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Q: You were previously marketing security merchandise for police officers. How did you end up designing women’s dresses?
A: I’ve always been very cognizant of looking professional, yet feminine. As I got older, I realized that it was much more difficult to find clothing that was appropriate for my age, my style and my lifestyle. It’s a tremendously underserved market and I felt that it was time to give women the perfect line of clothing. The idea came to me when my husband and I were on a vacation in the Caribbean and extended our stay. I needed a dress for a special event and wasted an entire day shopping because I could not find anything that was fun and flattering, yet age appropriate.
Q: What inspired you to create Katherine Way Collections?
A: I saw the need to create a line of feminine dresses for women who want to look stylish in clothing that fits well and flatters their body. This is an underserved market as too many designers focus on trendy, revealing clothing that doesn’t work for all ages and all body types. I wanted to design fun, flirty, colorful dresses that can work for many different occasions taking a woman from a work environment to a dinner party, or from a sports event to a luncheon. Our resort wear line works the same way - it’s great for touring and sightseeing yet also flows right into a semi-formal dinner event.
Q: There are so many women’s clothing brands out there. What makes your products different or how do they stand out?
A: We’re very focused on fun and function. Women want fashion-forward apparel that fits correctly and hides little imperfections, while still being comfortable. We’ve achieved this great balance of bright colorful fabrics, paired with our unique fabric technology, all in flattering designs. Our patterns are beautiful, playful and make a statement all their own.
Q: You mention fabric technology. What do you mean by that?
A: We’ve worked hard to create a fabric blend of nylon and spandex that wears well, travels well and launders well, all while offering exceptional moisture-wicking ability to keep women feeling cool and fresh. We also went a step further by ensuring that our fabrics are certified UPF 50+ sunscreen protection since we sell resort and golf wear.
Q: Who’s your target audience? Who’s buying KWC?
A: When we started this, I believe our materials said they were for women ages 30-64, trying to hone in on that market of women who want to hide imperfections. But our styles and patterns are so versatile, we’re seeing mothers and daughters shopping together and buying our clothing and even have encountered three generations - including the grandmother - all owning KWC.
Q: You’ve made a point of keeping your production right here in the USA. Why is that important and how did you make that work?
A: When I first started the company, I did see that I could have a larger margin by sourcing materials and production outside of the U.S. But I made a commitment to myself, and to those retailers who carry my collection, that I would strive to be 100% produced within the U.S. We worked diligently to find the right partners right here at home so I’m proud to say that we are 100% a ‘Made in the USA’ brand - including our fabrics, manufacturing and assembly. Retailers have told me how much they, and their customers, appreciate this commitment.
Q: Your golf line has been featured at some major golf tournaments and was recently singled out for a buyers choice award at the PGA Show. How did you end up designing golf wear?
A: I learned that women were wearing our dresses on the golf course - for both playing and spectating - because our moisture-wicking fabrics allowed them to head straight into the clubhouse after being out in the sun, still feeling fresh and comfortable. I started talking to women golfers and listening to them so we began designing other functional pieces designed specifically to meet the needs and movements of golfers. Our new collection features trendsetting golf dresses, skorts, shorts, tops and jackets constructed with those innovative fabric technologies I mentioned previously.