SpicyCandyDC: Let's Talk!

Let's Talk!

on Aug 17, 2011

 When did you open your store and what inspired you to do so?
The store opened six years ago and I took over as the new owner in March.  I kept the name to reinforce that idea of carbon footprint reduction, which is something I’ve been passionate about all my life.  Having been raised in a large family of 10 siblings, I learned quickly the importance of conservation.  Fast forward and I found myself starting a fashion consulting company in 2006 in an attempt to promote ethically-made fashion.  I leap at the opportunity to use the store as a vehicle to help in this endeavor.

What’s the greatest reward of being a small business owner?
I’m definitely a team player but there is something empowering about being your own boss.  Sure, there are its challenges, namely wearing multiple hats and having greater responsibilities; however, the reward is in the ownership.  I’m very proud of my accomplishments to date achieved with a lot of hard work, humility, and drive.  With the store, it is important that I am there every day building relationships with my customers to gain their trust and support.  And it’s extremely rewarding to see them return!

What is the most challenging thing about being a small business owner?
I am a writer by trade and those communications skills are invaluable but those savvy business skills come with a high learning curve.  I think other retailers, in particular, will agree that it is difficult to separate your feelings from the outcome.  The business is your baby and you want it to succeed, however, you define success.  

We know you're an eco-stylist.  What inspired you to promote sustainable fashion in your boutique Carbon? 
Owning a sustainable clothing store seemed the next logical step in my styling career but years from now.  When the opportunity presented itself last fall, I decided it was time to take the leap.  I’m thrilled to see our city embrace green energy and organic eating and it only seems natural to be a hub for ethically-made fashion and beauty.  I want to give customers a choice and I hope they choose an ethically-made product.

How engaged are you with DC’s fashion community?
When I started my fashion styling company, My Signature Look in 2006, I immediately joined all fashion-related meetups, volunteered with Greater Washington Chamber of Commerce in its beginning stages, and assisted on local fashion shows to support our local talent.  I also joined the DC Chapter of Fashion Group International and am now on the board.  I’m honored to carry several local designers in apparel and accessories

What’s your favorite thing about living in D.C?
Going to the museums – taking my time with the exhibits, not cramming everything in one visit.  I also love the music scene! 

How do you describe your personal style?
Unconventionally refined.  Since I wore hand-me-downs through childhood and adolescence, I was constantly mixing it up to keep it fresh.  I never really followed a trend, per se, but I was experimental.  I went through my hippie, preppie, retro, and Gothic phases.  Eventually, I learned how to embrace all these styles into a more cohesive, balanced, wardrobe.  I’m not so literal, anymore.  I would say my style is a modern, refined version of all styles past.     

Who is your style icon and why?
Audrey Hepburn – I grew up watching the classics and being the klutz that I was/am, I was instinctively drawn to her grace and elegance.  She owned her style, making it appear effortless.  I aspire to that ability.

What song do you currently have on Repeat?
I’m pining for Ray LaMontagne of late.  His song You are the Best Thing makes me smile.

What are your must have fashion items for fall 2011?
A Navajo print shrug by SAINTCHiC (currently in stock at the store) is an essential for the fall wardrobe.  You can layer it over a lightweight floral dress or pair with skinny jeans and riding boots.   I’m also excited about the fall collection of handmade scarves from my local accessories designer, JEM.  She has a great eye for prints and textures. And of course, a pair of Gidigio booties!

It was a pleasure to meet Katherine and get to know her better! Her knowledge in fashion is def an inspiration to us and we LOVED her on Repeat song, Sooo GOOD!!
Hope you enjoyed our first session of " Let's Talk" you can find more about Carbon Boutique by going HERE! you can also follow Katherine on Twitter!


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