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Local mom uses business to empower women

Pictured is Diane Prince’s garage-turned-warehouse, where Winnie & Kat clothing articles are stored. Photo by Chris Bashaw/22nd Century Media
Diane Prince observes a mannequin sporting a top in her garage-turned-warehose. Photo by Chris Bashaw/22nd Century Media
Ashleigh Fryer, Senior Editor
6:53 pm PDT May 9, 2014

Malibu resident Diane Prince has no apprehension to say she wears the same clothes as her 11-, 13- and 15-year-old daughters. 

In fact, she believes that is the beauty of her women’s contemporary clothing company Winnie & Kat — it empowers women not just to own their style, but to own their independence, as well.

“All three of my daughters wear the pieces differently,” Prince said. “And that’s part of the fun — seeing how everybody translates their own style. That’s the biggest reason I started [Winnie & Kat]; I knew my daughters were watching me.”

Prince, who admits that she had the concept for the company long before the product, calls the business model she created for Winnie & Kat, “Mary Kay meets Tupperware with a California style; taking the old concept of direct sales and putting in a young, different vibe.” 

Prince works with a team of Los Angeles-based designers and manufacturers to create a 19-piece clothing line, which her 163 saleswomen sell in 46 states across the country. 

Prince has achieved this network in just more than one year in business. 

“I can now see a CEO of a company on the news and think, ‘If she can do that, I can do it, too,’” Prince said. 

Prince’s drive to create her company from scratch came from her experience as a recent divorcee, where she found herself rethinking her career path to support her family and better herself as a role model for her daughters. While she’d always been an entrepreneur, and had taken over and run her family’s business for several years, Prince was looking for a change. 

“I found myself in a position I never thought I’d be in,” Prince said. “I took it as an opportunity to recreate myself and create a legacy.”  

That legacy consists of a business model and a product that are both simple and diverse. Prince’s fashions include comfortable, well-made pieces that fit a variety of body types and are lightweight, soft and easy to layer. 

“You can wear our dresses with Converse, or throw on pumps for a cocktail party,” Prince said. “We created a product that wasn’t there. There wasn’t anything out there that fit the way I shopped or what I love. We’ve help simplify women’s wardrobes.”

Her business model is also easily adaptable to the lives of the various women who sell the product — her salespeople include high school teachers, stay-at-home moms and women looking to start a career working for themselves. Women can also get involved by hosting Winnie & Kat parties at their homes, which serve as trunk shows for their friends and family to shop for Winnie & Kat pieces in a familiar, intimate environment. 

“It’s entirely up to their drive to determine how much they make with this,” Prince said. “There’s no limit on what they can aspire to.”

For Prince, though, the independence her work provides her is what she hopes her daughters value most when they look at her now.     

“More than anything it’s a women’s empowerment company,” Prince said. “We all know we’re at the start of something really exciting and it’s coming from Malibu.”

For more information on Winnie & Kat or to get involved, visit www.winnieandkat.com.