GAZELLE STL Vol. 1 Issue 3. - Page 57

ON ENTREPRENEURSHIP Even as a child growing up on a small farm, I liked dressing up. I would sneak some of my mom’s dresses, shoes and hats out to the barn and pretend I was in a fashion show. FEARS? I rarely allow myself to have fears. If I have something I want to do, I just do it. Thoughts of failing are not part of my life. I allow my life to evolve. If too many road blocks appear (and they have to be big road blocks), I reevaluate what and where I am going. MOTIVATION My mother taught me how to sew when I was ten, so I began learning about different types of fabrics and eventually, made a lot of my own clothes. While working for the federal government as a civilian employee, I earned a bachelor’s degree in social psychology and a master’s in management through night and weekend classes. One of my positions while working for the government was Director of Protocol for a 55,000-person, worldwide, major command. That evolved into the founding of my first business, Etiquette Plus. After retiring from my thirty-seven-and-ahalf-year, civil service career, I began teaching etiquette classes, including little girl etiquette and tea classes. To make it more fun, I provided big-girl party dresses, gloves, purses, and made elaborate hats for them to wear. They loved them! Then about twelve years ago, my older sister asked me to make a red hat for her. I had never heard of the Red Hat Society at that point, even though I discovered it was “big” in this area and getting bigger. I made my sister a red summer hat, then she wanted a winter one and before long, I was overwhelmed with hat orders. I sold them in various boutique shops from Springfield, Illinois, to Lake of the Ozarks, St. Louis and St. Charles, and was asked to be a vendor at many events with, by this time - all colors of hats. Each hat or fascinator I make is a one-ofa-kind original design. I founded my hat business as Dianne Creations in 2002, and since changed it to HATS by DI-Anne in 2012 to more specifically describe my creations. I believe life is a process of continuous learning and making yourself a more knowledgeable and better person. As an extrovert, people and new things give me energy. I also believe in helping and mentoring ot