With 2019 drawing to a close and the holiday season upon us I want to talk about 19 thinks I am grateful for this year. Because the expression of gratitude never goes out of style.
My family, friends and those friends that have become family.
These are the people I’ve shared with, laughed with, failed in front of (over and over and over and over again), cried in front of (over and over and over again), and who have cried infringe of me or with me and failed in front of me and we’ve loved each other through it all. This friends and family, that we all pick each other up and hold each other when it counts and hold space for each other when it’s needed and pray for each other everyday. Those who I am always eternally grateful for and whom without I don’t know how I would get through some days.
My time in Morocco.
So I have been blessed to have traveled in a few countries throughout my life and one of the countries I’ve been able to spend a lot of time in is Morocco. As most of you know my love affair with Morocco began a while back and while our honeymoon phase has faded the love is strong and deep. From the food to the culture and the people you won’t find a better place than Morocco. Even the difficulties I face in Morocco in terms of business didn’t keep me from reserving a special place in my heart for this amazing country.
So you can say this goes hand in hand with Morocco and that’s kind of true BUT Friday couscous is a scared moment that I’ve been able to share with my beautiful (adopted) Moroccan family. Every Friday I’m in Casablanca I get to share the table with at least four of the seven members of this amazing family. We exchange ideas, talk about our weeks and just connect. The most precious of moments around this delicious meal have been shared with the women in this family and that is something I cherish.
Coming back to Paris.
After being gone for a few weeks and coming back to Paris I get to fall in love with the city all over again. The sites, the smells, the order, the metro, the velib! It’s all here and within an arms reach. Being able to live between these two worlds has been such an incredible privilege and returning after some time away makes the relationship I have with the city feel new again.
This year was filled with professional failures and hard ones. Things I created that I was incredibly passionate about were stolen from me. People lied and cheated and didn’t cruel things which is always disappointing but as disappointing as they were I am grateful because 1. I always have more ideas so I’m happy to share some :) and 2. It’s taught me so much what not to do.
Both personally and professionally I’ve had to have a lot of patience and it’s being filled with growing pains because I am an Aires in Venus so literally all the things I want to rush into i.e business and love, my lesson is patience. This year I had a healthy dose and am proud of how I’ve been able to accept and let go! Haha
Without which I would not have been able to achieve above point of gratitude!
My amazing team of youngin’s
I am lucky to have some great people who work with me and I have to say this year the three who worked with me in my office were among the most talented and amazing bunch I’ve had. They were always contributing ideas and executing plans and next to me when the sh*t hit the fan. I appreciate them and the wine we drank and meals we shared together.
The trips I’ve taken
This year my mom moved from New York back to California and while that trip was mostly business we found a ton of pleasure driving across country together. I’ll probably post a blog about it because we got to see some cool stuff and if you’re in the states you should check some of these places out. Beyond the places we got to see I am gratiful for that time spent with my mom.
Being a co-pilot
One of my best friends is an architect in Morocco and because I have a create your own schedule type of job (more or less) I usually get to bum a ride to wherever he is going on building sites. This year I got to see Ouarzazate, Safi, Rabat and Oualidia in Morocco but truth be told I would go anywhere with him by my side to laugh and explore with. Oh and eat with!
The Team this Year
THIS YEAR WOW! I was soooo blessed that the universe sent me the most amazing people to work with. Some I've known for a while and some who are new friends but I don't think I would've gotten through the business lows of this year without these amazing creators! So where to start. I had some great interns who kept me sane and blew my mind at the knowledge that their young minds hold. They are awe inspiring and truly make me excited for the future! I have give some extra love to my dear Faty because she was my right hand woman for most of the summer and was with me through a lot of difficult business moments, some tears and a lot of wine! So thank you my love for being amazing! The team that I got to work with on the promotional video for CFW, Yaniel, Chrishauna and Mark. Y'all up the game and made my vision into a masterpiece on a shoe string budget and I will never be able to express my gratitude for that. I know the future holds many more projects for us to create together and I can't wait! To learn more about any of these amazing people click around Atelier Kate or visit their instagrams by clicking on their names.
There is a restaurant in Paris called Alilang and it is an amazingly delicious ALL YOU CAN EAT Korean BBQ restaurant off of line 7. So Alilang is a dining experience with me VERY few are allowed to witness because when you put “Korean BBQ” together with “all you can eat” it’s not my most attractive moment. This is we’ve known each other for a while so let’s spice it up type of eating. I’ve been known to open and close Alilang with no second thought. But the great thing about these nights is the laughter and company of those close friends who are there with me.
I am a big holiday person but Thanksgiving has always been a tricky one. While I adore the time honored tradition of sitting around the table with my family, taking an extra moment to be grateful and I love cooking so it all lines up but the origins of the holiday are awful so it's for sure a weird one which is why! this year I experienced my first Friendsgiving and it was a ton of fun. Living in a foreign country you often miss out on those special traditions but this year my girlfriends and I all got to make a new one together. It consisted of drinking a ton of wine, cooking and laughing our asses off until 3am. Highly recommended!
My little ball of fluff, my fur baby, my four legged friend. She is the bomb and keeps me sane. She is the one in this life who knows me best, seen me at my worst and still gives me a big hug (no joke, she puts a leg on each of on my hips and leans in) when I walk through the door. She is the best little buddy ever.
This year I have taken a lot of time to think about the direction my business, my life, my friendships and all that, failure makes you really look at things haha. And I have been able to readjust for the most part and some of that includes continuing my education to pursue a passion of mine, interior design. Although I've done it for many years for friends and family I am really excited to incorporate this into my official business life because I love it and any chance to be more creative is always a good thing in my book.
Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and Postmates
As an entrepreneur the nature is to take leaps of faith on projects and try to turn them into profitable businesses. Well sometimes, those leaps leave you in a ditch, bloodied, broken and your wallet a bit lighter. My example of this was Casablanca Fashion Week, If you've read earlier posts you may have come to understand that I tried, tried and tried again but in the end because I chose the wrong partners, failed HARD at creating a fashion week in Casablanca. However, the idea was so great two other people tried to steal it, I'm not bitter ;). Well, in that trying, my team and I created an amazing promo video and photos (see gratitude moment above) which I paid for from my personal pocket. Which I am super grateful that that money went to those people because they are worth SOOOOO much more! But in order to cover that loss I have spend many a day and night and early morning Ubering, Doordashing, Lyfting and Postmating my ass off. Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do as an entrepreneur and I'm grateful for all the drunkies, potheads and people too tired to go through the drive thru for refilling my accounts!
My iPhone 11 Pro
Ok ok ok... I know I know and I promise I am not generally this materialistic and no one paid me for this but I can honestly say that this phone has made my entrepreneur life so so so much easier. Between the quality of the photos and videos and the ease of use and integration with all my devices I sincerely am grateful I have the means to have a tool like this at my disposal.
One of my first loves really but in such limited supply in Morocco is cheese. This is the actual reason I've never succeeded being a vegan long term. Cheese in France is incredible and there are so many varieties and as soon as I land I start shoving my face full of the different kinds. Fondue, comte, Saint Maur, roquefort, yummmm!
The mountains in Tahoe
Well any mountains really because snowboarding has long been one of my sources of therapy but this year I've been able to enjoy the mountains where I first learned how to snowboard quite a bit. I even got to teach some young family how to snowboard which was an exciting moment! There is something to be said for the nostalgia of going back to a place where you spent a lot of your teenage and early adult years and getting to enjoy it again. Plus any chance to play in the snow, I'm in!
Going home for the holidays
This year I got to spend a lot more time with those who I consider to be my close family who I haven't gotten time to spend time with in a long time. My family has for a long time consisted of me, my mom and my grandma so holidays have always been fun but quiet. This year we had a good family Christmas with my (adopted) aunt Tracee and her children and it was so much fun and full of laughter and love. Complete with a solstice celebration!
New things to come in 2020
From all the lessons learned, the failures, and the triumphs, there are so many exciting new things coming in 2020 out of our Atelier. I can't wait! I will be sharing some secrets with you all who have questions about starting your own business, Tammie Budrow and I will be sharing our insane stories about living abroad on a new podcast called Struggle and the City: From Paris with Tequila and a love of mine since I was a child has now become a part of Atelier Kate's business is interior design and homewares. I've spent a lot of time sourcing local artisans in Morocco to create some cool custom pieces for our great tribe! I can't wait for this next year and I am so excited and grateful that you all have been along for this crazy ride with me!