Today’s Women in Business interview is the lovely Katie of JKath Design Build + Reinvent. Katie and I have been friends for a few years now through a few different avenues. She leads my Business Women Circle group (a group of fiercely intelligent women who are well on their ways of making a huge impact in their respective industries), sells Cabi clothing (which I have grown to love with each new season) and works with her husband Jesse to do some of the beautiful home remodels in the Twin Cities (which I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with her on home styling opportunities).
Katie is kind, loyal and as smart as they come. Without further ado, meet my girl Katie!
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself (family, work, etc).
I’m Katie, celebrating my 40th this month. Feeling ready to enter a new decade, it feels like I’ve earned this right of passage and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. I am newly married to Jesse and we have a blended family of 5. We also own Jkath Design Build and are also celebrating our 8th year of business. When we can we travel often, we love to get out to the West Coast and take time out in our favorite beach community, Cannon Beach. We also love a quick getaway to a vibrant city to experience culture, good food and mostly just down time to invest in ourselves. Our kids are 10,10 and 12 and keep us busy .. and tired.
2. How did your business get started?
Jesse founded the company in 2010 as a cabinet shop, he was in corporate America with an MBA and left his career to go off on his own. The business grew fast, I joined this efforts in 2014. What started as a slow trickle of business development quickly evolved into full interior design, marketing, and you guessed it .. collabs with my fellow design influencers.
3. What is your favorite part about having your own business?
Undoubtedly owning my calendar and loving what I do. The feeling of there is never enough hours in the day, but the excitement to get back at it. The creative juices keep me going back for more and the ongoing design challenges we face keep this business ever evolving and on my toes.
4. What does community over competition mean to you?
We’ve talked about this so many times. I think there is a trust component here. I am a huge fan of community, whenever and wherever possible. Especially for those of us at it alone in our fields/business. But I also feel we need to be cautious about how we hand our hard earned talents and relationships out. Let’s keep the positive vibes and gestures moving back and forth, take care of one another and be smart about who we collaborate with. This means something different to a lot of people, so assuming your intentions are others isn’t always the case. But in general, when we collaborate we are stronger together, our voice is louder and our impact is greater. I am all in!
5. What have been some of your most favorite collaborations to date?
We did a whole house renovation/restoration in late 2016. I brought together 10 brands to style and stage the entire main floor for a full day lifestyle shoot. There was content for all brands and ongoing cross tagging and brand exposure across all media channels. This collaboration paid itself forward again and again.
I am also headed to Design Chicago in October and I am really excited about this collaboration as an educational opportunity for me to dive into the fall/spring trends and product releases. More to come ..
6. How do you feel collaborations have helped your business?
I feel they have helped gain exposure, like minded brand awareness. And mostly, it has deepened friendships with people I hadn’t expected to be close with. I can’t put a value on this, it’s worth more than the above.
7. What are ways someone could get started with collaborations?
Ask the question. Find brands that are aligned with yours, even if slightly, and think creatively about how to bring the platforms together. Is it though design, imagery, staging, hobbies, plants to name a few examples. And you don’t have to have all the answers, make time to come together, create content and see where it goes.
8. Who are people you feel are killing it in the collaboration side of business?
Honestly, this is a hard question for me. I don’t see as many collaborations like I used to. Brands that I work with that have been generous are Warners Stellian, Monogram Appliances, Jeffrey Court Tile, and Mercury Mosaics.
9. What’s something we need to know about you (anything random, fun, etc)?
Guilty pleasure .. cheap birthday cake. With all the frosting, corner piece.
I balance it out with a good HIIT running class, currently addicted to Fly Feet Running
I take collagen every morning, have been for 2 years.
I work really hard everyday to drink 1/2 my body weight in water, this is seriously the hardest thing I do most days.
I love hotels. It means no responsibilities, even for just a night.
10. How can we find you? (website, social handles, etc)
Thanks, Katie for sharing your story with us! I hope you loved hearing from Katie as much as I loved having her on here.