Frame It: How did you come up with the concept of your Kate & Rae boutique?
Kate & Rae: I’ve always wanted a boutique and have especially loved hunting for local finds that either support local artists or have a sense of uniqueness to them. I’ve recently watched my dad follow his dreams and begin a cycling company he’s always wanted. While the battle hasn’t been easy, I’ve watched him be continually persistent and it made me open my eyes to the question of, “why not now?”. While inspired, I wasn’t completely capable of having a brick and mortar store at this time, so I opened up my boutique online. It quickly expanded to Frame It, which has satisfied my eagerness to put together displays and see all of my products together.
Frame It: Have you always known you wanted to start a boutique?
Kate & Rae: I don’t know that I always knew I wanted a boutique, but I knew I always loved shopping. I thought I was just a normal girl who loved hunting down new local shops and unique finds; I started noticing that I took a lot of interest in not only the products in a store, but how they’re staged and displayed, and how it affects the overall shopping experience. I quickly began to feel a burning desire to bring that to people.
Frame It: Tell us more about your inspiration and background up to starting Kate and Rae.
Kate & Rae: I’ve been lucky enough to grow up surrounded by entrepreneurs and those that have created a “dream big” mentality. I genuinely believe that anything is possible and you’re never too young to chase your dreams. There is no better time than now. Once I had this realization (around January 2015) I decided to get my ducks in a row and take action. I’ve been blessed with not only an inspirational father, but an unconditionally supportive mother, who is by best friend and business partner.
Having been an entrepreneur herself, my mother, Karen, helped guide me with the logistics of creating a business and where to begin. We started looking into what types of brands we liked and the products we wanted to carry and started buying – the best part! Once we began accumulating inventory, I learned how to build a website, take and edit photos, and get the word out.
Luckily for us, Nancy (owner of Frame It), is a close family friend and amazing mentor. She kindly stepped in as a sounding board and quickly became a part of our close knit team. She provides us with input on buying, displays, logistics, anything from a to z! Nancy kindly offered space at Frame It to display our Kate & Rae products and things have really flowed from there. We’ve also had a few other crucial team members join us along our journey – Katy, a close friend, and my Aunt Kris. Each of us work together bringing different perspectives and ideas to the table to create a unique and fun shopping experience to our customers.
Frame It: How do you find Kate & Rae’s unique inventory?
Kate & Rae: A lot of the unique inventory comes from our vast shopping experience. We typically come across a certain look we like, try and find out where it’s from and if we can get our hands on it. We’ve also been able to connect with some great people here in Denver who represent some great small artists who have a passion for what they do and pour their hearts into their work, just like us.
Frame It: What piece do you get the most interest in?
Kate & Rae: We get a ton of interest in our photo stands from Vilmain. There are several different styles; they can be used for a photo, note or a card, and are a great inexpensive gift.
Frame It: Is there any one piece you like the most?
Kate & Rae: There isn’t one particular piece I like the most, but if I had to choose a brand, I would choose Rifle Paper Company. We carry a bunch of their cards, phone cases, planners, and notepads. I think I own one of everything!
Frame It: Thanks for your time to do this interview!
Kate & Rae: I can’t say enough to express my gratitude to Nancy, DJ and the whole Frame It team. By allowing Kate & Rae to use Frame It for displaying our products, they’re helping make my dream come true. I’m able to bring these unique products to a market of people I probably wouldn’t ordinarily reach with just the website. It takes an army to make these small businesses a success and I’m truly grateful to have their team on my side.