By Kat Worrall
It all started with a $10 purchase of a domain name – paizlee.com.
From there, Baylor alumnae Katie Henry and Emily Rawls built their online fashion site, Paizlee, and at 6 p.m. today in 403 Cashion Academic Center, they will be giving entrepreneurial advice on how they did it.
The event is free and open to the public. Henry and Rawls’ talk will be followed with a trunk show full of Paizlee merchandise.
The event is presented by Baylor Business Women.
The 2008 graduates did not think they would own their own shopping site. Henry, a business major, and Rawls, a communication studies major, worked together at Common Grounds as students.
After graduation, they were both in jobs that, Rawls said, left them wanting more.
“We both were kind of in jobs that left us a bit unfulfilled,” Rawls said. “I think Katie and I like to be in charge. We wanted to be our own boss.”
With the domain purchase, it began. Both Henry and Rawls invested $2,000 into the company and after six months of planning, the shopping site was launched in August 2012.
Within three days, they had made back their original investment.
Starting small, rather than putting all of your savings into a startup business, is one of the tips Henry and Rawls said they would give students.
“Once you test it and see that you enjoy it and have a following, you just build it each day,” Henry said. “You’re not stuck with forms of debt and overwhelmed if it doesn’t take off.”
Soon after the launch, most of Paizlee’s merchandise was sold out, and they had to quickly order more.
“The biggest thing that I recommend to people is to just attempt it and do it at a low cost,” Henry said. “You can really test the market and see if there is something out there without breaking the bank.”
Henry and Rawls created their business without any outside help, besides contracting a graphic designer for their logo and the occasional photographer.
Learning as they go, with a mistake every now and then, is another key factor Rawls said led to their success.
“The best way to learn what’s right is by doing what’s wrong,” she said. “You’re going to make mistakes, and you can’t be afraid of them.”
As Paizlee continues to grow, Henry said she believes their success isn’t the deciding factor, but rather doing something both she and Rawls enjoy with a person they enjoy working with.
“When you’re happy in what you do, it really makes all the difference over the financial benefit of a high-paying salary,” she said.