KATE MENSAH, DESIGNER & CEO
FIELD: FASHION, DESIGN ORIGIN: AFRICA/PARIS/SEATTLE ZODIAC: TOROUS
A. | How do you define yourself?
I’m pretty creative, healthy, and I’m pretty nice to people—I love bringing people together to help them and guide them. I really busy, like its ridiculous. Im meeting my destiny—I believe that I am made to big things and I am very patient. And I am a mom—I love my son and family. I love traveling and discovering— I always love to explore new places it is so inspiring—it is about exploring the world to learn from others. For me its not about I love texture.
A. | How did you become interested in the fashion industry?
I from Paris, the fashion capitol of the world so I've seen it since I was young. I was a model when I was told I should be a designer and I didn’t think it could do it but you have to just do it and that is what I did.
A. | What do you do outside of your work routine?
I love to work out, I love kick boxing. I taught kick boxing at the beginning of this year before getting too busy. I love to help people be healthy. Your vision is more clear when you work out. Being healthy is part of having healthy work—it is balance for your work. I do yoga now too because I think its good for your mental health.
A. | What are you most proud of in your career?
I am a part of a group that is trying to bring a fashion industry here. I see so many fashion shows here, it is so sad. I have been all over and I can see that there is something missing here. One fashion event doesn’t have to be competing with one another, I am so against that—we need to collaborate and make it bigger. If we had a structure to really help designers here, it could be amazing. There needs to be education to the market here. The goal is to help others, not to be discouraging.
At the end of the day I have only one goal, I have something to deliver and believe in it.
A. | What is “fashion?” How does it play a role in your life?
I was born with it, we don’t think about it. We live it. its is identity and it is a way to express where you come from. I learned how to be patient. Don't ignore your weaknesses, they are not a bad thing.
A. | What are the biggest challenges you have overcome (personally and professionally)?
It is hard when you don’t have any network or connection. It is really hard to be recognized and seen. The challenge was trying to do everything on my own at first.
A. | Where do you feel at home?
Where my family is and where we feel happy.
A. | Whats your vision for the future of your work?
Creating beautiful things, luxury and unique piece is part of my brand but it is also collaboration between cultures can be a beautiful form of art. I want to give people who were born with a talent a chance to be out there.
A. | How do you define success?
Where I am happy and can do what I love.
A. | What makes a good team?
A good team is people who have the same vision and understand the same goal. Each of them have their own talent to make something happen. The team has to help each-other, the team has to encourage each-other (not stabbing each other in the back). The most important thing is that they understand where they are going together
A. | What was your biggest failure?
Thinking that I had everything on my plate ready to go when there was a lot of things I needed to get. I first did a lot of things on my own which was really hard. There are really elements that you need to have but there is a learning experience that makes you stronger.
A. | What do you think are the most important traits in your industry?
You have to have strength when you enter the fashion industry you have to be able to accept yourself. You have to have passion. Have a story behind your style.
A. | For which unexpected events should you prepare in your career?
How much you can achieve in 4 years! I have only been doing this business four years and have won international awards, being in amazing shows and selling in beautiful stores internationally, Im not quite there where I want to be but I'm getting there because I want it and so its coming! And thats amazing, its ridiculous. I am really thankful to be from Seattle. The community here gives me a chance to be seen.
A. | What is your favorite life advice?
Remember who you were at the beginning and remember who you are now. You are the same. As long as you know where you come from you will keep the same values. Just remember that.
A. | Any other advice you would like to share?
Talk to buyers. They guide you. They talk about the real market; they give you what works, what doesn’t work, the colors, the whole thing! They say “you know this is what my clients love, make something like that!”
FAVORITE ANIMAL | SNAKES, THEY ARE GOOD FOR PROTECTION