Behind The Brand
Q & A With Designer Anna Cate
Did you go to Design School?
Anna Cate: No, I graduated from East Carolina University (GO Pirates!) with a BA in Business Administration.
Since your degree is in Business what lead you to start a clothing label?
Anna Cate: I was looking for a creative outlet upon graduating from college and this mindset sparked my career as an abstract artist. Painting--without planning it--became more than an outlet, with the help of social media it became a business which became known as www.AnnaCateHome.com . A place where you can shop fine art prints, canvas prints, or request original works.
The entrepreneur + the creative in me always seeks more... One day I had one of those famously-phrased 'lightbulb moments'. I was going to start my own clothing label. After months and months of research and A LOT of trial and error, I debuted Anna Cate Collection. I was then in a position of having both careers concurrent by hand painting the prints for the line. I challenge myself to design season-less, statement, staples modern enough to survive the times and timeless enough to last forever.
What inspires your collection and why do you think everyone looks great in Anna Cate?
Anna Cate: I am inspired by the 3 A's Art, Architecture, and Adventure. Anna Cate Collection is designed to be the go-to brand for your not so basic staples. We all have our staple tees, denim, and Yoga pants but when searching for a 'dressy' staple top I couldn't find what I was looking for. So behind every Anna Cate style, I try to make sure our girl can wear her pieces every season with the convertible factor of dressing it up or down. When people ask me who our girl is my answer is EVERY woman below is proof there is not an age limit, weight, or season. My mission is to design clothes to stand the test of time, while still making a statement.
What has been your biggest challenge since starting Anna Cate Collection?
Anna Cate: Everyday has its own set of challenges whether it is in design, logistics, sales etc. I don't think there is one aspect of the business that is challenging I think it is a culmination of all the little things and learning how to prioritize each one that is the most stressful.
Are you Married? How do you achieve the work/life balance?
Anna Cate: Yes, I am a newlywed going on two years. I started a business two months before my wedding <insert monkey emoji covering his eyes>. Shortly after the honeymoon, we realized "I" was not in the apparel business but "WE" were. The support of my family and husband keeps me grounded and encouraged. My work/life balance is still a work in progress but from the mouth of my husband "we will do the best we can with the cards we have been dealt." When I have to work weekends this guy chauffeurs me to events... when shipping months come and I am stressed, crying, and anxious, he is packing boxes, printing labels, and bringing me halo top (yes I stress eat!! ) We achieve this balance by praying together and embracing the moments we do have.
I know you are a fan of a bold lip, so I am dying to know what is your go-to lip color?
Anna Cate: For those of you that don't know my sister owns the blog MakeTodayAHollyday and she is a beauty guru so I must give her credit for discovering my new obsession below. Yes, I am her little sister so I discovered this color by swiping/borrowing from her travel bag, possibly without asking, but can I say it was totally worth the sisterly quarrel when she caught me 'RED' handed.
Beached Vice Lip Color: 100 degrees
Snag yours here -> https://rstyle.me/cz-n/c6hzigb4axx
Since traveling is a big part of your job can you tell us five essentials you always take with you?
- Silk Pillowcase
- Peter Thomas Roth Eye Patches
- Peppermint Tea Bags
- Poppin Pens
- Kind Bars
Do you have a morning routine? What does it consist of?
Anna Cate: Yes, I immediately brew a cup of coffee, snag a kind bar and I have breakfast with my one-year-old niece. After breakfast, I read a morning devotional from Jesus Calling by author Sarah Young and depending on the day I try to go to Orange Theory Fitness before I get my workday started. No matter how hectic my week gets I make sure I get to see my littles every chance I get!
How many boutiques carry the line? Where do you see the brand going in the future?
Anna Cate: Anna Cate Collection is currently in 200 specialty stores nationwide. We will be doing a stockist spotlight on 'The Latest' featuring stores that may be in your state. My aspirations for the future of the collection is to expand into additional product lines. I am an Auntie and would love to offer something for my littles.
What is one piece of advice you would give another aspiring designer or female entrepreneur?
Anna Cate: My advice is to be passionate about your dream, pray continuously, never stop learning, and to work extremely hard. There are sacrifices that come with owning your own business (no matter how glamorous social media may make it look) so make sure it is your passion because that is what makes it worth it.
I hope this answered some of your questions and gave you a glimpse into the life of Anna Cate and what inspires her. She would like to thank you all for your tremendous and continuous support!
Kendall and Anna Cate