in honor of one of my inspirations

since i first heard the news yesterday of the passing of kate spade, i have felt an emptiness. shock. and, sadness for such a bright, beautiful talent, who was clearly struggling.

it’s not because of her handbags and all of the sweet memories i have around each of my kate bags.

it’s mostly about how much of a style influence she has had on me. how much her desire to live colorfully has always spoken to me, particularly as i started this little dream of mine and believed that color should be something to always feel confident in. how i always, always, always appreciated her attention to the details, down to the inspirational inserts in the inside pocket of every handbag.

and, it’s a lot because she was fighting a silent battle with her mental health that no one seemingly knew about, except perhaps those closest to her. that this right here is going on with more people than you can possibly realize and has lasting and dramatic impacts on the people who are struggling, their families and those closest to them. as someone who has battled with anxiety for a lot of my life, it’s hard at times to keep the smile on. and, admittedly, i’ve tended to keep very quiet about my anxiety and anxious tendencies, except now that i’m getting older and saying “whatever, i need to be honest about who i am, and this is part of who i am.” and seeing just how many of those around me and around us struggle, and knowing that if my sharing can help one more person, it’s worth it. (sounds cliche, i know.)

as i sat yesterday and thought about this tribute, i realized just how many memories i have that involve kate and her beautiful pieces. so many are sharing theirs, so here are mine:

  1. my first kate spade bag. i got it at neiman marcus in new york city. it was her black, classic bag. my mom and i were on a weekend trip there.
  2. right after mr. re-nest and i got engaged, he surprised me with a weekend trip to chicago for my birthday. we went to the kate spade store, and he bought me my first large kate bag. what was so special was that he planned this weekend, saved for it, and made a trip to the kate store part of our trip because it just made me smile.
  3. my kate diaper bag. i had two. 🙂 one was gifted to me by my sister-in-law, and the other was willed to me by one of my dear friends. (i had actually given her the diaper bag when she had her first baby, and she sent it to me when i was pregnant with #1 to use.)
  4. each of my boys’ baby china are kate spade designs.
  5. her books are stacked on my nightstand. “things we love,” “manners,” “style,” and “occasions.”
  6. mother’s day 2016. my boys got me a new navy/blue/white plaid kate bag that i carry every spring and summer.
  7. every single time that i am near one of her stores, i go in. i’m not necessarily looking to buy, but just being in the retail space – with the color, simplicity and style – inspires the heck out of me.
  8. her brand and style. everytime i’ve done a business exercise for re-nest and i have to name aspirational brands that i want to emulate, kate spade has always been at the top of the list. it sounds silly, but her use of all lowercase letters is a big reason why i do the same. she has always been stylish, but accessible. bright and beautiful, while making a statement.

last night, i walked down to my studio and just looked around. there is color everywhere. bright colors. it always comes in to the designs i make. color is beautiful. and, kate spade has been a huge influence and reason why i embrace color.

*if you or someone you know needs help, please seek help. the national suicide prevention lifeline is available 24/7, is free and confidential – 1.800.273.8255

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