Cheery Kate Taylor of Kate Taylor Design wants to be Indiana Jones. She loves a good mystery and a minimal design. Her jewelry will make you feel her "comfortable but substantial" mantra.
Tell us about yourself! What’s your name and where are you from? I am Kate Taylor and my brand is Kate Taylor Design. Instead of laboring over clever names I decided to keep that one simple haha. I’m originally from Boston, so yes I’m a masshole at heart, but I’ve lived in NYC for 14 years now so I feel pretty New Yorky at this point. I’m starting to sound like Anthony Bourdain complaining about how neighborhoods have changed and whatnot.
You mentioned that you wanted to be Indiana Jones when you were younger. How did you turn that passion into a jewelry passion? Hey, I still want to be him! But really, one of the things that always stuck with me from those movies is the power that certain mysterious artifacts have over people. I would think about the makers who created them and where that power comes from- is it the design? Is it the material? Something more? The idea of making something with my hands that could last for years and hold special meaning for someone is fascinating to me.
What’s your design process like? Where does the inspiration for your pieces come from? I do a lot of sketching and a lot of experimenting in the studio. Probably less than 1% of what I draw ends up being a piece I love enough to add to my collection. Some things look really amazing on paper and when I start making them in metal and see them in 3-D I’m like “Ugh! What was I thinking?”
My parents met and fell in love in Colorado, so even though I grew up on the east coast, my childhood home was filled with textiles, pottery & paintings from the American southwest. I developed a deep appreciation for that aesthetic. It still inspires me now, and I love to experiment with ‘handmade’ geometry and pattern (as opposed to that which is created by machine or computer).
You’re based in NYC. How, if at all, has the city inspired you? I am obsessed with museums, and NYC obviously delivers on that front. There is a room at the Met that’s packed full of gold from ancient civilizations of the Americas. It literally glows and is one of my favorite places to go for inspiration. You feel like Gollum when you’re in there.
Do you have a favorite piece? In terms of what I personally wear most I’d have to say my Mountain Amulet- it’s just so easy to wear, goes with everything, sums up my style & is nice to rub between your fingers when you’re worried. Next up would be the Mountain Bits Studs.
Crowning achievement? Oh man I feel like answering this is a jinx. I hope there are many great achievements still ahead of me!
Tell us about your “comfortable but also substantial” mantra. I like that you call it my ‘mantra’ because it really is something I think about often as I work. I love statement jewelry. However, if something is big and bold but uncomfortable to wear, it will just sit at home. For me personally, that is unacceptable. I make jewelry. I make things to be worn on your body and shown to the world as part of your personal style. If I wanted to make something heavy that sits in your house I’d make bookends. So that’s the comfort part- the second part is substance. Teeny weeny jewelry is really popular right now, so it’s very tempting to give in to that trend, but I want to stay true to myself. When I do design something small, I try to push myself. I make sure the piece still has a weight to it, a presence, and a uniqueness. I don’t want to make jewelry that is easily lost or forgotten.
Who would you geek out over if you saw them wearing your jewelry? Pretty much any of the ladies on SNL right now. They are killin’ it and I would be so honored. Did you see the “Yuge jewelry” sketch? So good.