Hey Kate, thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for our Goddess spotlight!
I am a huge fan of Kat The Label and I have loved seeing the brand grow over the years!
Tell us a little bit about Kat and why you started.
I first discovered sewing and fashion when I was about 15 - I was a tiny kid so none of my clothes would ever fit properly. I started altering a lot of my clothes with this toy sewing machine and eventually moved onto sewing things from scratch. Once I got to university I was studying journalism and realised that nope, fashion is where my passion is so I switched courses and studied fashion design and tech at RMIT.
After studying lingerie at RMIT I was a little lost in what I wanted to do for my career, and was tinkering around on my sewing machine as usual and made a pretty little lace bralette (the Serendipity bralette that is my biggest seller today!). I’d put photos on Instagram and share my creations with friends, and that’s when random people would start to follow me and request to purchase. And it all really happened so organically through there.
At the moment, it’s the Intern with Anne Hathaway (I am probably trying to live through it a little haha)
Red wine or white?
Morning person or night person?
You know I don’t even think I am either. But I do like to make the most of the day so I’ll say morning!
If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?
The Greek islands or Mexico! Somewhere I can lie on a beach and hide from social media for a little while.
Where and how do you work best?
I work best in my new HQ- a small converted red brick warehouse in Moorabbin. I was in the home office the last 2 years so its so nice to be able to finally stretch out in a warehouse.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
The best advice I’ve received even though it sounds cliché is slow and steady wins the race. Keep persistent, even on the hard days.
I would say that ‘a year from now you’ll wish you started’ which stops me procrastinating.
Who are your biggest influences? Who do you admire most? Who or what inspired you to do what you’re doing now?
Its great to see that these successful people who’ve built businesses or changed the world are normal, regular people who just don’t give up. These early start up days of mine are so relatable to what Sophia has written about so it's comforting to know that everyone makes mistakes or has no idea what they are doing, or has to eat noodles for a week.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Biggest challenge so far would be managing the digital marketing side of the business. Everything grew so organically that I didn’t bother investing in paid advertising early enough, and am finding it hard to keep up now. Facebook ads will be the death of me.
What’s your best advice for handling criticism?
I try to just shrug it off- either people are jealous or have just had a shit day. We often get internet trolls on Instagram comments but I always keep an open floor so if anyone has an issues I just explain we are a small business there is only so much I can manage at this stage (or I just block the idiots).
What’s next for you and Kat The Label?
I am hoping to expand my wholesale presence the next 6 months, and put some effort into the US. I’d also love to move into other categories like sleepwear or swim, but think that might be a little down the track.
If a young girl or boy walked up to you asking for your advice on life, what would it be?
Work hard on what you love. I was a super average student, but I’d come home and sew all night. Then that weekend I’d turn up to an event in a new dress I’d made. If you have a passion, pursue it in your own time, not just when you’re getting paid or at school.
For us, lipstick is something which gives us that extra boost of confidence, what gives you confidence to take on each and every day?
I actually love wearing my Lou Lou Lips for a little extra confidence! Working alone and from home a lot, its so refreshing to add a little lippy and take on the days challenges, makes you sit up a little straighter!