LIAISON collection by Kat Swank is a line of bespoke accessories for women, created mainly from upcycled vintage elements, antique trim & feathers, as well as the best of modern materials. Kat caters to an eclectic mix of women: musicians/ performers, the chic and trendy set, as well as the modern bride who prefers a vintage twist.
Tell me about how you originally got into your craft, Kat.
It's not very glamorous! But honestly, I started making headbands for my daughter who was born in 2007. She was BALD for nearly two years, so I made headbands with feathers and such to "dress her up". Every time she wore one I would get stopped by people wanting to know where I'd bought it, not just people who wanted them for their babies, but young women who wanted them for themselves! That's how it all began.
You can see a photo of my daughter and I in this listing, it's the 2nd of 5 photos.
What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
Absolutely NOTHING! Ha Ha, just kidding. Hmmm... there are SO MANY things. Mostly I love to travel and explore exotic locations. I lived in Spain for two years and Greece for a year, and there's nothing like LIVING in a foreign country. When you live there you really get to know the culture, where as when you go for a week's vacation you end up doing the "touristy" things. Now that I have my own business and a family, shorter vacations are the norm! But we try not to focus on the "touristy" locales.
ANYWAY... besides that, I LOVE CREATING!
"There's no fun like WORK". Harry Gordon Selfridge (1856-1947)
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
Taking it to the next level! There's definitely a strain when you're a one woman show. I can feel the business wanting to expand and grow, but there's a lot involved in making that happen, and I can't do it alone. I'm an artist, so what I am driven to do is to create. Currently I'm doing EVERYTHING myself, so taking it to the next level is a DIFFICULT but NECESSARY process. I'm looking forward to the day when I can hand the administration, marketing and financial portions of the business over to someone else (to an extent).
When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
A fashion designer! Go figure. I was sidetracked for awhile, but here I am working towards that dream and I LOVE IT.
What item in your collection would you most like to receive as a gift if someone were shopping for you?
A 5 in 1 Swanky, definitely! They're so versatile. You buy one piece and what you get is a (1). Headband, (2). Choker, (3). Upper Arm, (4). Wrist and (5). Ankle Cuff all in one! It's fabulous. They range in price from $35. to $75., all colors, with or without feathers.
What other artists out there do you love?
David LaChapelle- I'd DIE to work with him! I'd love to create a crazy-fabulous headdress for one of his pieces.
I LOVE Alexander McQueen, I was devastated when he passed away.
Honestly, there are SO MANY- it makes my head hurt trying to name just a CHOSEN few!
What does your future hold?
Taking my business to the next level! I'm in the process of producing a ready-to-wear mass produced line of accessories based largely around The 5 in 1 Swanky under the brand name KAT by Kat Swank. I'll be keeping the LIAISON brand for my high end, luxe pieces but will be
expanding my TEAM. Which basically means, I will HAVE a TEAM in the near future! No more one woman show for me, thank you! I'm also looking forward to venturing into wholesale.