Kate first appeared in our studio with a dog-eared image of an AKD project, a binder full of design clippings and an obsession with everything bamboo. Over the course of two years we worked with Kate to design and deliver her dream family home that was to become our cover-gracing Raglan Street project.
Through the tumultuous and somewhat dramatic construction journey that was building Raglan Street from the ground up, Kate retained her infectious energy and ‘everything is possible,’ attitude. Juggling CULTIVER – the linen-lead lifestyle brand she is an investor of, three children and a gargantuan construction project, Kate was, and remains, completely inspiring. She is rarely without a smile on her face, no matter the challenge.
Here, we chat with Kate about growing CULTIVER, her 8-year life plan and working with AKD as both client and supplier.
KATE, WHICH THREE WORDS BEST DESCRIBE YOU?
Optimistic, resilient, loyal.
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE GROWING UP?
A fashion designer.
WHAT DID YOU DO TO EARN YOUR FIRST PAY PACKET?
My cousin and I were newspaper girls. We sold the afternoon edition out of a wheelbarrow after school. I think she was 12 and I was 11. We got paid about $2 per paper round – with our empty barrow we’d head back to the newsagency and blow our wages on lollies. Great business model for the owner of the newsagency!
WHAT’S THE BEST LIFE LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNT ALONG THE WAY?
Don’t trouble trouble until trouble troubles you!
WHAT’S YOUR PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT?
I hope it’s yet to come!
WHO INSPIRES YOU?
My beautiful late mother, Carmen. She was a woman of great elegance, humour and had an amazing capacity for love. I find myself thinking ‘Hmmm, what would Mum do?’ a lot.
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST VICE?
Alas so many!! Holidays, true crime podcasts and French rose – it’s amazing how well they all go together.
DO YOU FOLLOW TRENDS OR ARE YOU A TRENDSETTER?
I’m going to be a total Libran and duck that question by saying I love classics – which is why I’m so excited about CULTIVER's latest launch Pencil Stripe. It’s a simple off-white background, but the black woven stripe makes it interesting.
I need a push to get excited about colour. A great example is the Cedar collection we launched earlier this year. I wasn’t an early fan but Nicolle Sullivan, Founder of CULTIVER was mad for it – it’s now one of our biggest sellers. Since we launched in May, we've been moving through it so quickly we're struggling to keep it in stock in both Australia and the US!
WHAT DREAM DO YOU STILL WANT TO FULFILL?
I met my Australian husband in New York 20 years ago. He lived and worked there for 10 years before we were married. When the last of our three children leave school, we have a dream that we’ll sub-let a fabulous apartment in New York for six months and do nothing but walk the streets, eat out at great restaurants and have family and friends visit. I’m on an 8 year countdown . . .
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT WORKING WITH AKD?
I love working with AKD! A wildly talented group of designers and support team who take design seriously but not themselves.
Alex and I clicked the first time I met with her as a client a few years ago. I handed over a binder of clippings and ideas and she and the utterly charming Jessica Sorlin (with her trademark pink pen) made my dreams come true.
With some designers, I can see their work in a magazine and say to myself before I check the copy ‘I bet that is so and so’. With AKD, I love how they don’t have a specific ‘look’, that each project feels totally unique and they have this great way of including clients in a really collaborative way.
They also pass my long haul flight test – not only would I be happy to sit next to any of the AKD team but I’d try and sit smack bang in between two of them and hope a bit of their magic might rub off on me.