Meet The Makers: Kate stephens
In our second blog of new Clutch Made series Meet The Makers, we spoke to Kate Stephens [@kates_ag], a sixteen-year-old 4th generation farmer who is designing her own accessories and developing her brand Kate's Ag. With a strong family lineage in farming wheat in north central Montana, Kate's farm to fashion approach with her brand, stems from her values of the importance of knowing where your food comes from, and having a connection to the farmers who produce it. Inspired by the love for her farm, this passionate sixteen-year-old maker began designing. With the farm harvest as a fabulous backdrop, her designs combine family values, a locally made ethos, passion and exciting designs with fashionable accessories, made with love in the USA.
We sat down with Kate [virtually] to learn more about her experience with Clutch Made, and her experience as a young-maker, passionate about manufacturing in the USA.
What inspired you to reach out to Clutch Made to start or develop your business journey?
I was inspired to reach out to Clutch made after extensive research of manufactures in the USA. I read that Clutch made is the manufacturer you can talk to. This couldn't be more true.
Desribe your brand and your products in 5 words or less.
Farm to Fashion.
Tell us a little bit more about what inspires and drives your brand.
I was inspired to start my brand because of my experience driving combine at my family's harvest and realizing the disconnect with the end user. My brand is driven by bringing more awareness to farmers through fashion. I want people to know where their food comes from and the people who produce it. I believe this is really important.
How has your experience been bringing your products to life with Clutch Made?
My experience with Clutch made has been wonderful. I immediately knew Clutch Made was the right manufacturer for me when I saw how thorough and knowledgeable Clutch Made's team is. It was also important that the manufacturer is woman owned.
What sets your products apart in the world of American Made accessories?
My products are set apart from the rest because of my story. I am not just another brand I am someone who is educating people on where their food comes from and how it is produced through something everyone loves, fashion. I am also promoting American farmers. I hope that my handbag and story will inspire people to ask for farm and ranch products that are made in the U.S.A.
If you could give one piece of advice to emerging designers what would it be?
My advice to emerging designers is to pursue your dreams even if you have to shift along the way. Not every idea works out and something better will come. Always keep an open mind because all ideas are helpful even if it's not what you want to hear.
What inspired you to start designing at such a young age?
My whole life I've been drawing fashion sketches. I have always been motivated to make a difference and I knew from a young age that would be starting a company. From telling the stories of the experience I had at my family's harvest I noticed not many people understood anything about what farmers do in order for them to have food on their table. I believe this is a very important topic and that farmers are the foundation of America. This is what inspired me to start the Farm To Fashion movement and promote farmers through fashion. Made in the U.S.A.
Do you see your age as advantageous to the creative process of design?
I see my age as being very advantageous to the creative process of design because I feel I am very open minded and have so much excitement for what's to come. I also have great amounts curiosity to learn as much as I can in order to develop the best product ever. I am inspired by everything and I believe because of my age I think differently and therefore have a competitive edge.
How do you get inspired to be creative and what is your creative process of designing?
I am inspired by what's around me and take everything in. After I see something it takes me a while to comprehend everything and make an idea out of it. Usually when I have down time and think I come up with my best ideas.