I’ve previously mentioned that I’m studying Art History at the university, and as an Art History student as well as sometimes costume designer — I’m absolutely fascinated to see how and why people (and in particular artists) do what they do.
Starting off a new series of “Designer Profiles/Your Story” features is
I’ve worn several of the Arrow Harte pieces in recent posts and they can be styled a multitude of ways.
I didn’t conduct an in-person interview, but I did have a few questions for the lovely Katie of Arrow Harte.
Tell me a little about yourself. Where did you grow up and go to school? Growing up were you passionate about fashion and jewelry? What did you want to be as a little kid?
Well, I grew up in Orange County. I was born in Glendale and my parents moved down to Newport Beach when I was 2. We then moved to Irvine when I was 14 and they’ve been there ever since. I now spend most of my time between Irvine and Long Beach. My boyfriend of 6 years is from Long Beach so I spend a lot of time up there with him and his family. I’m now 27. I got my love for fashion and jewelry from my mom. She went to FIDM when she was my age so you can guess how much into fashion she is. I learned it all from her! Even when I was young, I was always trying on her jewelry and clothes pretending to be a “big girl”. I’d walk around like I was in a fashion show. It still lives in me now. I love clothes and jewelry. You can literally reflect your mood and feelings with what you’re wearing. You can totally transform yourself just with jewelry and clothes. It’s awesome.
I read that your name “Arrow Harte” comes from your love of Lake Arrowhead and when the initial idea was conceived on a hike. Can you describe that moment?
Brett (boyfriend) and were hiking one day. He was encouraging me to start a little jewelry business since it was my favorite little hobby. I loved to drag him to flea markets to find vintage treasures. I would sometimes repurpose old jewelry into something new. Anyways, we were talking and I wanted to incorporate my love of Arrowhead Lake. So I borrowed Arrow and played on the word heart with “Harte”. Bret Harte is the street name Brett’s family’s cabin is on. It’s right on the lake so I felt inspired every time we visited. It’s a very special place to the both of us.
Is there anyone who has helped you along with the process?
Not really. My mom has helped with brainstorming new pieces and such. I’m not looking for a payout or to quit my day job. It’s just my passion and I want to share it with others!
What was the first piece of jewelry you ever made? Have your designs evolved?
My designs have definitely evolved, but stayed true to my taste. My very first piece was the “Fan Necklace”. It’s my first statement I made for Arrow Harte. I love it.
When did your shop open, are you selling your pieces with other retailers/vendors?
I opened about a year ago. I sell to little boutiques all over (see list on my website – “About US” Page).
*Sold locally at places like Prism Boutique in Long Beach and Luna B of Huntington Beach.
How long does it usually take to construct pieces?
It depends on the piece. Some take a short amount of time, others take longer. My creative process can start one day and end 3 days later. I like to create, test, tweak, and re-test. I want all my pieces to reflect a little bit of me.
Where are your favorite places to shop (for clothing and personal style) and also just for vintage finds/thrifting?
I love going to the Long Beach Flea Market for all my thrifting! There’s also a ton of little vintage shops all over Long Beach that you’ll find me frequenting a lot! I also love little boutiques like Prism Boutique (Long Beach – www.prismboutique.com). Dayna the owner is amazing. I’m there at least once a week!
Where do you source inspiration from?
Everywhere! I could get it from traveling or flowers or the flea market or just driving down the street. I find beauty everywhere I go and it inspires me!
How would you describe your style? How does living in California influence your design style and aesthetic?
I would say I’m definitely all about put together comfort. The “I swear I rolled out of bed this way” look. My hair is always in braids or not combed. I love wearing vintage tees and ripped jeans. But I also love to dress up with printed pants, dresses and rompers!
How would you describe your line of jewelry?
It’s for the free spirit and easy going attitude. You can find a piece of jewelry that can go with every type of outfit. It’s not genre specific. That’s why I love my entire line!
What are your favorite materials to work with?
Gold, brass, stone, and silver. Pretty much everything, haha.
How do you balance jewelry making/shop owning with everyday life?
It’s hard, but my weekends are filled most with jewelry time. I work a very hectic job in the marketing industry and can work 50-60 hours a week. I am the VP of Operations at a Marketing firm and manage about 14 employees. So finding time for my jewelry gets tough, but I make sure to take the time since it relaxes me and takes the stress away. It’s my little escape!
What is the most difficult thing with owning a shop and jewelry design?
The most difficult thing is keeping up with all the social media! Don’t get me wrong, I’m completely addicted to Instagram, but it’s hard keeping up with it all when you have a full time job! When I have 5 minutes, that’s when I post pictures. I always worry about not posting enough, but I try my best!
What is the most rewarding thing?
I LOVE seeing all the happy faces from customers that post photos after they get their packages! I really put in a lot of love into this collection and so it warms my heart to see others enjoying it as well.
What are some of your goals? (Life or fashion/jewelry?)
I have so many, but I’d love to be able to have my jewelry line be even bigger than it is now. I’d want to keep the boutique vibe (keeping it small somewhat), yet be really popular so it was hard keeping things in stock. It’s funny, as much as I wish for that, I have no clue how’d I’d handle it with my hectic schedule! But maybe someday it can be my full-time job. Who knows?! For now, I love the way it’d going now. 🙂
To see more of the Arrow Harte brand visit http://arrowharte.squarespace.com/
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