Alumna founds clothing company
Jill Barwick | Monday, January 21, 2013
With multiple duties of being an entrepreneur, a wife, a mom, a daughter and a sister, Courtney Schultz, a 2010 graduate of Saint Mary’s College, is expanding her design company to include collegiate wear for women across the nation.
Schultz, who began Courtney Bock Designs (CBD) after graduation and lives in South Bend, discovered her passion for designing while she was still in school.
“CBD originally started in 2009 when my niece was born. I was a senior at Saint Mary’s and living in LeMans Hall,” Schultz said. “I had never sewed a day in my life until I was 20 years old. I started it and it was just this hidden passion and gift that I didn’t even know I had. I uncovered it and was obsessed.”
With her sister in labor, Schultz frantically tried to finish the gift she was making for her niece.
“I was up in my room with my grandma’s sewing machine until two in the morning while my sister was in labor, and I kept telling myself that I had to make this for the baby before she came,” Schultz said. “So CBD really started with baby gifts for my niece, and then it just kept tumbling into more things.”
Schultz’s mom, also a graduate of the College, owned her own boutique shop called Orange Tree where Schultz began selling some of her creations.
“While I was in school, I was my mom’s manager at Orange Tree. I was still doing CBD on the side during that time,” Schultz said. “When I got married after graduation, I moved out to Arizona with my husband. I didn’t have a job because it was a very short-term move, so that is when I pursued CBD 100 percent.”
Schultz moved back to South Bend after about five months, and she said the company has grown quickly since then.
While Schultz’s baby gifts sparked her interest in creating her own designs and apparel, she first learned how to sew by making an apron.
“I always thought that cute, frilly aprons were really adorable. Even to this day, cleaning and cooking and doing chores are just not some of my favorite things to do, but I always kind of felt that some of those mundane things should be made pretty,” Schultz said. “I think that’s the driving force of my philosophy for what I make now.
The entrepreneur said the aprons marked her first large, popular collection. Although she now focuses more on children’s apparel again, she continues to form her collections around these niche populations.
Schultz, whose younger sister currently attends Saint Mary’s, is now launching a collegiate line that focuses on everyday apparel and monograms. She polled college girls to discover what they were looking for in clothes.
Monogrammed items have become a huge trend across the nation, which Schultz said intrigued her when she was researching.
“This trend of monogramming has been so huge in the South forever and it is making an appearance now in the North,” she said. “I wanted to be one of the first in the area to really grasp onto that and put my own spin on it.”
While she can make any type of school pride item, Saint Mary’s products have always been a huge piece of Schultz’s lines.
“I love doing the Saint Mary’s College products. It holds such a place in my heart because I went here and it’s in my hometown. I love this place,” Schultz said. “I would love to kind of have a partnership with Saint Mary’s as far as apparel with them and having events here.”
Schultz said she is also looking to branch out to sororities and other organizations with a three-letter monogram.
Schultz said her Saint Mary’s education provided her with the confidence to begin her own company at such a young age, she said.
“The fact that I come from a family where my mom, a Saint Mary’s grad, was also an entrepreneur, and there is just this empowerment where if you want to do it, then go do it,” Schultz said. “I do feel very well equipped to ask all of the right questions, be a business owner, be running my own successful brand and I don’t know if I would have had that confidence had I not gone to a women’s college where they really instill that kind of confidence into their students.”
Using the code SMCND15, customers can take 15 percent off of any item off www.courtneybockdesigns.com now through Friday, Jan. 25.
For more information about Courtney Bock Designs, visit http://www.facebook.com/Courtneybockdesigns/
Contact Jillian Barwick at