#howimend Caroline Kolbe On Building Her Brand After Heartbreak


By Kate Paguinto

Caroline Kolbe is the #BossBabe behind Luella, an Austin-based brand known for its sassy tees and accessories. Her collection celebrates female empowerment and draws inspiration from unicorns, cotton candy and rosé.  

We got a chance to ask Caroline a few questions about her experience with heartbreak and she opened up to us about how staying busy and focusing on her business helped her stay #onthemend.

If you think back to the first time you were heartbroken, what advice would you give to that younger version of yourself?

"I feel like every break up I had in high school and college just felt like the world was ending. I’ve always been a tad dramatic, especially when I was younger. The advice that I would give to myself is just that everything is going to be okay! And the world is totally not going to end."

What has heartbreak taught you about yourself?

"Heartbreak has really taught me to be stronger and to love myself more. After you get through the initial ache of heartbreak, I always feel a lot of strong independent woman vibes. I don’t need a man! I can do everything on my own and still be amazing! I really try to practice self care while heartbreak is happening."

What are your rituals during a breakup?

"I always try to stay busy and not dwell too hard on it. I usually start working on some type of new project that I can throw myself into. I actually think that’s how I really started cracking down on making stuff for Luella this past year. I had a bad breakup after I first launched, and after that happened, I really tried to hustle even harder. And Luella is so cute/happy, it’s hard to feel sad all of the time while designing stuff for it. I also try to make sure to leave the house and make a lot of plans with friends to stay busy."

Thinking back to breakups you’ve had, did you have any breakup vices (checking your ex’s Insta, etc) and how do you conquer them?

"Oh gosh. I am totally guilty of checking ex’s social media. It’s so hard not to! You’re so use to having someone as a constant part of your life and then they’re gone. Eventually I realize I have to go cold turkey and then I make myself stop checking everything. It’s super hard, but something that’s necessary if you really want to get over someone and move on."

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about love so far in your life?

"Try to stay true to who you are when you’re in a relationship and don’t let anyone define you."

Do you think exes can be friends? Do you stay friends with your exes on social media?

"I think it really depends on the relationship you had. If the person was toxic, definitely do not try to be friends with them. For me though, I feel like it’s too hard to be friends with an ex. Maybe if a lot of time has passed and you’ve both moved on, you could make a friendship work. I usually do stay friends with exes on social media, but I try to limit how often I look at their posts. If it hurts too much, I’ll just unfollow/unfriend. Out of sight, out of mind."

What keeps your heart open, despite the heartbreaks you’ve had in your life?

"I guess just really knowing that there’s something great out there waiting for you. Obviously this relationship didn’t work for a reason. I’m just optimistic that there’s still hope for someone great!"

What is your favorite song about heartbreak?

"Smother by Daughter. Literally the saddest/most heartbreaking band ever - you will have chills."

What is your favorite movie about heartbreak?

"Oh definitely Blue Valentine. It’s an indie film with Ryan Gosling. Too good and so sad!"

What projects are you currently working on, and looking forward to most?

"Speaking of love, I actually just finished my Valentines collection! I am super excited about it. My brand, is very cute and girly, so Valentine’s stuff is right up my alley. I really hope people are as excited about it as I am! I am also really excited and hopeful for what 2017 brings!"

writer photo

Kate Paguinto

Kate is a Content Strategist and co-owner of Dizzy Cactus. She likes puns, Wes Anderson, and the Oxford comma.

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