My team and I are reaching out to all the woman owned businesses that inspire and amaze us on a daily basis. We will start with a brief background, then dive in to the nitty gritty of running a business, what keeps them inspired, and everything else in between.
My name is Katie Harvell, and I am the artist and creator behind The Katie Co. I grew up in Mobile, AL and attended Spring Hill College, a small liberal arts Jesuit college. I have a wonderful husband, Ross, and the most perfect little boy, Ellis with baby boy #2 due in October. I am a Registered Nurse with my background predominately in Surgery. I decided to leave the comfortable bi-weekly paycheck world and dive head first into my art. My greatest creation of all, my son, Ellis was born back in July 2015. He inspired me to follow the dream full-time so, I could have more quality time with him.
I have been tapping in to my art gene since I could hold a pencil. At 2 years old I won my first coloring contest and the rest, they say, is history! I was in love! My custom canvas art and watercolor pieces is where it all began but I couldn't just stop there. I studied textile design in college and was instantly hooked! Honestly, screen printing is so therapeutic for me...it's instant gratification! It's work that I can look at and feel proud of. I am a one-woman shop who creates from the ground up, and a lot of tireless hours go into my design processes. Each one of my designs is hand-drawn or graphically created. I hand screen print each of my pieces. No machines here, I am the machine!
My business started in 2008 and I am CONSTANTLY learning and growing. I can't believe how far I have come in just 9 (not so short) years! Of course, living in Fayetteville, AR, The University of Arkansas heavily influences many of my pieces. As a licensed Razorback crafter, I love creating one of a kind Razorback pieces for the avid hog fan/Arkansan. It is my mission to offer high quality, handmade art with personality, appeal, and a creative twist on what you’re used to seeing.
- Give us your elevator pitch. The Katie Co. has something for everyone, from textile designs to custom animal portraits. Everything is handmade or designed by me, Katie.
- What is your business? The Katie Co.
- When did you start your business? In 2008 but originally we were Katie Goodwin Art. In 2016, we rebranded to The Katie Co.
- What inspired you to make the leap? As a registered surgical nurse, I always did my business on the side. When I had my son in 2015, I knew it was time to make the leap into running my business full-time, and I have never looked back!
What helps you get started each morning? Coffee and my little munchkin...after all, he is my alarm clock!
- Tell us about a day in the life of running your business. You know how they say creative minds are a little messy? Well, my day to day is...let's just say creative! From shipping orders, to brainstorming, to creating, two days are never the same! Organized chaos is the best way to get my creative juices flowing!
- What keeps you motivated? Feedback from my customers. I love reading reviews or comments on social media. It's instant gratification knowing that something I make is loved by someone else!
- Describe your dream day. To be a small business on a larger scale and have more hands on deck!
- What is your greatest strength/super power? I am the queen of multi-tasking and I make every second of every work day count!
Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat? Facebook: has been there since we started. Instagram: hustlegram but I love it. Snapchat: Eh...
What do you do in your free time? Free time, what's that? Just kidding! We love to travel and be outside with our almost 2 year old, Ellis.
- If an investor gave you 1 million dollars to use toward your business, how would you spend it? I would hire many more hands and purchase a digital textile printer. I would still hand screen print because I love the handmade feel of things but I would use the digital printer to print my more complex artwork to be able to create more clothing pieces and fabrics. I would buy the most awesome retail space around and expand further throughout the U.S.
- What’s the biggest risk you ever took; how did it go? Quitting my full-time day job as a nurse. I always needed the push to do it and that push was having my son. Here I am nearly 2 years later and I don't regret it for one second. Now, I can be laser focused on expanding my dream!
- Name something you hate doing but have to do for the good of your business. How do you make it tolerable? Getting everything together for our accountant. My right brained mind doesn't like using it's counterpart ;). I make it tolerable by binge-watching tv in the background.
How do you handle discouragement? This is something I struggle with on a daily basis. In the social media filled world, it's easy for designs to be copied. This is the dark side of the business but you just have to protect your property and move on! Your loyal followers/customers always have your back which alllllllways helps!
- Which iconic person inspires you? All the mompreneurs out there learning how to balance home life and work life while growing a business and shooting for the stars!
- Do you have a favorite, inspiring quote? Don't deliver a product, deliver an experience.
- Any secrets on how you balance the ins and outs of running a small business? Take time for your friends and family. Know when to take a break.
- What’s the best advice you have for other women wanting to be entrepreneurs? Always be unique and creative. Take the road less traveled and don't look for shortcuts. Most importantly, go for it!
Photos by Three Bee's Photography