Thursday, June 2, 2011

Q&A with Kat of We Can Re-do It

As someone who does a lot of fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants crafting, I am always impressed by someone who can think their projects through from start to finish—especially when it involves repurposing materials. Case in point, Kat, who's new site We Can Re-do It is filled with awesome ways to turn things you already have into things you will love even more. Here's a bit from Kat on what she does and why she does it.

What inspires you to make new things from discarded ones?
Moving to New York eight years ago, I was confronted with refuse in a way that was far more abrasive than I’d experience anywhere else I’ve lived. Some days the trash is literally spilling out of the garbage cans and out on to the street. This constant reminder of how much we all consume and discard took me from feeling that recycling/repurposing is a good thing we all should do to viewing it as absolute necessity.

How would you describe your style?
Maybe because my style varies pretty wildly, I don’t view it in any real specifics. I'm interested in using my clothes to express something personal so I focus on that and stay away from thinking in terms of whether something looks good or bad. What that expression happens to be changes from day to day, but it regularly involves a lot of layered prints and old boots.

Do you have a favorite type of project?
Years of working as an accessories designer has given me a natural proclivity toward the ones involving shoes, bags and jewelry. I love them, but the most fun has really come from working on projects that are totally foreign to me. Feeling free to experiment with new techniques and objects was one of the primary reasons for my starting this blog. Because all the projects come from second hand and discarded materials, the costs are super low (I've yet to make anything for the blog that has even added up to $10). Not worrying about screwing up the “good stuff” affords me the bravery to try everything I can think of, and if goes awry, that’s fine. Crafting gone bad is usually pretty fun, and if not at least funny.

Why is making things important to you and what do you think it adds to your life?
I stay super excited about what I’ll be working on next and the new things I want to try out. At some point this general feeling of optimism and always having something to look forward to just sort of spilled over in to rest my life. It’s been a surprising but lovely contagion. The other reason would be that I love seeing what I'm able to create with my own hands.

Where do you live and do you think that being there has influenced your style?
I live in Brooklyn, NY. I think city living has mostly affected my style in terms of it becoming WAY more utilitarian. Being responsible for getting myself from place to place and and with everything I need in tow has forced me to view what I choose to wear and carry around very differently than when I owned a car. In addition to how they look, I judge my clothes and accessories by what they’re able to provide for me. Having to think in these terms has caused a major shift in how I now define beauty, and I think it's for the better.