HANCEVILLE, ALA. – Katie Fine made it a point to participate in campus activities when she was enrolled at Wallace State from 2009-2011.
“It made me feel good to get involved any way I could. It helped me become more confident in myself and around my peers.” Fine said. “I’ve always felt it’s good to try something new. You may love or hate it, but you never know until you try it.”
Today, as owner of Karma’s Coffee House in Cullman, Fine is brimming with confidence and gratefulness as one of the area’s youngest entrepreneurs.
Stop by Karma’s and you may see a student group studying for an upcoming exam, a group of mothers congregating after dropping their kids off at school or someone tinkering with their guitar – all while enjoying a beverage from the coffee bar, a smoothie or a flatbread sandwich.
Behind the counter is Fine and her staff, greeting each customer with a smile.
Fine, a 2008 Cullman High graduate, completed dual enrollment courses at Wallace State before beginning full-time on campus. While in Hanceville, Fine was a staff member of The Mane Issue newspaper and also partook in multiple campus events.
Meanwhile, she worked at Berkeley Bob’s Coffee House in Cullman, where she also met fellow Wallace State classmates to study for tests and class projects.
The 26-year-old Fine transferred to Auburn University from Wallace State and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in rehabilitation and disabilities studies in 2014.
While attending both Wallace State and Auburn, Fine kept open the idea of one day returning to the Cullman area and managing a coffee shop, but eventually the idea of opening her own coffee shop appealed to her even more.
Karma’s Coffee House opened its doors in Cullman’s Warehouse District in July 2015 and has blossomed ever since.
“There were many challenges to making it become a reality. I heard ‘no’ many times before I got a ‘yes.’ My goal has always been to create an environment where people can come in and feel comfortable, whether they are doing some work or looking for a spot to unwind,” Fine said. “I’ve worked hard to make sure you see different groups of people in here. You may come in and see a small church group meeting, a nursing student studying or another group over here enjoying coffee and talking about Plexus.”
In Wallace State’s recent commercial campaign, Fine said she gained ‘confidence’ as a student at the college, and it helped her mature into the young professional she is today.
“If someone comes into our shop and they aren’t sure about where to go to college, I tell them how much it benefitted me to stay at home and go to Wallace State. When I was at Wallace State, I learned so much about how to be a college student and how to mature as a person. I don’t think I would have focused as well if I had went off right away to a four-year college,” Fine said. “I completely recommend students going to Wallace State.”
Fine’s path to becoming an entrepreneur began at Wallace State and today Wallace State’s business program even offers an entrepreneurship option. Spring 2017 registration is currently underway at Wallace State and continues until Jan. 10. Students can register for classes at http://www.wallacestate.edu/register-now.
Watch the promotional campaign featuring Fine here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSy1yU8BMUg
Fine, who completed business classes at Wallace State and Auburn, has established Karma’s as one of the top destination spots in the Warehouse District. In a little over a year, the business has added the opportunities to host wedding showers and features live music on weekend nights. Fine, who tries to maintain a staff of eight employees, has also expanded the Karma’s menu to offer a variety of breakfast selections.
“We want everyone to feel at home here. Being on this side of things can be stressful sometimes, so when you hear people say they love and enjoy their time here, that’s what it’s all about. That’s what makes it worth it,” Fine said.
Karma’s Coffee House is located at 103 1st Ave. NE Suite 140 in Cullman.
For more information about Wallace State, visit www.wallacestate.edu.
Wallace State Community College
P.O. Box 2000, Hanceville, AL 35077
1-866-350-9722 256-352-8443 direct
Visit us online at www.wallacestate.edu
Communications & Marketing Director
Wallace State Community College
801 Main Street NW | Hanceville, AL 35077
Office: 256.352.8118 | Cell: 256.339.2519 | Toll Free: 866.350.9722
Be One of Us. Visit us online at www.wallacestate.edu.