Anne Skoch was a member of NEOVSF during her senior year at Kent State and we had the pleasure of interviewing her for our student profile series. From hearing about her high school business ventures to the recent success of her startup, Anne Cate, her entrepreneurial spirit shone bright even over the phone. Anne’s accomplishments are a great example of how anyone, at any age, can prosper in Northeast Ohio.
Thank you for taking the time to speak with us, Anne. Your story is great motivation for others pursuing their ideas and we’re excited to see what the future holds for Anne Cate!
How were you previously or currently involved in NEOSVF?
I was a member of Kent State’s chapter during my senior year.
Where is your current job and what is your position?
I am the Founder and CEO of Anne Cate, which I began pursuing full time after graduation.
That’s great! Can you tell us more about Anne Cate?
Definitely. Our main focus is canvas pursues with skyline prints, but we have been introducing other products such as pillows, vegan leather purses, and even baby attire. We’ve grown a really strong clientele over the years, expanding to 80 accounts across the country and into 18 states. We actually tripled our sales from last year and got our own manufacturing space in Cleveland, which was really exciting for us.
Did you always want to be an entrepreneur / part of a startup?
I’ve always loved to create and at age 13 I got into entrepreneurship by selling jewelry and bags I’d made on Etsy. I continued doing that through high school and in college I created the skyline stuff and began selling those on Etsy, which grew into what Anne Cate is today.
How has NEOSVF impacted you in work and/or everyday life?
The connections and contacts I made during NEOSVF have become close friends and great mentors for my business. Especially starting a business so young, it was great to see things from the other side while I was going through my entrepreneurial journey. I even used the due diligence template provided by NEOSVF to review a potential investment for Anne Cate.
What is one piece of advice you have for students?
Take advantage of resources while in school. I wouldn’t be where I am today without these opportunities. It can be scary, but it’s good to reach out to people and act on your ideas -- you never know where things might go!
How do you think your high school self would feel about where you’re currently at?
Very proud. I still question myself at times, but it was a dream come true to be doing this so early out of college. I’m able to provide myself an income with my own business, it’s a blessing and I’m very humbled by it.
What is one of your proudest student and/or career moments?
My proudest student moment would be winning the business pitch competition at Kent State. My proudest career moment would be owning the manufacturing studio or the amount of sales we had this past year -- which was an incredible accomplishment for us.
Do you have a favorite song at the moment?
I’m a huge Taylor Swift fan. Currently I really like her song Cruel Summer.
If you could be any animal what would it be and why?
I’d be a dolphin. They’re so majestic and incredibly smart, and they have the freedom of the ocean.