To me, the photo above shows the true personality of Mr. Kate (aka: Kate Albrecht), the creative brain behind the jewelry line, the brand, and the blog that is Mr. Kate. She's fun, bright, bubbly, and oh-so-cute. Mr. Kate is all about blending masculinity, beauty, and humor. Her logo, the mustache and beauty mark, work beautifully because they are two iconic images that represent these exact things. For more on the ebullient Mr. Kate, keep reading!
What inspired you to start designing jewelry?I have always loved wearing jewelry and admired my grandmother's knack for layering her beautiful Native American jewelry. She used to give me costume jewelry when I was little to play 'dress up' with, so I always associated jewelry with fun and feeling good. I was inspired to make jewelry after I took classes in jewelry making in college and realized that there were designs in my head that I couldn't find anywhere but really wanted to wear. So, I started making jewelry for myself and it eventually became a business. Now I make jewelry that I feel great wearing and make other people feel good and happy wearing it too!
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Everywhere! I'm inspired by a huge range of things. For each collection it may be a set of inspiration that I use to dictate the 'look' of the collection. But overall, as an artist, I think you have to be open to inspiration coming from anywhere, whether it's a trip to a museum or a hike in nature or a stylish person you admire.
How would you describe the woman who wears Mr. Kate? And who would your dream client(s) be?
What are the greatest challenges to running your own jewelry line?
What is your typical day like?
Ha, there is no typical day at Mr. Kate! Because I have the lifestyle side of my business, with my blog and videos, etc., I'm always doing so much more than just jewelry! Some days I wake up and blog, then shoot a DIY video, then have a business related meeting, then go somewhere or do something for my blog again or edit jewelry photos, etc. I'm usually working on and off from 8AM to 11PM. Being an entrepreneur means you can have your own schedule, but to be successful, you have to work a lot!
What advice would you give a young aspiring designer or someone toying with the idea of making jewelry?Make sure you love what you're doing and be committed to working over-time to make your 'big idea' work. Rather than paying attention to trends, pay attention to your customers, they hold the key to how your business will flourish. Be an expert in your field and take classes so you know exactly what goes into making jewelry. Even when you get your business to the point where you can out-source your manufacturing, if you have an intimate knowledge of the process, you will still be in charge. Be critical of your work and remember to edit so you're not bogged down with too many pieces in a collection, keep the strong ones and let the weaker ones go. Stay inspired and energetic and do whatever you have to do to keep going!
All photos from mrkate.com - head on over there for loads of inspiration and fun videos! Thanks, Kate!