Deanna Hotchkiss, Founder and CEO of Up2tempo
For Deanna Hotchkiss, founder and CEO of Up2tempo, her love for fashion runs deep. As a teen, her favorite part of the day was getting ready for school. “I use to dress all my friends in high school and college and help them get ready before we went out,” says Hotchkiss.
She attended the University of Cincinnati and graduated from the DAAP program with a degree in fashion design/product development. She spent many years in different areas of the Fashion Industry and has been in Retail Sales, Fashion Merchandising, and Fashion Design.
She then spent time as a Personal Shopper at Neiman Marcus in West Palm Beach, where she gained experience shopping and styling many clients (including several celebrities!). Hotchkiss was even the head wardrobe stylist for a movie and a fashion stylist for many photo shoots.
“As a busy mom of three, family has always been a priority to me,” says Hotchkiss. “My priority were my children and my family and like most women my needs took a backseat to my kids needs I created Up2tempo to make the lives of my fellow sisters much easier by providing my customers with their own personal shoppers.”
Not only does it give moms a chance to get out and relax with friends, it allows you to get what you need such as clothing that is affordable, comfortable, and stylish.
The inspiration behind the business was that Hotchkiss wanted to do something that she loves but also give back to moms that give everything to their family’s and let them know “no matter what they are doing a good job because being a mom is tough work rewarding but tough.”
The name Up2tempo means living life with optimism and always being upbeat. The word Tempo means to keep a steady pace. She wants to instill in children and empower women to follow their dreams and keep a steady pace in life despite the challenges that come your way.
She also gets to help women dress and give them some much needed pampering. Most people cannot afford to pay a personal stylist and this way everyday extraordinary women get what every woman deserves. “Women do so much for everyone else that I wanted to create something that builds women up and puts their needs first,” says Hotchkiss.
The business is a direct sales business concept, modeled after businesses such as Pampered Chef, but with clothing instead of cookware. The clothing changes with the season and there are two selling seasons Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer.
According to Hotchkiss, Up2tempo brings affordable comfortable clothing to you through a trained personal stylist while enjoying a fun, relaxing “girls night in” with friends.
|Fashions of Up2tempo|
Hotchkiss recently started the business in September and had her first trunk show at her home and it took off from there. “I have been booking parties like crazy,” says Hotchkiss. “Women love the concept and they love that it is affordable and quality clothing. I had my first official launch party in November with Cincy Chic. I have sold out of several items and had to reorder almost everything.”
The future is bright for Up2tempo, Hotchkiss says. She plans on hiring a few consultants for this spring and she has also had girls in other states call to become consultants. She sees this business being the next big thing for direct sales.
The biggest lesson of all though, Hotchkiss says, has been to balance everything through her family. “I am fortunate to have a loving husband who is a fire fighter and donates his time to helping others,” she explains. “His schedule allows him to help with my three beautiful children who I hope to leave a legacy for.”