clothing company that empowers women like me to reach for their dreams.

Winnie & Kat is a new womenswear brand that launched in late 2012 out of Malibu. We call our Social Selling model, “Successes through Dresses.” Our contemporary clothing is sold solely through Independent Stylists – in person and at home parties or “trunk shows” and online.

Winnie & Kat offers a home-based business opportunity for women – tell us more about this.

Independent stylists and hostesses work together to plan in-home trunk shows. The independent stylists earn commissions on sales, the hostesses earn credits on clothes and women enjoy the touch-and-feel experience of shopping at a mall without having to deal with crowds and reluctant shopping partners.

Guests can pull clothing samples off a rolling rack, try them on and model for friends and place their orders. The clothes, all original Winnie & Kat designs, are shipped to them.

A hostess earns $170 in clothes for every $1,000 her guests purchase. Stylists earn commissions on both their personal and team sales. Stylists can also purchase Winnie & Kat designs for 25 percent to 40 percent off.

Women anywhere in the U.S. can host a Winnie & Kat trunk show or sell the designs as an independent stylist.

What are the startup costs for becoming a stylist, and what does it include?

The Starter Kit costs $199 and it includes clothing samples, business supplies, your own e-commerce site, training and mentoring.

What has been the most difficult lesson you have learned as an entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurism can be lonely. That’s why I love that Winnie & Kat is a social selling company. Women entrepreneurs are able to own their own businesses while having a support network at the same time.

What advice would you give direct sales consultants on how to build a great business?

Always offer the gift of sponsoring and don’t make assumptions. Share the business opportunity with everyone. Make sure that your calendar is full with home parties and discipline yourself to make a certain amount of calls or contacts every day.

How would you rate your success? 

Interview with Diane Johnston

My family is proud of me. My three daughters and my dad are my biggest supporters. That is important.

How do you manage all of your personal and business activities? 

I manage my personal and business activities by prioritizing and keeping first things first. Where you focus your attention is where you will get results in all areas of your life.

What was your first paying job?

Baby sitting. It is still unbelievable to me that my neighbors trusted me with their infant when I was twelve years old! I don’t think that happens anymore.

Connect with Diane Johnston and Winnie & Kat…

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