Today I am SO excited to share with you something that is totally different from what I usually do. A few weeks ago I had the privilege of meeting Katie at her studio close to Lancaster, PA, and learning more about her gorgeous handbags, and the reason behind her business, A Girl Named Katie.
Colorful, geometric, boho-inspired, AND making a difference?
Um, yes please.
M O R E I N F O
Here are some Q + A's answered by the girl behind the bags herself.
Who is Katie? I am the designer and creator of A Girl Named Katie as well as a wife to my high school sweetheart and the mother of a beautiful baby girl.
What inspired you to become a designer? I knew I wanted to be a fashion designer from a fairly young age. I learned how to sew at age 6. I was easily bored by sewing patterns in the store and wanted to add my own elements to my clothing. I remember watching the runway shows on Fashion TV when I was 11. I had a notebook filled with clippings of clothing I liked and began illustrating my ideas.
Where do you find inspiration for your designs? My designs are inspired by bohemian elements including colors and shapes. I love the look of clean designs that are still interesting to the eye in rich colors.
How did A Girl Named Katie start? I started sewing handbags right after graduating high school. I started with one handbag I designed for my mom as a gift and then began making make up bags with a ruffle front in various prints. I started selling bags at craft shows. I still remember the first time I spotted someone wearing one of my bags. It was very exciting to see and I felt full of pride, so I decided to officially take my hobby to a business in 2012.
What is the significance of your business name? I originally decided to call my business A Girl Named Katie because I wanted my line to be about a story. My first lookbooks were set in specific scenes depicting a certain girl, telling her story. The name has allowed people to get to know me and remember who I am. It’s a great conversation starter.
What made you want to start a business? I dreamed of owning a boutique since I was little. I use to play in my room, pretending my closet was a store. Owning a brick + mortar filled with handmade products is still my dream today. I am so passionate about this business and have been chasing this dream aggressively since I was 15. I took design classes on the weekend and illustration classes during the week while in high school.
What is unique about your business?Beautifully designed and well made products that are ethically made in the USA. I offer affordable designer products for the sophisticated boho-inspired woman.
What is ethical fashion? Fashion that is created without endangering the environment or people. This could be eco-friendly products, recycled products, or products made by makers that earn a living wage.
Why is ethical fashion important? To be a good steward of the Lord, we must not take the earth or other people for granted. One of my favorite scriptures in Luke 12 where we are instructed to take care of our neighbors and be wise with our money. By choosing to purchase ethically made products over products made in a sweatshop overseas, you are choosing to take care of other people and the environment. Fast Fashion is a large problem and you may feel like a small factor in the solution, but every little bit counts.
What makes your brand ethically made/environmentally conscious? I use recycled fabric which is either second hand from larger designers/manufacturers or yardage overage produced by the mill that would otherwise be thrown in a landfill. My products are made by hand in my studio located near Lancaster, PA by a team of talented seamstresses. I strive to design products that can transition into different looks providing you two styles in one bag such as our Two-Way Clutch and Reversible Tote which make them the perfect pieces for your capsule wardrobe.
Where can I find an A Girl Named Katie handbag? My products can currently be found in the online shop and select online boutiques and brick + mortars. You can see the list of stockists under our Info tab. You can also see behind the scenes pictures and previews of new products by following our instagram + facebook page.
Where do you see your business in the next 5 years? In the next 5 years I hope to own a brick and mortar to showcase my products and curated items made by talented local artists.
Head over to www.agirlnamedkatie.com to check out more of Katie's gorgeous handbags. And don't forget to head over to Facebook and like A Girl Named Katie to see more updates + new bags!!