Whether you’re new here or have been with us from the beginning, first off, Welcome and second you may not know why I decided to start Atelier Kate, what the origin story is for the idea. Maybe you’ve heard me say it in a podcast or in an interview but I rarely dive into it on our social media or website and I realize that’s probably an oversight on my part.
This story begins on a gray Parisian day (are there any other?), in an office whose name shall remain a mystery. I was an overworked and underpaid low-level nobody making my way in the city of fashion with not one single ounce of desire in my mind to become a designer. I went to school for design, I love the design but my goal always was to be a buyer for a big store and spend other people’s money using my skills. However, I was in this office and a shipment fresh out of the factory (somewhere in India) was ready to be unpacked and hung up in the showroom. The bulk of my job at this point was unpacking and repacking boxes either in the showroom or in the dungeon below over a furnace, where I would often strip off multiple layers of clothing for fear of passing out or dying from heatstroke. I digress. This box of sweaters that arrived would be the beginning of my journey as an entrepreneur and as a sustainable designer. I was unpacking this box of sweaters and there was a chemical smell that was so harsh and overpowering that I got sick and had to go home. On my way home that day I thought about how sick I was and felt so sorry for myself and then my mind (eventually, after I got over myself) turned to the people in the factory who are breathing in these chemicals every day in massive quantities. This wasn’t my first fashion job in fact it wasn’t even my fifth fashion job but it was my wake-up call.
The next day after work I met up with my best friend for drinks (she worked for the same place) and I said “how can we do this better?” we sat and brainstormed and that’s how and why Atelier Kate was born. It was born from the need and desire to be better to people who create the armor we go through life in and to the planet that gives us what we need to thrive.
So that’s our story and those are the core values that we use when approaching new projects, new ideas, and our daily interactions with the people who cross our paths. Are we perfect? No. But do we try every day to make beautiful things that are better than they were the day before? Yes!
So if you didn’t know, now you know, Atelier Kate came from a little upset and a lot of love!