How K-DEER Got Started: 

“After I lost my fashion design job during the recession, I found yoga. After my old soccer shorts failed me, I designed and made my own yoga shorts. With my own positive experience and great feedback from friends, I decided to start making them for others," Kristine said.

"Before I knew it, I was selling on my Etsy page and in my first year, handmade over 800 pairs of shorts in my childhood bedroom."

“I moved into a studio space, hired the help of a local production company to help me sew and began to grow. I’ve learned how to run a business by just doing it, but applied for the SCORE program to get some more advice and guidance from business owners and manufacturing professionals.

“My company is thriving, changing with the seasons, learning from all our experiences and gaining global recognition from buyers, editors and stylists around the world.”

How SCORE Helped: 

“SCORE has been that added level of accountability, guidance and confidence that I lacked very early on in running a business.

“As a designer, the business came almost secondary, and I lacked organization in financials and business-related decisions. As we continued to meet, the guys encouraged me to get necessary things done and gave me deadlines to feel accountable to. Running K-DEER on my own, accountability was something I needed, as it was very easy to get overwhelmed with my growing and successful business.

“They also introduced me to a marketing expert who I’ll continue to communicate with as our marketing strategy evolves. SCORE has given me access to a lot of great support.”

My Successes: 

K-DEER's clothing has been featured in national publications including Us Weekly, Shape, and Fitness Magazine. Stars such as Jordin Sparks, Naomi Campbell and Brooke Burke-Charvet have worn K-DEER's fashions.

K-DEER clothing is eco-friendly and made in the USA. "We design our prints and styles all-in house, meaning we don’t copy other brands or ‘knock-off’ what has already been done," Kristine said. "We print our American fabric and manufacture our garments locally in New Jersey and New York City."

What's Great About My Mentor?: 

“Chuck has always offered his own experiences from running a manufacturing company, helping me understand the little nuances that you get with 30+ years of business experience. From analyzing my options about doing trade shows to breaking down my supply chain issues with the added element of financial responsibility, he’s been a guide in making decisions that I was afraid to make on my own.

“Chuck and Vic as a team are great, both [are] very aware of the numbers part of a business and I being more the creative type, they have helped me understand and gain confidence in my finances. They’ve given me great advice [on] getting the right accountant, hiring employees, making sure I have enough money in the bank for my next round of production, understanding my break-even numbers and operating costs, and lots of other elements to my financials I hadn’t taken into account.”