Kate's Friends: Kristiann!
Today we sit down with Kristiann, the talented mastermind behind Victory Patterns - creator of stylish, unique sewing patterns. Aside from being one of the most creative human beings I know, she exudes so much warmth and joy, you can’t help but feel happy around her. She welcomed me with a huge hug as I walked into her west end Toronto apartment and I instantly felt right at home.
Read on as we talk about travel, inspiration and love, some of the big things we love at Kate Austin Designs.
When choosing your next destination to travel to, what do you usually find yourself gravitating towards?
Color - It’s so inspiring to be in a place with saturated colour. We don’t have enough of in in Canada.
Places with an artisan culture – I love to see how different craft processes take place, like: rug making, basket and fabric weaving, textile dying. I’d love to learn how to do all of these things, if only there was more time!
Amazing food – I usually center a vacation around my stomach!
Warmth, both in people and in weather - Because, Winter! And I love chatting with people and learning about their culture.
Do you have any favourite activities you look forward to when you travel?
Finding the best croissant! Going to local art shows and galleries. Going to museums where I can learn about the local history and culture.
What would be your dream place to go to?
I’m really looking forward to taking a trip to Morocco and to Japan.
What are you grateful for today?
Yesterday, I just finished a job that I’ve been doing for 11 years, and I’m so grateful to start a new chapter. My brain feels like it’s on overload with the acknowledgment that I have x amount of hours to myself now, each week!
Is there anything that currently sparks a little joy when you hold it in your hands? Tell us a little bit about that.
I’m really sentimental, and I do my best to keep things around me that hold meaning. The most recent object that has come into my life that sparks joy is my engagement ring. We had it made by a friend, and combined rings and stones from his granny, along with my granny and great grandmother. It feels so amazing to connect these women together by way of a ring that symbolizes of our love. It makes me so happy every time I look at it.
What are some basic things in life you cannot live without?
My sewing machine
A picture of my brother
Do you have any projects - personal or professional - that you are looking forward to?
So many! I’m getting married in August and I’m making my wedding dress and my fiance’s shirt, and the flower girls dresses. I’m so thrilled to have some super creative projects!
I’m working on a line of fabric, where for thie first time, I’m learning how to design artwork in a repeatable form. It’s amazing to learn a new skillset. It’s humbling, frustrating, exciting, inspiring! This has been on my bucket list for a long time, so it’s a privledge to be able to do it!
For my work, I’m chipping away at new patterns for Spring. And I’m setting up sewing workshops in my home studio, and I’m really excited to create an intimate, cozy space for really focused learning for my student’s.
And, I’m trying really hard to find time to be creative for myself every day. A friend has inspired me with something called “100 days of sewing”. It doesn’t matter if it’s for ten minutes, but each day she takes a little bit of time for herself to move a personal project along. I love this!
Tell us what is inspiring you lately?
Functionality, comfort, elegance
This might sound really boring, but it’s coming from someone who is not very practical, so it’s a bit of a revelation for me ;) I’m really inspired by comfort and function lately. I’m focusing my designs on that more and more, trying to integrate those elements into clothing that is still unique, beautiful and special.
How do you express yourself with colour and surround yourself with it?
I love color palettes, and I like to play with colors that have muted toned, paired with more intense, vibrant colours as accents. I really love analogous colour palette’s, and intense tones mixes with more soft, palid tones. I love drama with colour!
In my environment, I love to be around green and plants, because it’s calming and revitalizing at the same time.
What does "wear your joy" mean to you?
It seems like everone is on this Konmari train, so you’ll probably be familiar with that idea of picking something up and feeling joy. I think that for me, depending on the day, different things spark joy depending on my mindset or mood. (Which makes it hard for me to do that whole cleaning thing!) But I guess for me it means, on a particular day, does what I’m wearing make me feel like me, or make me feel elevated.
Kate’s clothing is really special because it strikes so many boxes. It’s so comfortable, and practical for so many uses. I work from home, but I still like to put effort in getting dressed. Her clothing is uplifting, and happy. I can feel the love she puts into her work, and that makes its way into my day when I wear her pieces.
Thanks for having us over Kris!!
Interview photographed by Celine Kim