Posted by Fernando Montesinos on

Kate Roebuck is the bomb. I knew this fact before I even met her. I became obsessed with her Oxford, MS house(and her collection of Hable Construction bags) when I spotted it in Anthology Magazine a few years ago. Then she moved to Chattanooga and now she is my neighbor. She has a great little bungalow that I love visiting because it is an outward expression of her fun and funky style. (And it is in no way childproofed, which is something I long for.) Kate is a talented artist and I am always inspired by her paintings, weavings and personal style.

{Photo by Corynne Pless.}

Recently Kate has been collaborating near and far. She created a series of paintings inspired by Clumpies Ice Cream flavors that are on display in their shop. She had a very successful Valentine’s Day sale with friend Britt Bass. And most recently had a live Instagram sale with Chairish. You can get to know her in the interview below. Be sure to follow her on Instagram and visit her website that she shares with lovely sister-in-law Laura Roebuck


Do you have a dog? What kind?

No dogs here, sorry! I had a pretty bitchy (both a pun and reality) little dog growing up and that may have ruined it for me. I do have a kitty-boo, Lady. She acts like a dog: she comes when I call her (only for me), she will clean my plate (especially if its leftover pastries), and she loves to sit on my lap.

What is your favorite room inthe house/apartment/yurt where you grew up?

My favorite room was my playhouse. I had a tiny little house in our backyard that was called “Katie’s House” (creative name I know.) It had flower boxes and electricity and it’s very own mailbox, 701 ½. My grandpa used to send me mail there, and I would go out there for hours to sew, draw, read, or just have a little independence. I loved it.

 What is your favorite room in your space now?

Our new house is pretty small, and new, so it has a ways to go. I love the living room, its got great light and high ceilings.  It’s where we entertain friends, where we relax and watch terrible tv shows, and where we spend the majority of our time at home. I also have a studio space downtown, and that is easily one of my favorite places because its where I get to be creative, it’s my own little place in the world.

{Kate’s house in Oxford MS. Photo by Corynne Pless, check out the Stray Dog Birds!}

What is your favorite room/thing to design?

As an artist and textile designer, pattern and color has always been my vantage point. I love dreaming up different motifs and envisioning them in full color, translating this into fine art.

But… then there are those moments, when these crazy ideas pop into your head and the best part about working for myself is just being able to go for it! I have no one to tell me “NO!” ( which admittedly can be a good or bad thing!)

 Who is your favorite artist?

My favorite artist is Helen Frankelthaler. She is such a bad-ass. Born in the 1920’s, she came of age as an artist during the 50’s, look out Betty Draper. Her medium and her work is both delicate and physical and I love her strength. She is my role model.

 What was your first job?

My first REAL job (I don’t think we want to count sales girl at Wet Seal) was working for Hable Construction, a textile design company.

There are many hats an artist must wear when running a business, under the tutelage of the Hable sisters, owners and executives of the company, I watched and experienced how to wear those hats gracefully and came to understand community.

 What led you to this career?

I graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in textile design. I applied the year before for an internship with 45 different companies and heard back from a whopping 4! Hable Construction was one of them and they were easily where I could see myself working . They are truly as amazing as they seem.  Last year I left Hable to pursue a full time career in studio art and started my own company, Kate Roebuck Studio— and Bowerbird Collective a web-shop/studio with my sister-in-law and best friend.

What decorative accessory do you love to work with the most?

I to LOVE using textiles as inspiration. The color, pattern, motif, and history  of textiles continually excites me and I try to keep an element of this in my work.

 What are you reading right now?

OOO i am reading a book called “Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time” by Brigid Schulte. It’s awesome… a great book for mothers and working women. The beginning, in my opinion and a few others friends who have read the book, can make you more overwhelmed to read, but once you get past the part about how “overwhelmed” the author is, the book starts getting into the science and politics of working families and mothers. 

-and then i am also reading-

“Auntie Mame” by Patrick Dennis— which is my FAVORITE movie and I recently discovered it was originally a book. It’s about a young orphaned boy who is adopted by his Auntie Mame who is a wildly eccentric woman during the 1950’s when eccentric was a little more “misunderstood.”  I would suggest you watch the movie, its hilarious. 

One of my favorite lines from the movie.


What is your favorite part of the job?

I can’t say there is ONE thing about my job that is my favorite because I feel so blessed by several parts of this line of work.  Don’t get me wrong, there are several moments when I feel overwhelmed, on the crazy cycle, and full of self-doubt, but working to get through that can be so rewarding.  At the top of my “best of “ list is community. I love being able to use art as a tool to connect with people. As an artist, the community I seek to support is one that gives freely and shares in each others success. 

 How does living in (the city/part of the country you live in) influence your designs?

Inspiration is one part living in each moment and one part dedicated research. There are moments when inspiration comes like its dropped from the sky in front of you and then there are days spent in bookstores and libraries searching for words, pages, images, and documents. Inspiration is waiting in each experience, and the richness and diversity of southern culture is ripe for the picking.


{Here is another lovely little conversation with Kate!}


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