Kelly Cooper has never fit the mold of having a nine-to-five job. After spending 8 years traveling the world in the US Air Force, Cooper followed her military career by launching her own clothing label, Tomato Superstar. The brand is niched to school-aged girls, and the online boutique encourages girls to live authentically. For every purchase made, the brand gives money to non-profit organizations combating human trafficking and the marginalization of girls around the world.
Because Cooper wanted to spend more time with her children and husband, it’s no surprise that the brand was inspired by her daughter. Cooper consistently struggled to find sensibly priced, well made, and uniquely designed products for her daughter, and she finally decided to take matters into her own hands. She brought her incredible design talent to the table and paired it with a strong entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for uplifting the spirit of young girls, and the brand was born.
Once the brand was born, Cooper was free to spend time with her children while moving Tomato Superstar forward. She’s worked relentlessly to make her brands’ products as fashionable and affordable as possible, and is always seeking new avenues to market the brand. In fact, during Cooper’s first big photo shoot, she had a cactus stuck in her arm and was in excruciating pain as she remained professional with a large crowd of models and parents on site. It may sound like a funny story, but it’s a real representation of the tireless commitment Cooper has put into Tomato Superstar, and was a good omen alluding to how much she’s had to overcome to find success as an entrepreneur.
As for obstacles she’s had to face along the way, there have been plenty. The biggest one, she says, has been building a business from the ground up while parenting full time. It’s been stressful, has required all of her time and attention, but has been absolutely worth it in her eyes. Her family has been such a huge part of her journey and it’s extremely gratifying for Cooper to be able to share her accomplishments with them. On top of the memories she’s making with her family, undertaking her own business while raising two children has allowed her to give back to the local community as well.
Cooper has made several mistakes along the way, but she’s learned tremendously valuable lessons every step of the way. These mistakes have given her tremendous poise and confidence, and she has become much better at dealing with criticism and any negative energy directed at her brand. Being able to fight through adversity with a positive mindset has been huge for Cooper, and she advises anyone going through a rough time with their business to just keep going.
While Cooper has used her tremendous talents to design much of Tomato Superstar’s boutique, she has learned a ton from her mentor. Her mentor has a solid background in the fashion industry, and the merchandising lessons Cooper has learned from her mentor has been the difference between make or break for her business.
Even with all that she’s been through so far in her career between the military and entrepreneurship, Cooper is still learning. Tomato Superstar is off to a tremendous start and the brand has a solid foundation, but she feels as though it’s just the beginning for her as an entrepreneur and for Tomato Superstar as a brand. With her family by her side and her mind set on the business, Tomato Superstar is destined for great things all while raising money for tremendous causes to support girls and women worldwide.
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