When I placed a small order of $100 for silk painting supplies at the first of January, I had no idea what the outcome would be. It hurt to spend that money because I knew that it could be a total waste. That could have been money I put towards my college loan. But y’all, I was in a rut. I needed something new to learn and master. Then I had to order more supplies with the intention of putting them online. And the crazy thing is that they sold when I put them online! I chose to order the “off brand” of silk painting supplies because I did not want to spend a lot of money then it flop. I run my business on the more conservative side. But I knew what supplies I needed to do this RIGHT. Those are expensive supplies. Those supplies are an investment. After three months of waiting and saving, I finally was able to purchase the supplies out of pocket today! I ordered a vertical silk steamer and French silk dyes. I know the results are going to be incredible. 10x better in color vibrancy and quality. I am going to keep silk painting. I think this is the next step in my career, and it will hopefully open new doors. My heart is so full with thankfulness that I can keep pursuing this.
I made a new friend two weeks ago who actually has training in textiles and dyeing who I’m going to use BIG time as a resource! (They didn’t exactly teach me how to do shibori in Type 1! haha!) Allison Volek Shelton lives in East Nashville, too! (Did I tell y’all we are moving to Nashville after the wedding?) She is brilliant. And we are hopefully going to do some collaborations!!!!
I have so much to learn and I couldn’t be more excited about it. I hope you will join me in this journey!
Oh! Weezie is turning THREE this Saturday! It’s the Third Annual Weezie Sale. It will start on Friday morning, end Saturday night. There will be a fabulous giveaway involved, too! Be sure to keep up on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for all the details!
We took engagement photos with Theia Mingo! I can’t tell you how excited I was that we got to have her at our wedding photographer! Everything she touches is just magic. She has such a strong vision that shines through in her life and work. You can view all of the photos HERE! (She lives in Starkville, Mississippi and is available to travel if you are looking for an amazing photographer!)
There was never a time when I said “Okay, I’m going into business for myself.” It just kinda happened. Little Things Studio grew from something very very VERY little. But if there was a defining moment of “I should pursue this. This is awesome,” then the Cotton District Arts Festival April 2010 was IT. Three school friends of mine split booth fees and setup a space. (Carl Carbonell, Mary Katherine Blackwell, and Lauren Buntin) My parents had a tent because they would tailgate at football games. We strung rope from sides of the tent and used clothespins to hang work. I had NO business cards and NO bags! I wrote on scraps of paper my email address for people because they wanted to buy more! And the crazy thing to me was that I sold OUT of some prints!!!! I can’t emphasize to you enough that I did not know what I was doing. But I knew I loved doing it.
I’m heading back up to Starkville this weekend for the Cotton District Festival again. I’ve just been thinking how amazing it is that I’m still doing what I love. I started with NO budget. The only reason I could print things is because I already owned a printer for school, and I had collected a lot of paper/scraps. I recycled and used everything. Then with the sales, I was able to buy more supplies (which to this day remains my business model.) I am so very thankful for all those first customers who supported a poor college student. Also I couldn’t have done it without my mom. (She and my dad were there in full force at the Cotton District supporting me.)
I’m saving 10-15 scarves to debut at Cotton District. I’m not putting them online (and some of them I really want to keep!!!) because Starkville is important to me. I wish I had time to make more work, but I kinda have a wedding to plan and prior commitments on work. This weekend will be very special for me. Dave and I are taking engagement photos on Friday night. Then a ton of our friends are coming into town so it’s going to be a huge reunion! For those going to Cotton District, I’ll be across the street from Bulldog Deli. And of course my favorite booth helper Dave will be with me.
Below are some pictures I pulled off from Facebook from my friend Allison (she is always so good at taking pics.) And she’ll be there again supporting her boyfriend (and one of my best friends) Tim Cook along with our friend Carl Carbonell in their booth “Dang Worthy.”
Love this pic with my mom on my right telling me something and my old boss, dear friend, big time support of LTS, Sally Hester.
Were you there my first year at Cotton District??? If so, do you remember anything?
My best friend of almost five years proposed to me on Monday, March 11, 2013. I met Dave Whitley in 3D Design and Painting 1 in August 2008. They were at 8:00 and 11:00. Of course I was the one that started the conversation, because I saw that we were gonna have the same schedule for 6 straight hours twice a week, and I just liked making friends in school! He was shy, not very talkative, nerdy, but REALLY talented. He put up with all my jokes and we started helping each other out in school with projects. We walked to the Union in between 3D and Painting to eat lunch. I brought a turkey sandwich and got Starbucks coffee. He got the same thing from Chic-Fil-A every single time – Grilled chicken sandwich with mustard, fries, and sweet tea. In the Spring, we (along with a bunch of new friends) started to plan to take all the same classes together. I knew he was really good and I wanted to learn from him. The summer of 2009, my grandfather died. Dave was there for me while I was going through one of the hardest times of my life. That summer he became my best friend.
It was BIG news that we started dating in November of 2011! (That’s a whole other blog post.) Well I guess that leads us to the proposal. One of our best friends Tim Cook sent me a text on Monday night “Are you with Dave?” This wasn’t out of the ordinary because Tim, Dave and I are always showing each other our work. I said yes (we had just finished eating supper). Tim said “Perfect! Can you go to http://tim-cook.com/newsite? I did some work on my website this weekend and want y’all to look at it.” Again, this is NORMAL. Tim has been redesigning his website for two years now and Dave and I have both been helping him with it. The weekend before I had told him “just get Dave to design it for you and finally finish it!” HA! So I tell Dave we have to go look at Tim’s test site. I ask him to pull it up on his laptop. He types in the address and it rolls over to http://katewhitley.com and this is the screen…
Clever, right? I first thought this was a mean joke from Tim. (Tim’s been teasing me for months on when we were gonna get engaged!) Then Dave reaches for his pocket then gets down on one knee. He asked me to marry him and I’m still a little in shock. Of course I said YES! And I never gave him any pictures or descriptions about a ring. But he picked out the most gorgeous antique 1920s Art Deco ring that I just love. And the thing I love the most about it is that he picked it out and knew what I would like.
The past year and a half has been filled with so much joy. I am thankful every single day for this man. I love him more everyday. I’m so thankful we have been in each other’s lives for SO long now. I can’t imagine my life without him. And I don’t want to! He is so wonderful to me. He brings me incalculable joy.
I can’t wait to marry him. I am looking so forward to all of our friends and family to share in our wedding day. Below are just a few pictures of the hundreds we have together from school and just a few of us dating. Our wedding website is not done yet. But when it is, I will be sure to let you know. (I’m marrying one heck of a web designer. Wedding bloggers are gonna be all over that! HA!) Oh! And yes, those are our two cats in the Save the Date (Eric and Weezie). AND the cutest thing – Weezie Thomas is going to become WEEZIE WHITLEY! oh. my. word. I actually had the idea for the Save-the-Dates almost a year ago. I have not fantasized about my dress or flowers, but don’t think for one second I haven’t given A LOT of thought what our invites would look like! Obviously it’s the most important thing to us.