So I don't know if I've shared this on the blog before (probably because it's a big commitment!) but part of my hopes for the Small Business Series is that every 5 years I can check in with my features to see how they are all doing, how their busiensses have changed and where they are at that time. So there, I've said it, now you can hold me to it.
The reason I mention it is that today is because with Sara Kate Studios I have already had the pleasure to see how Sara Kate's business has grown and changed since first meeting her! Just over a year ago we were tucked away in a corner booth at Kitchen 324 talking about where she wanted to go with SKS, and since then her business and passion grew into realitiy from an in-home business to a brick and mortar shop on Automobile Alley! It's been fun to watch her passion turn into something that she can share with all of OKC in a tangible way. I am looking forward to seeing where she is again in 5. :-)
Name: Sara Kate Huff
Business Name: Sara Kate Studios
Favorite Dessert: Crème brûlée or a rose macaroon. I don’t believe I could choose between the two.
Favorite Artist/Album: Ella Fitzgerald. I started listening to her in college and don’t see myself stopping anytime soon.
Tell me a little bit about your business: My business is about creating a beautiful life with a story - it is part retail and part consulting. The retail component has been around for a few years but just grew into a brick and mortar in the last few months. The shop is full of vintage items and unique finds that make a home feel special and thoughtful... I like to think of the vintage pieces as heirlooms from a stranger. In addition to that I have a growing studio where we consult on interiors projects and for a few companies giving them creative direction. My day-to-day varies immensely from building something in the workshop, to roaming in search of pieces for projects, to meetings going over floor plans, and packaging shipments for the online shop - there are days when I feel like I'm leisurely juggling and others where I feel like I've been asked to pull a rabbit out of a hat. To be quite honest, the past six months have been the most vulnerable, although exciting, of my career.
What inspired you to start your business? Honestly? One part panic and two parts necessity - I had graduated college and knew that what I wanted to create didn’t quite exist yet in Oklahoma City. I was trained and interested in interiors and wanted to work with an emphasis on antiques and vintage.
What would you say was your biggest challenge to overcome? Everyone’s input and critiques. I think the first year was the hardest because I myself was unsure if it would work. Going freelance isn’t for the faint of heart and I have such respect for anyone who dares to try it.
Who/what was your biggest encouragement and why? It’s impossible to choose one, so I would just say that my kindred spirits were my biggest encouragement. I have met so many lovely people over the years that are eager to connect and encourage other people’s creative endeavors. There are different people in varying degrees that have made the celebrations so much sweeter and the hard days lighter – I hope to mimic that in the same way that I have so graciously received it.
What is your favorite part of your business: Goodness. It is difficult to choose one favorite part but could probably narrow it down to two. First, I live for the feeling of that great “find” and reimagining it for a modern customer. Secondly, I adore placing a great piece with a client and, if possible, arranging it for them… There is something so fun about placing an item and feeling like it is going to the home it was intended to go to.
If you had advice to anyone who might be starting a business like yours? Take courage, dear heart. Jumping out and doing your own thing is such a vulnerable and courageous thing to do. Surround yourself with amazing people who will cheer you on during the days you say “I don’t know what I’m doing”… That is part of creating something from nothing, and as exciting as some of your days will be you will also have those hard ones mixed in.
Anything else about your small business that you’re passionate about? Connecting with people and helping to create their home. Home is such an intimate and powerful place that is full of memories and moments – being able to learn about someone’s prized heirlooms and their family life comes with the territory and I feel so lucky to play a part.
Thanks so much Sara Kate for being a part of the series, your shop and dream is lovely!
In addition to her beautiful shop that I want to buy everything, SKS is also joining up with Dutch (another one of our Small Business Series contributors!) for the OKC Popups (organized on by ANOTHER one of our Small Business contributors Allison Barta Bailey) at the end of the month. SO MANY SMALL BUSINESS IN ONE PLACE, I LOVE SMALL BUSINESSES, SMALL BUSINESSES UNITE! This makes me so happy.