Today we’d like to introduce you to Hatice Rosato.
Hi Hatice, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I moved to DC in 2004 to pursue a college degree but the money I saved working four years after high school was quickly gone in the first year. So I started my own business while studying International Business at Robert H. Smith at UM. I thought I had enough experience and I knew what was missing in the local market! I rented a kiosk outside of a very busy movie theater and a popular French restaurant in downtown Bethesda. I imported home goods and accessories from several different countries such as Bali, Vietnam, Madagascar, and Turkey.
The kiosk was the best thing that ever happened to me! I learned at school. I practiced in real life in real-time. I made enough money to pay most of my tuition myself and held part-time jobs in the winter and focused on my education. It was a great arrangement! After graduating from college, I felt ready to lease a brick and mortar so I opened a shop in Bethesda and started searching for sustainable natural fibers. I also found and saved a lot of dead stock European labels that were all made in Turkey. I was able to bring better fabrics and a more modern style to the local market. In Bethesda and most of DC, the retail scene was mostly dominated with luxury brands or cheap mass-produced fashion, but not much in between. The shop was loved, and I enjoyed learning more, but it was time to close and focus on the family when my son was diagnosed with severe allergies at 7th month. After taking a couple of years and helping my hubby opened his dream restaurant, I decided to go back to business in 2017 and started designing jewelry which I have been selling at several local shops and events. I am currently working on a sustainable fiber portfolio and learning more about circular economy and zero waste products. I decided to focus on the environment and invest in people who need the opportunity. We are currently expanding and looking forward to getting out of my basement studio soon.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It is never a smooth road if you are doing something for the first time, and being an entrepreneur for so long has taught me that there will be a lot of first times all the time. There is no guidelines for something you are creating from scratch, something you are building with your own vision.
Most of my struggles come from people who aren’t genuine, and unfortunately, in the business world, there is a whole lot of them. “Find your tribe” isn’t just a hashtag, it is the people who shape you and you are the one who shapes your business. Surround yourself with the right people. Anything is possible!
Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I currently design and curate accessories for several local shops and collective maker/artist pop-ups. I like to think I am specializing in handmade jewelry, sustainable natural fibers, and zero waste products. I am known for my jewelry collections; Little Black Jewelry and Colors in Nature. I am most proud of the people I get to work with, partner with, collaborate with.
I don’t really know what sets me apart, but I think because of my experience, I understand the local demographic, and because of my education, I know how it should be done. I have a couple of decades of experience in retail and business, and I truly prioritize planet and people over profit. At this point of my life, I don’t want to create or sell anything that I am not proud of.
Is there something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
I started working when I was nine. I worked in the summer and went to school the rest of the year most of my life until I was 29. I am the first person to ever get a college degree in my family, and of course, for a long time, they had a hard time understanding why I wasn’t getting a job at a corporation.
- Jewelry $19-$179
- Linens $12-72
- Clothing $39-$345
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.definitionstudiodc.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/definitionstudio/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Definitionst
Profile Photo is by Leah Judson Product Photos; Jewelry by Aphra Adkins Linens by Buse Peker