Take a look below to read about Katelyn, who took the leap of faith six years ago to open her one-woman design studio.
Why do you love living in our area?
I love living so close to the water! We have a small beach at the end of our block so I try and walk there daily. I don’t think I would ever not be able to live by the ocean (except if I had the opportunity to live in Palm Springs of course). And family! I grew up on the island and have lived here for 35 years (besides attending college in two different states) so having lots of family close by is also a huge driving factor in loving where we live. We are outdoor people, boat people, beach people, we love walking/hiking trails, being in nature, and being able to experience the four seasons is such a gift that this area offers. There is close proximity to everything we love. If it’s not 30 minutes away, it’s only 3 hours away and you can’t beat that.
Tell us about your family!
We are a fun bunch and like to keep busy! We love and support each other all the time, no matter how tough the day or hard the situation gets. After my husband and I got married, we got pregnant right away and soon found my son, Dylan Ford, would be stillborn at 25 weeks on 7/18/18. It totally transformed our lives. We spent another year and a half grieving, learning, healing and working to bring another little miracle to earth. Our daughter, Bowie Grey, was born at the very start and height of the global pandemic on 4/1/20 … but we still felt incredibly blessed and lucky. Now that we are navigating new parenthood I often hear most moms tell me (innocently) “I can’t wait for this” or “I can’t wait for that stage” and to be honest I’ve never felt that. I think it has something to do with the trauma we experienced losing a child and living everyday wishing he was there for ANY stage of it. I know time moves on and the minutes pass and we can’t get any of it back so we just try and enjoy every moment we have with her. Currently she is inspiring us to garden. She loves to pick the raspberries in our backyard and be outside so we are diving headfirst into that as a family!
Why did you decide to launch your business?
I went to college for fine art, graphic design and business, so I think it was inevitable that I would end up doing something creative as a career. After college I was able to get the opportunity to work at a boutique advertising agency in Manhattan for many years and learned first hand not only how to run a creative studio but how to work as a professional in the field. As I started to get older and wanted to settle down I slowly made my way back east working at a company closer to home and then eventually decided it was time to start my own business. I had started doing some freelance on the side and had a few clients I would juggle after work and finally decided to go full time with it – a huge and scary leap of faith! One of the driving forces for me deciding to launch my business was the freedom it gave me not only to feel confident being my own creative and boss but also the freedom to have the family life that I so badly wanted.
Tell us more about your business!
I’ve had my one-woman design studio for six years now. I primarily do custom website design and branding for a pretty niche market of food and lifestyle influencers as well as helping female entrepreneurs get their brands started etc.
Because of my background in design and marketing combined with my web and e-commerce experience I became rather good at creating complex custom WordPress websites for clients that needed much more than templates have to offer. I love to figure out how to take a lot of information and organize it in a beautiful way that makes it look effortless but also interesting. Design is not only how it looks and feels but also how it works and functions. Aesthetics and design are extremely important for your business!
I have been needing to take my own advice and redo my own personal website and branding (I still do business under my maiden name and I’ve been married for 4 years so it’s high time to make the switch) so that’s been on my list of things to do. It’s sitting in a file half finished so maybe you guys will motivate me to get on that. It’s on my list!
I’m starting to feel a shift in myself and would love to have time to explore more of my own creative projects. We did a large kitchen renovation a few years ago and plan to do a few more projects in the coming years. Not sure what’s up first but maybe our bathrooms or finishing our outdoor space. A dream of mine would also be to write a cookbook and maybe even run an air bnb. I love entertaining and creating experiences for people. I guess that all just comes with being a creative.
What motivates you?
100% my husband and kids. My son taught me so many incredibly important lessons and my daughter puts them to the test. My husband and my little girl are always at the forefront of my mind and I’m always trying to make our lives better, easier, more fruitful, more fun. Bowie loves to be outside (just like her daddy) and has motivated us to plant some blueberries (her favorite) in our yard and it’s been so fun to see us all working together as a family and finding things we all like to do together. As a matter of fact the day this interview was due to be submitted is her first day of school! It will allow me to go back to work and concentrate more on my business so that not only can I help provide for my family, but also so that I can be the best mommy to my people.
What is the best mom advice you can give or have received?
Can Give: My husband asked me this one evening while we were eating dinner shortly after I had Bowie and I looked at him straight in the eye and was like, “I have no advice.” Haha! In all seriousness being a mom is hands down the hardest job I’ve ever had and it’s most certainly not one size fits all. Human beings are so complex, heck we are even still studying them and haven’t even scratched the surface and I just think that no amount of advice, mom books, or even asking others can even prepare you for what is in store because … no one is you and no child is your child. Anyone can swap and share stories and support and love each other during the early years but no amount of studying can prepare you for being a mom. I am in the camp that truly feels like it doesn’t get easier, it get’s just as hard – but different. I mean, I’m 35 and I still need my mom. We all do. So if you are able to, tell her you love her and that she’s doing a good job.
Have received: I’m not sure if this counts as “mom advice” but when I was pregnant with my first I was just such your “typical girl who is pregnant for the first time” and worried about gaining weight and at once particular weigh in at a routine visit my sweet nurse looked at me and said, “Sweetie, settle in.” And truer words have never been spoken. The best “life advice” came to me when I was in the hospital giving birth to my stillborn son. The days were heavy and hard and my amazing angel of a nurse told me to when it’s too hard to take one day at a time you simply have to, “just take one minute at a time, that’s all you can do”. And that’s helped and carried me through these past few years as I entered into motherhood. Sometimes when you are struggling, it’s important to remember that if you can just conquer this minute – you’ll be ok and you’re doing the best you can.