Your Name: Kellyn Timmerman

Business Name: feNa, a maker of handbags, fragrances, and accessories

Type of Business: Clothing & Accessories

Business Location: San Diego, California, United States


Reason for starting
After dedicating nearly 15 years to the Architecture Profession, I was laid off in 2008 a mere 2 months after receiving my California License. This challenging situation afforded me the gift of time to reevaluate my life and career goals. To work incredibly hard for something and have someone else determine my fate was the turning point for me, and the reason I started feNa.

Biggest Success
Having enough trust, belief and courage within myself to follow a passion that I had no background in – in a less-than-booming time in the economy. This can raise a lot of eyebrows, but it can also be inspiring to others. Learning that I’ve inspired a few people to go after their dreams is a success that simply can’t be measured!

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
Funding. During my “gift of time” period, I had to take my already-frugal lifestyle and turn it up a notch. I’ve translated this very well into the business. I think about everything I spend and ask: is it adding value to the company? Starting with a larger pool of working capital might’ve made me less thoughtful about what I spend on networking, marketing, vendor booths, etc.. I believe this can only benefit feNa as I move forward, as it is instilled in me how to stretch the dollar!

Who is your most important role model?
Months after launching the business, I started to look at the world different. Every single thing around us is there because someone had an idea and took it to fruition. I have this newfound appreciation, respect and admiration for everyone and anyone that has ever done this or even tried to do this. These are my most important role models!