We had the good fortune of connecting with Courtney Kanner Fishman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Courtney, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
I think when you truly get to know yourself, you know when something doesn’t feel complete within you. You know whether you might have given up on something for the wrong reasons. You also know when it is time to no longer deny your dreams and full potential. This all recently happened to me.
For the last 25 years, I have held onto a dream I once had as a teenager of owning a fashion company for affordable, trendy and stylish clothing. I have tried to push it away and often second guessed myself. I would say to myself- you are not ready to do this, you don’t have enough confidence, you will fail. I spent years pursuing other types of careers that I liked but didn’t love. Something was always missing for me.
Five years ago, I became a mom. The absolute best and most rewarding experience of my life. My two sons are my light. I put everything career-wise on hold after having them- something I never thought I would do especially since I am a workaholic. And these five years have meant everything to me, but still something has felt missing.
A year ago, when COVID surfaced, I fell into the trap of embracing the isolation with negativity and sadness. After a few months of doing so, the solitude pushed me to recognize that I had denied pursuing my once sought out dream. I came face-to-face with recognizing that I had basically given up. I think it takes getting really low and an experience like COVID to push you to come face-to-face with those really difficult things in life- like knowing in your heart that you have given up on something, perhaps for the wrong reasons.
Within six months- this incredible urge, passion, unbelievable energy and strength which had been buried in me for way too long basically exploded. I fought off my fears and insecurities and in turn created My Little Outfit, the vision that I saw for a fashion company in my dream as a young girl. I finally didn’t give up for the wrong reasons anymore and have kept going.
I believe that when you have this undeniable urge to create something but are held down by your fears, that is never a good reason to give up, but quite to the contrary it is every reason to keep going. However, when you finally accept the urge and embrace it to its fullest potential, choosing no longer to give up for the wrong reasons but then it unfortunately fails- that is when you put it to rest.
I was once told by a wise entrepreneur, don’t think of your business as your baby, because you would never want to throw your baby away but there might be a time in your business that you might have to say goodbye. And that to me, is the only time you give up.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
What I am most excited about is that I am finally pursuing my dream, one that I literally had when I was a young girl. No longer will I allow anyone including myself to get in the way or throw me off track.
More about my business and what sets us apart…My Little Outfit is the first of its kind. We are all about curating gently loved, pre-owned clothing into upscale outfits for sizes 0-6 years old. Every outfit, regardless of designer or brand is offered at the same low price of $18.99. Our website carries more than 100 well-known brands from Mayoral to Gucci, Our model is- Shop. Wear. Trade. You can buy one outfit, select two or three outfits for a reduced price that also includes shipping or take advantage of our exciting membership program, which offers a remarkable value and great benefits. Members receive 4 outfits monthly for $64.99 including shipping and a versatile laundry bag. Rather than receiving a surprise box like some subscription services that may or may not suit their style needs, My Little Outfit members can be part of the process in selecting outfits that they love for their children on a monthly basis. We pride ourselves on providing families with an affordable and fun way to shop for upscale brands that are relevant and stylish. Selecting outfits that will make both kids and parents smile is exciting and can be shared as an activity for the whole family,
The Trade option allows parents to trade-in clothing purchased from My Little Outfit as well as other sources that meet the company’s criteria. Children can wear each outfit once, as many times as they’d like, or keep the apparel forever. The process is as simple as requesting a My Little Outfit Trade Bag and sending items in. My Little Outfit will then determine the amount of Heartcoin credit earned. Each Heartcoin is equivalent to one outfit (an $18.99 value).
Our concept maximizes budget, assists with closet organization and benefits the environment.
I am proud that with my concept, we are providing an affordable and convenient solution for parents when buying clothes for their children and getting them dressed. When my first son was born, I organized his entire closet by outfits. For the last five years, both of my son’s closets, which primarily consist of upscale, gently loved clothing, are now organized this way. This proven method has greatly reduced the time it takes for me to get them ready, providing a convenient structure for anyone else, especially my husband who also helps to get our children dressed.
Keeping up with the evolving fashion of growing children doesn’t have to involve constantly buying new items at retail prices. Far too many outfits are worn only once or twice before they are outgrown or out of season. This is not a sustainable solution for the family budget or the world at large. We are seeking to solve this and many other problems with My Little Outfit by providing a one stop shop for unique, fashion forward outfits.
What I want the world to know about my story is that for the last 20 years, I have primarily shopped high-end resale for myself. When I bought my first pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes, similar to those that Sarah Jessica Parker would wear in Sex and the City, I spent $25 for them at a local consignment shop. I will never forget how fancy I felt, especially because now I could wear the same shoes that one of my favorite celebrity icons was wearing but at an affordable price. Fast forward, 20 years later, I want to give that same experience to parents when buying clothes for their children. We are also providing an easier, more efficient, sustainable, and convenient solution to parents when dressing their kids. With my company, the styling and matching is done for you, while at the same time you can still have fun finding those outfits that you love and seeing them firsthand. I am so excited to see my fashion dream come true and share my unique taste and organization skills with parents across the country.
Getting to this point in my career, I wouldn’t say came easy. I had a few different career paths. I worked in the non-profit sector planning both revenue and non-revenue generating events for over 10 years for some of the biggest organizations benefitting children’s causes. I then worked in event management representing popular venues in Los Angeles. Later, I worked as a catering sales manager for one of the largest hotel chains, managing over 20 weddings per year along with other social events. All of these career directions taught me something and helped shape me as a business woman. I had both positive and negative experiences but have looked at each in the same way- as opportunities to grow and become a better version of myself. I do feel that everything led me to where I am today and without these opportunities, I wouldn’t have the insight, confidence, experience and knowledge to be carrying out my biggest career dream.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Hmm…that is a tough question, especially considering that there are so many fun and exciting things to do in LA. Our adventure would definitely include great food, We would have to go to breakfast on one of the days at Jeoffrey’s which has the most beautiful ocean views. On one of the evenings I would take my BFF to the Inn at the Seventh Ray for a very special and dinner. For lunch we would go to Sugarfish or KazuNori. Shopping would have to happen! We would go thrifting at some of my favorite resale and consignment stores, like Crossroads Trading Company, The Closet Trading Company, and Wasteland. I would have to show her the Beverly Wilshire Hotel so that we could feel like princesses, even if it is just for a day. I wouldn’t want to miss out on taking her on a hike at Will Rogers park or in some of the secret paths of Temescal Canyon. It would have been fun (prior to COVID times) to experience the cool movie theater at Caruso’s Palisades Village. While, in the Pacific Palisades, we would practice the beauty of meditation at Lake Shrine. This sounds so fun- wish my best friend, who lives in Paris could join me tomorrow for all of this!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I owe so much of the credit to who I am as a person to the incredible role models that I have in my family members, especially my grandparents. I am beyond fortunate to have grown up where I got to know my great grandma, both my grandmas and my grandfather up until I was 34 years old. All of them were successful entrepreneurs. They instilled in me the belief that anything in life is possible, to believe in myself and my potential, and to always look forward. They also showed me that despite any situation, any time in history, you can prove yourself and find your purpose.
My great grandma, Anne worked in the 1940’s and managed some of the top hotel restaurants. My grandmother, Royle, in the 1950’s was the CEO of Revell, a toy company known for the original plastic model kits. My other grandmother, Penny was a professor for social and political movements in 18th and 19th century England. She wrote about women in history, particularly of those in the 18th and 19th century and published many books and articles for graduate studies. My grandfather, Edwin- was a self-made man- attended Harvard business school, an entrepreneur and the CEO for several public companies.
I feel beyond lucky that I got to call these incredible and inspiring people my grandparents. I believe that their wisdom and strong influence and positive impact on my life helped mold me into the person I am today.
Gina Main Photography