A Girl Named Katie

I've been loving Katie's creations for quite some time, so I'm very excited to share her little interview with Sustainably Chic! All of her handbags are absolutely beautiful, and so well done. Not to mention, I'm completely envious of her work space. {all photos in this post are taken by Sparrow & Lace}

Tell us about A Girl Named Katie and how sustainability is incorporated into your business.

A Girl Named Katie is an online shop that offers ethical fashion and housewares at an affordable price for the modern boho-inspired women. I design and make a collection of handbags from vegan leather + suede. My designs offer versatility with reversible clutches and totes as well as some classics that are the perfect accessories for your capsule wardrobe. I source materials that are second-hand from well-known designers or mill overages that would otherwise be sent to a landfill. My handbag collection is produced in small quantities to reduce the impact on the environment. I will soon be launching a collection of handpicked recycled clothing called the Gently Loved Collection as well as a selection of locally hand-poured candles and recycled housewares. 

How did your business begin? 

I started A Girl Named Katie after a brief stint in art school. I left school after only one semester and went on to pursue my dream of designing a line and opening a shop. I made a purse for my mom when I was still in high school as an art project. After graduating I spent the summer sewing make up bags with a similar style and sold them to friends + family. I spent my free time during art school (the very little free time I had!) cutting and sewing more bags. I began attending craft shows almost monthly, selling out of my limited editions and taking custom orders. Eventually I turned A Girl Named Katie into an official business. 

What is your design background? 

I began sewing at the age of six. I quickly grew tired of store bought patterns which offered very little design (it was the 90's, so there's that.) I would watch runway shows on the Fashion Network and cut clippings from magazines and paste them in a notebook filled with design ideas. During high school I began attending fashion illustration classes at Pennsylvania College of Art + Design in Lancaster, PA. The summer before my senior year I spent a month living in Philadelphia studying fashion design at Moore College of Art + Design in their Summer Art + Design Intensive program. After leaving college I worked in the textile industry at a local fabric store that allowed me to experience working with fashion designers and home seamstresses all over the country. 

What are your favorite materials to work with? 

I like to work with faux leather + suede cloth for my designs. But I love to sew with cottons and have recently began using a lot of knits to sew myself clothing. 

What are the future plans for A Girl Named Katie? 

I am working on a handbag collection using remnants of hand-dyed velvets from Philadelphia and collaborating with other artists + makers on new products I am launching this winter. But my husband and I have a secret project that will allow us to have a little store, details will be announced sometime next year!

 We both love our Bernina's! My mom is a Bernina dealer in Virginia :)

We both love our Bernina's! My mom is a Bernina dealer in Virginia :)

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Natalie Kay