Meet our COO: Katie

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This is a continuation of the Lekker profile series where we’re getting personal with each member of the team.

We hope you enjoy getting to know us.

Katie Kavanagh

For most of us – we choose which scope of the world to focus on.

It’s either the big picture you constantly trace with your fingertips so it’s never out of reach or the ornate detailing of the “now” – you’re able to dress up every decision and smallest action with precision.

For Katie, her sights are set firmly on both.

Armed with unwavering conviction seemingly since birth, she is looking to master all of her talents, no matter how big or small.

Because of that – she’s always tried to find one person’s career whom she wanted to model, but that person has yet to exist: “She’s like an Anna Wintour of design mixed with a Merryl Streep from Devil Wears Prada, mixed with Margaret Russell from Architectural Digest, mixed with India Mahdavi.”

Her personal life mirrors a similar mosaic ideology – she loves a vacation in a tropical oasis, to ogle over the complexities of New York, or find profound quietness on a mountaintop in Colorado. The commonality between this wide array of people and aspirations is a sense of magnitude; the force of her personality demands the rest of the experiences and surroundings in her life to, well, keep up.

And she isn’t afraid to foster these moments alone.

As an only child, her days were filled with imaginative play – having to set aesthetic scenes completely from scratch for as long she can remember.

This manifested by orchestrating elaborate architectural designs in the Sims (or critiquing her mothers’), organizing seasonal outfits for Barbies like Marissa, or chumming with an imaginary friend.

That creative underbelly was quietly woven into her upbringing, for the most part, in the form of creative hobbies – art summer camp, the violin, flute, or ceramics classes. She managed to hold onto that piece of herself with a graphic design minor during her college years at Tufts.

To this day, she becomes the most creative by herself when those imaginative scenarios can take center stage. Though she’s not one for rituals, she often indulges in that inner creative voice and ruminates the day’s possibilities during humdrum daily tasks.

The creative moved to the forefront when Katie found a posting for Lekker on craigslist in 2012.

“I accidentally stumbled upon something I’m really passionate about.”

Her role at Lekker mirrors the approach she’s had to life – it’s involved, challenging, and touches almost every single aspect of the business on the daily. Growing up watching the entrepreneurial spirit of her parents, her view of work has followed suit – it’s always “on” and full of passion.

At Lekker she started from the ground up as a part-time sales associate but quickly took initiative to begin updating the website and graphics when she could, helping her go from part-time to full-time within a week.

Since then, she’s been the Showroom Manager, the Marketing Manager, buying, customer service, sales, all of it.

The mood board of Katie’s life

Those experiences fuel her favorite part about the job: the immense responsibility it takes to keep Lekker running, “I love that the buck stops with me – good or bad.”

Besides holding down the team, she heads our trade department and is constantly involved in moving the machines of the showroom, buying, marketing, and the website.

“It’s extremely important for me to do something creative every day as well as something analytical. I love being able to say – I did this and here’s the proof. It’s hard to put your finger on what the proof is if you’re just being creative all the time.”

In case you couldn’t tell by now, she’s someone who does it all and does it well.

This could be why she is most inspired by designers who managed to change an entire industry or build an entirely new platform in design – like a Kelly Wearstler or Mahdavi.

Until she’s able to do that, her approach to design is as much about theory as it is about feeling. The same way prominent familial spaces in youth make you feel at ease – the matching florals in a grandmother’s house or the smell of your parent’s living room, she’ll tell you the main duty of your “home” is to bring you back to yourself.

One day a home will contain all the identities of Katie, curated from the very top of its ceilings down to the dustpan.

For now, she says: “I dream of having a house with an atrium … like the gardens of Babylon”.

Missed our last Lekker profile? Read about our Showroom Manager Marissa here.

 

 

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