New York is without a doubt the most incredible city in the world. I’ve had the opportunity to travel to some truly beautiful and unique cities, but none have that frenetic energy that New York has. There’s just a feeling you get when you’re there… it’s almost hard to put into words. It’s exciting, fast paced, innovative, creative – it really is the city that never sleeps! I first came to the city when I was 16 years old. I did the Interior Design summer program at Parsons and got to live downtown in the NYU dorms. I had never felt so alive – so inspired! After the 4 week program was over, I knew I had to come back. New York City had stolen my heart. Fast forward to college and graduation. I had finished a semester early with a degree in design and was itching to get out of my hometown. I was working as a nanny (for the sweetest people who are like my second family,) and found myself missing the creative outlet my classes provided. I started With Love From Kat so that I could have a place to write, create, share, and inspire. I remember getting so excited just thinking about what I was going to post next! Of course this was before the days of Pinterest/Instagram/social media and the only people reading it were my mom and like 2 friends! Regardless, I kept posting and started planning my move to the Big Apple. I saved up my nannying money, sold my car, packed 4 bags, and booked a one way ticket. I crashed with a girlfriend from college who was already living in the city, and started interviewing for jobs. I lucked out and landed a job right away at a small jewelry company. They were looking for someone to do their social media, PR, and a bit of everything in between (sales, customer service, trunk shows, coffee runs – you name it.) I had zero experience in PR, but I was ready and willing to learn. It was exhilarating to wake up to the noise of NYC and ride the subway to my office in the Garment District everyday. I would come home and write my blog late at night after work. I was completely broke, but I could not have been happier. I was living my dream in NYC as an independent girl, working in the fashion industry, writing my blog! After a year and a half, my blog started to really take off (I’ll share that story in a separate post.) I decided to quit my job in 2012 and start a social media consulting business to make ends meet. I networked like crazy – going to every party, event, and dinner. I was 23, headstrong and passionate. My hard work paid off (aka the blood, sweat and tears, unglamorous, behind the scenes stuff that I’ll also share in a separate post) and I was able to solely focus/support myself via my blog. The years to follow were exciting to say the least, and full of incredible trips, parties, fashion weeks, new friendships, and collaborations. It all happened so fast – in what feels like the blink of an eye – and now here I am, 6 years later, saying goodbye to the city that shaped me, seasoned me, and made me who I am. It’s bittersweet to say goodbye to NYC, but it feels so right. I had been craving a slower paced lifestyle for a long time and had a strong desire for a healthier work/life balance. This desire is exactly what brought me to move to Paris over a year and a half ago. I had always admired how the french worked to live, versus lived to work. Paris proved to be too far from home, family, and friends so I came back to NYC 3 months later, a bit discouraged but hopeful, and began to really re-evaluate things. I fell back into my NYC groove – planning brunches with friends in the West Village, shooting projects with Talun in Soho, taking inspiring meetings, having brainstorming sessions at neighborhood cafes, enjoying wine nights with girlfriends, dating, museum hopping etc…but I still craved a sense of peace and calm that I knew deep down NYC could not provide. When summer approached, I decided to take some time off in August and go on a solo road trip through Southern California. I drove all over La Jolla, Santa Barbara, Malibu, Venice Beach, Palm Springs and Santa Monica (you may remember my post about it here!) At the end of my trip I had 3 days left where I hadn’t booked anything and I felt myself drawn back to Venice Beach. The energy there is unlike anywhere else – it exudes that cool, California laid back, ease. Just as NYC had drawn me in and tugged at my heart strings all those years ago, Venice was doing the exact same thing. When summer was over and it was time to head back, I felt like my heart was still in Venice. My body was craving that warm California sunshine, the friendly vibes, fresh food and ocean breeze! When I moved to NYC, I knew that I would someday end back up on the West Coast, but I just wasn’t sure when – or how. I had spent the last few months daydreaming of moving, and was particularly longing to move right around the New Year (especially with winter coming up!) The universe works in mysterious ways. A few days after the New Year, a friend texted me saying she had gotten a neuroscience fellowship at NYU and was looking for a furnished, West Village apartment to move into immediately. My heart skipped a beat with excitement – it was the sign I had been looking for! 5 days later, I flew to LA, found my dream home, signed the papers, transferred my lease and sold her all of my furniture (even dishes!), packed my bags (I had more than 4 this time…) and threw one epic goodbye party. It all happened extremely fast, but in such a beautiful, seamless way. I am forever grateful to the friends who helped me pack (you know who you are!) and to everything that I’ve been able to experience in NYC. It’s really true – if you can make it in NYC, you can make it anywhere. It is NOT an easy city to live in, but it is so worth it. I would not trade my time there for anything. This is a new chapter for me personally and professionally. As with anything new, I’m a combination of excited, nervous, hopeful, and scared. At the end of the day though, I just feel so lucky to be able to say that I genuinely love what I do, that I built a business from the ground up, and made my dreams come true in the city that stole my heart so many years ago. For those of you who have been following me from the beginning and believed in me all along the way, and for those of you who have just discovered me and have been so supportive of my work and my journey thus far – thank you. I can’t wait to share my new home and life in Venice Beach with you.
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” -Thoreau