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Professor-Turned-Entrepreneur: How Communication Skills Guided Kane's Journey

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

“If you want to make your dreams a reality, you have to dive in,” Kane said. “Yes, it is hard work, but the reward is worth it."

From cruise director to interior decorator, college professor and entrepreneur, Stacie Kane’s career has been anything but boring. Along the way, her background in communications has helped fuel her success.

“I think that any small business owner – or any business owner for that sake – would agree that strong Stacie poses next to her sewing machine in her studio communications skills are essential to running a business,” Kane said. “I consider myself a strong communicator, and I know this has helped me immensely in my career.”

For the last 12 years, Kane has worked to share her expertise with students at St. Louis Community College. Typically, she teaches oral communications at Meramec, but she’s also taught public speaking for the College.

“I love what I teach because it’s a fun subject that’s very interactive,” she said. “The really cool thing about these courses is that they allow students to dabble in a lot of different realms – from perception and self-concept to verbal communication, nonverbal communication, small group communication, public speaking, interviewing and more. I always encourage my students to take as many communications classes as they possibly can because I know these skills will help set them apart from the rest."

"I always encourage my students to take as many communications classes as they possibly can because I know these skills will help set them apart from the rest."

In addition to teaching, Kane tapped into her creative side when she launched i.e., a collection of handmade washable textile bags, in 2018. Since then, she has invested time and energy into building a  several i.e. bags are stacked in an organized pilesustainable, eco-friendly brand under the tagline, “Driven by cause, handmade with care.” Her merchandise is not only chic, but the textile is also certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council.

“I am fortunate to have been commissioned for many of my creative talents over the years. However, it wasn't until I fell in love with a rugged paper textile that I decided to open my online shop,” Kane said. “I absolutely love creating, so the design part is really fun for me.”

Each product Kane sells is a labor of love. On her company website, customers can choose from 10 different styles that she will personalize with their preferred trim and stripe combinations.

“My products are unique because they are made out of a highly durable natural wood pulp cellulose fiber that feels like leather, but washes like fabric,” she said. “This makes variety of i.e. clutches float in a pool for an extremely classy purchase that you can enjoy for a very long time.”

While Kane currently does all the design and production herself, she has goals of expanding her company in the future. A self-described “worker bee,” she would not have it any other way.

“If you want to make your dreams a reality, you have to dive in,” Kane said. “Yes, it is hard work, but the reward is worth it. You don’t want to look back with regret because you did not get started sooner.”

To explore Kane’s collection of handmade washable goods, visit iethatis.com, or follow her on Instagram @ie.thatis.

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