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The story of Kate

Today we meet one of the founders, designer and creative director Kate.

What's the story of you, to now, in 50 words or less?

Arty- farty.  Good cook.  Likes raspberries and that mustard yellow most people don't.

In my life outside Ekcelent and Co, I am a marketer.  I studied fashion design and worked as a footwear designer before meeting a fabulous marketer in the lift at work, Dahlas Fletcher, who introduced me to the world of marketing, and I have never looked back. 

I love the creativity and problem solving inherent in marketing, and I bring that to my design approach as well.  Who am I designing for?  How do they want to feel?  How can I help them tell their story?

I love rugby and cricket.  A lot.  And yes, rugby union (not rugby league) and yes, test cricket over other forms of the game.

As well as being a co-founder for Ekcelent and Co, what else do you do?

I have a full-time job leading a marketing team, to deliver strategic and creative solutions to benefit both the customer and the organisation.

I also have a couple of other business interests on the side, and I am working on a clothing range as well.  I like to be busy!

Ekcelent and Co is a jewellery label.  What is your favourite accessory?

My hair.

When did you realise you wanted to pursue a career in design?

After starting at Art College, I realised I wanted to apply my design skills as solutions for people.  I switched to fashion college.  I think though I was already quite interested in fashion design.  That doesn't mean I was fashionable by any means.  And I still don't think I am.  I think though I have a style (or several!).  

My favourite show was The House of Eliott about the sisters who had to save their family business after their father passed away.  Such stunning costumes.  And women discovering their passion and being brave enough to build something with it.  

What was the biggest rookie mistake you made when just starting out in your career?

Working too hard.  It took years to understand and attempt to regain any version of life balance.  It wasn't worth it; it isn't worth it.

What is your favourite piece from the new range?

I think it might be the Coralette earrings.  It was great to see them on Claire our fabulous model for the first time - to see what was a simple sketch, come to life.  I like the way they shape along the jawline.

How do you want people to feel when wearing an Ekcelent and Co piece?

I want people to feel like they have the perfect piece to showcase their style - to be an accent of their awesomeness.

What has been one of the defining moments in your life so far?

I don't think about my life as having any defining moments.  It is always the sum of my decisions, so essentially all of them are defining.  There hasn't been anything I choose to point at and say, 'that, that is the moment I changed'.

How do you spend your free time?

Being arty-farty, I might be drawing or designing something. 

I am a homebody, so I love reading, and I am quite partial to tv shows that I have already watched and know what happens.  I know, I know ... but good writing and characterisation never go out of fashion.  West Wing is always a go-to in that instance.  Alison Janney as CJ Cregg is all of the things.

I get my sport spectating fix watching rugby and cricket mostly.  

What is your favourite piece of clothing?  Why so special?

Probably a panic-purchase top I bought about 15 years ago.  I didn't have anything to wear to the work Christmas party and bought a top that was waaaay too expensive for the salary I was earning, and worth every single cent.  I still have it, still wear it.  It is this thick black jersey knit with a fantastic abstract pattern made of sequins and seed beads.  Clashing colours, random shapes, sparkly.  Fabulous.

Are you usually early or late?

I used to be early, but with a lot on my plate, I admit I tend to be late these days.  Sorry, everyone!

What are you watching right now?

I am a massive X Files fan, so I am watching Season 11.  Well, not actually watching - I am saving the episodes because I don't want it to be over!  I love Gillian Anderson and her portrayal of Scully.  Strong, intelligent woman playing a strong, intelligent woman.

Where do you want Ekcelent and Co to be in three years’ time?

Empowering women in little ways to be the women they want to be.  And I see fashion as an enabler as that, not something that hobbles.  I think fashion can be a brilliant communicator, armour, fun, powerful.  And I want our jewellery to be part of the way women tell their visual stories through their style.

What’s the title of the current chapter of your life?

Red Hair Is My Spirit Animal

What gives your life meaning?
  • The immeasurable wellspring of strength within people to keep going, to believe in better and to choose to build that better.

  • The incredible colours and shapes of nature.

  • My mother and sister.

Favourite meal?

A barbecue.  Or pizza bianca.  Or the amazing Soy Lime Chicken at Continental Cafe.  

Top 5 movies?

At the moment (a few are on here permanently, others only semi-permanent):

  • Strictly Ballroom.
  • The Matrix.
  • The Dressmaker.
  • Lord of The Rings (all three, I am cheating).
  • Jaws.
What is your design philosophy?

Be bold.  Design jewellery for women who have a story to tell.

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