Q&A Spotlight: Elizabeth Kott, Founder of ClosetRich.
Detroit raised fashionista who launched her career working for some of the top fashion boutiques and magazines in the region. While laying down her roots in California, she focused on coupling this movement with her knowledge and understanding of the retail and fashion industries. Elizabeth played a key role working for Rachel Zoe in developing and executing her digital media strategy and later in 2011 went on her own conceptualizing a beautifully curated online consignment and vintage boutique which know lives as ClosetRich. ClosetRich has become the online shopping destination to discover pre-loved and vintage finds directly from the private closets of fashion’s most “in the know”. When she’s not personally visiting homes of her clients to help streamline their closets, she dabbles in photography and moonlights as a creative brand consultant.
Q&A Spotlight: Elizabeth Kott, Founder of Closet Rich
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I grew up in the Detroit suburbs, and transplanted to LA at the age of 22 in pursuit of sunshine and dreams of a career that melded fashion, new media and entertainment. At the time, I had absolutely no concrete idea of what exactly that would be, however, in the 4+ years since said pilgrimage, I am thrilled to report that not only has my sunglass collection grown exponentially, but I have since helped launch two fashion companies: Closet Rich as well as Cotton Citizen, a luxury basics company for men and women. And recently, had the incredible opportunity to bring a Closet Rich YouTube concept to life with the help of with Magical Elves (creators of Top Chef and Project Runway) which now airs on their channel, The Stylish. Other items of note: I love making up words, cooking and the internet and loath paper receipts.
How did you get started in the fashion world and what was it like working on Rachel Zoe's media strategy?
I started interning in college in both the entertainment pr and fashion sectors…my first “big break” was as an intern at HOUR Magazine – a beautiful Detroit-based glossy magazine. The day my name was credited as the fashion intern in the magazine I was completely floored (this issue always sits by desk in my office). After graduating and moving to LA – I began my career working in event-driven product placement and creative marketing, and then landed a position on Rachel Zoe’s digital team helping to conceptualize and build her online newsletter, The Zoe Report.
The experience I gained when working on Rachel’s media strategy team was unparalleled. At this time, an online newsletter concept such as The Zoe Report was very much uncharted territory. Few public figures, not to mention one of Rachel Zoe’s expertise had touched the format. Creatively it felt very much a start-up. Professionally, I was able to wear so many hats and it was excellent training ground for launching my own projects.
We absolutely love Closet Rich! Can you tell us more about Closet Rich and the inspiration behind it?
Thank you! Basically I sat on both ends of the spectrum myself, my friends and counterparts in the industry were all faced with too many fabulous things with no equally as fabulous option for getting rid of them. And as a shopper, I wanted to know where all the “fashion girls” were unloading their goods. I craved a stress free service that provided an opportunity for my closet’s castaways to find new homes either through sale or donation. Thus, Closet Rich was born at its core, Closet Rich is a curated fashion consignment site, gaining its inventory from private clients who work in fashion and entertainment. We work to sell our clients’ items or donate them to LA based charities on our clients behalf.
Did you think that you would ever go off on your own after working for Rachel Zoe?
I guess, unknowingly I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Someone once described me as “solution oriented” and I liked that description. My absolute favorite thing in the world is bringing creative ideas to life. Doing this regularly and assisting others in bringing their visions to life is what I love most about my profession.
What is your personal motto or mantra? I have many, today's is: Do what you can, when you can.
What’s your biggest lesson learned to date in your career? My gut instinct is the best business partner i could ever ask for.
Who are your style icons?
Richard Avedon, every 90’s super model, ever…. and my friend’s 7-year-old daughter, Archer, she kills it.
If you could give one piece of advice to anyone looking to start their own company, what would it be?
Know your “Why”.
Alexis Jones, co founder of one of my favorite orgs, I AM THAT GIRL, gave me this one. When I was in the very beginning stages of creating Closet Rich, she suggested I write down my vision and reasoning for doing what I was doing… what she called the “why”. This “why” is an excellent reminder tool in challenging moments. Also, this “why” is an astounding marker in seeing what has transpired since Closet Rich was but an idea.
Who were/are your mentors? What did they teach you?
I am blessed with an ever-developing tribe of teachers and support, one member that automatically comes to mind is Kristin Reiter- she has she taught me the power of vision and the importance of fearlessness.
How can readers find you and where can we find out more about Closet Rich?
YouTube: Closet Rich
Tumblr: blog.closetrich.comThank you Elizabeth!