Interview: Katherine of KATKIM
KATHERINE, YOU FOUND YOUR PASSION FOR JEWELRY DESIGN WHILE STUDYING AS A VISITING STUDENT AT CENTRAL SAINT MARTINS. TELL ME ABOUT THE CREATIVE ENVIRONMENT AT CSM.
"As a design school known for nurturing creativity, I found Central Saint Martins to be the most inspiring environment. I was surrounded by so much talent, and it was such an enriching experience. My main focus was advertising, and spontaneously decided to take the jewelry course as an elective. Throughout the semester I realized that I was spending more time in the design studio, rather than focusing on my advertising classes. That was the moment I discovered my new love and passion for jewelry, which led me to where I am today."
WHO HAVE YOU LEARNED THE MOST FROM IN YOUR CAREER THUS FAR? DO YOU HAVE MENTORS?
"I have to say that I've learned so much from the mistakes I made along the way. My father is an entrepreneur and has always been my inspiration to become one myself. He's been one of my biggest supporters and regularly provides me with invaluable guidance."
DO YOU CREATE CUSTOM RINGS FOR CLIENTS? WHAT'S THE PROCESS LIKE?
"Yes! It's such a fun collaborative process where we start with sketches and from there we make a CAD illustration for the clients to approve. Upon approval, each piece is handmade by our highly skilled artisans and their custom finished product is born! The process of creating the client's piece is very special and they get to be a part of it from start to finish."
WHAT ARE SOME CHALLENGES THAT YOU FACE IN YOUR BUSINESS? HAVE THOSE CHALLENGES CHANGED IN THE PAST YEAR, TWO YEARS?
"The logistics of it all has been a challenge. When we started, it all happened so fast. There was no way we could have anticipated the difficulties of starting out on our own. However, if it wasn't for our diligence and passion we would never have taken the leap and be where we are today."
Shop KATKIM jewelry. Photo courtesy of KATKIM.
TELL US ABOUT GETTING INTO STORES. HOW HAS THE PROCESS EVOLVED?
"It's been very organic. Our social media (@KATKIMNYEWYORK) has been a valuable platform for us to get our brand out there. Through these outlets we've landed in some of the best stores like Stevan Alan after they discovered KATKIM through Instagram. We are now in a showroom where they are supporting all our stockists."
WHAT MOTIVATES YOU AS A DESIGNER?
"I'm motivated when I feel I can accomplish something and get self satisfaction. This feeling of achievement is the one that makes me keep going on even in the hardest times."
WHAT'S BEEN THE MOST REWARDING PART OF YOUR BUSINESS?
"Doing what I love."