Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Interview: Katie Jean Design

Want to know a bit more of a wonderful clothing designer? Today my guest is Katie Walker, who will tell us something about her line, Katie Jean Design. Enjoy!
Introduce yourself: tell us something about where you live, your origins, hobbies, etc.
I live in Phoenix with my husband Jonce and my two boys, Cade who is 5 and Clive who is 3. We have two dogs, four chickens and a fish, so we keep pretty busy, even when we have nothing on the calendar! I love playing with my kids and working out with my friends at the park.
How did you start your shop, ktjean ?
I actually started off making kids clothing with my neighbor Monique. Then we both slowly moved into adult pieces and we both have our own lines now (she owns Ouma Clothing)!
I started with wedding dresses on accident! I received a box of vintage stuff from my great aunt that included a couple slips, tablecloths and lace curtains. I cut them all up and created a slipdress with the layered skirt. That was in early 2008 and I posted it in my tiny Etsy shop using photos I took myself and a girl bought it to wear as her wedding dress. Now it is a big item in my shop!
Do you have formal training (art, design, sewing, etc.)?
I don't have any formal training. My mom can make anything with a sewing machine within a few hours. She taught me to sew, but I never imagined it would become a career for me. A lot of things I am learning as I go. I share a lot of business strategies and ideas with Monique and she helps me when I am not sure how to handle certain situations.
What are your main sources of inspiration? Your favorite designers or style icons?
So much of my inspiration is from history; I love collecting things that are awesomely vintage, imagining where they have been. I have also slowly acquired vintage patterns from the 1960s and they have been key inspirations for my new designs. I aim for simple silhouettes and details that highlight the ’60s influence in my new pieces.
I don't have any specific favorite designers, but I absolutely love Bill Cunningham, the fashion photographer for the New York Times. He has such a great story and sees fashion as it really is on the street.

What are your favorite materials to use?
I love recycling slips and vintage fabrics. It makes the dress or piece mean that much more. It adds history and depth to the piece
Do you still sew for yourself?
I rarely have time to make anything for myself. And when I do have time, I don't want to be sewing.
I do enjoy sewing for others though. I always see things at stores and think, "I could totally make that," but then I just buy it instead. ;)

Do you have any advice for who sells or wants to sell online?
Having good pictures that capture the essence of your item is vital and VERY important. If the pictures of your items are not well let or detailed or good enough quality, potential customers are less likely to look at them. Also good communication is what keeps up your good reputation and clients. Those two things are probably some of the most important things to remember while becoming an online seller or shop owner.


  1. che belli questi vestiti, un pò boho un pò anni 60 :)
    è bravissima non la conoscevo. E ci credo che le persone arrivano sul suo negozio online, oltre a fare stupendi vestiti le foto sono perfette da rivista!

  2. Che delicatezza! Le sue foto sono stupende, danno voglia di seguire il suo ultimo consiglio!

  3. Thanks for sharing the interview! Katie's dresses are gorgeous!

  4. This is great! I never heard of Katie Jean but now am in love with her stuff! I love anything with ruffles or lace so it's no surprise I'm loving all of her stuff. Thanks again for sharing!