Kate of Arcadia is a boutique leather accessories label based in South Auckland. It is owned and operated by it’s designer Katie Smith. The brand offers a luxurious selection of handbags and accessories constructed from stunning New Zealand deer leather and you can be assured each limited edition piece has been finished with care and attention by Katie herself.
We have chat to Katie about her label and balancing a busy work-life schedule.
Where did the name Kate of Arcadia stem from and what does it represent?
It is supposed to be a description of a place somebody is from. Arcadia depending on what you definition you follow means in harmony with nature. And then the Kate is a person from a place that is harmonious with nature.
You are a mother to a baby boy how do you juggle the running of a business alongside motherhood?
I don't know I would not recommend it. No, the real answer is I have an amazing mum whom without her I couldn't do what I do. It should be Granny's day this weekend not Fathers day!
How would you describe your brands design aesthetic?
I always seem to make stuff I would use. I can't seem to get past that. I dress quite simply. mostly black, limited accessories and I guess that carries into the bags.
And could you tell us a little bit about your design and production process?
I do everything from start to finish. I draw a design in my head, then make a pattern, then a sample. Some work some don't. If I think they are successful I then include them in the range. I don't do seasons as such as my life as it currently is doesn't allow it. So I just introduce new items when I can and all my stockists order when they require stock. It seems to work well. There is also a web-store. No stock is held, everything including online orders are made to order.
What get you out of bed in the morning?
A baby boy!
What do you always carry in your hand bag?
Chocolate and lollies for when I run out energy but I need to keep going!
How would you describe your personal style in three words?
Black, basic, low-maintenance.