T.B.N Interviews: Kat Gabrielle

Today T.B.N Interviews is back with an all new feature for your viewing pleasure. I sat down with Vintage shop owner and all around style maven, Ms Kat Gabrielle of Vintage Kitty. We discuss her amazing online shop, tips on how to become a successful business owner, and her aspirations and goals. The best thing I took away from interviewing Kat was her humbleness. She has an undeniable poise and charm that is highly refreshing. She was an absolute please to interview, so please enjoy!

T.B.N: Hello Kat! Thank you so much for your time. I would like to begin by asking you to tell everyone a little bit about yourself and where you are from?

Kat: I’m very much a vintage kitty born and raised in Houston, Texas.

T.B.N: So Vintage Kitty Shop is your highly successful online vintage shop, which features an amazing selection I might add. How did it come into fruition? What inspired you to start this business?

Kat: Thank you much! Vintage Kitty Shop was a random thought, actually. I hadn’t put too much thought into it and really wasn’t aware (at the time) of any solid examples of vintage shops when it came to me. I just decided one day in October that I was going to start something great as a way to feature my two loves– the passion that I have of the past and modern style. I have always been inspired by different eras–rawness of the eighties, the glamour of the forties, the clean femininity of the fifties, so vintage is natural for me.

T.B.N: How did you feel when you first launched the site? Was it a difficult endeavor, or did you know always know it would turn out so well?

Kat: I’m very confident that Vintage Kitty Shop has the potential to be something much greater than what it is at the moment. It’s definitely the most difficult venture that I have had to endure because I realize now that in order for it to materialize into something great, then I must have a vision. I think that what a lot of people (young people mostly) fail to realize is that consistency is a major element when trying to start anything. Our first and last works must line up completely as far as quality is concerned. So the most difficult part of starting Vintage Kitty Shop is learning how to step back and take it in completely for what it is as opposed to assuming it’s great, ‘because I created it’.

T.B.N: What do you love most about what you do?

Kat: I love that I can’t force the love that I have for what I do. I believe so strongly in the vision that I couldn’t possibly hate it if I tried.

T.B.N: Who is the Vintage Kitty customer? What would you say is the hardest part about targeting a niche customer, especially within the vintage apparel market?

Kat: Figuring out Vintage Kitty’s target consumer was one of the easiest aspects of Vintage Kitty, because she is Kat. She’s a student so she isn’t always financially capable, a traveler, a thinker, a wall flower at times, an observer, a lover, a natural being. She loves a good laugh just as much as she loves a good book. She’s a mirror.

T.B.N: What inspires you?

Kat: Ambition, strong women, youth, and stories. The clothing and accessories are not just that, they are windows to the past. I love when someone can spot something that I’m wearing and tell a story of how it fit into their own lives years ago. That inspires me too.

T.B.N: I see that you have a unique and vintage personal style of your own, how did that develop?

Kat: My style developed just like anyone else’s, by discovering myself. I went through a period where I was completely vulnerable with myself and from there I was able to develop both components of my style– who I was and who I wanted to be.

T.B.N: Did your own personal style influence the types of products you sold on Vintage Kitty?

Kat: Everything I sell on Vintage Kitty is a reflection of myself, because I’m selling to myself. I’m selling to young women who could trade lives with me for a bit and not feel completely out-of-place.

T.B.N: What is the hardest thing about running your own business?  Any tips that you can provide for aspiring business owners?

Kat: At this point having to depend completely on myself is difficult. I don’t think people who ‘support’ Vintage Kitty or any small business really have a full understanding of what that means. I learned early on that if I want to do anything, then I must do myself. The most important tip I have for other young business owners is to keep your ‘inner circle’ as small as possible. Assess everyone you surround yourself with and only keep the ones who will be honest enough to hurt your feelings sometimes.

T.B.N: In this world of creativity we live in, do you think there is a recent surge of new, young talent flourishing especially in fashion?

Kat: Absolutely and I love it! There are so many examples and blueprints of creatives that people can draw inspiration from now. Witnessing other young people doing great things outside of the typical college>9 to 5>retirement>death ‘lifestyle’ (if you can even call it that) is totally amazing to me so of course I encourage creativity and ambition.

T.B.N: Where do you see Vintage Kitty 5 years from now, what are your goals for the brand?

Kat: In the next few years, I’m going to make Vintage Kitty just a small part of something much greater.

T.B.N: Lastly, in one word if you can, how do you feel about what you have created with Vintage Kitty?

Kat: Purpose.

The Black Nouveau would sincerely like to thank Kat Gabrielle for her time.

Special thanks to the fabulous Nik Stephney for the images.

Everyone go check out Vintage Kitty Shop, I promise you’ll be amazed!

By: James Field


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