I am so excited about my second Girl Boss feature! I met Kathryn Menzies of Blake House Collection through my husband, Dustin. While living in Columbia in 2015, I began to look for jobs and places to live in Charlotte. Dustin, my boyfriend at the time, had moved here for his job and I was anxious to be back in the same city as him. One day he told me about a girl he knew that had posted on Facebook about needing a roommate in the house she was living in with her brother. We messaged back and forth a few times and the next week I came to Charlotte for an interview and met with Kathryn the same day. We hit it off immediately and I moved in about 3 weeks later.
Living with Kathryn, and her brother Richard, was so much fun. They truly feel like family to me and I am so grateful for the time I had living with them. Fun fact: Kathryn was the first person to see my engagement ring before Dustin popped the question and she essentially made me get ready that morning because I was being a very slow jerk.
When Kathryn decided to start an online boutique, I knew that would be a great fit for her. She loves to think outside the box and she is constantly on the go. Soon after starting Blake House Collection, Kathryn also launched a blog, Southern Tailored . She has a simple, classic style that is so much fun to follow.
I asked Kathryn a few questions about Blake House Collection:
Why did you start Blake House Collection?
I have always had a love of fashion and I had dreamed of having my own boutique, so after a bunch of research and figuring out exactly what I wanted out of it, I thought there’s no time like the present!
Where did the name come from?
My family was originally “The Blake’s”, and our beach house on Sullivans Island is called “The Blake House.” It’s where I grew up and has so many special memories, so it seemed like the perfect fit!
What are some of the most stressful things about owning an online boutique?
That’s a tough one. I think the most difficult part is that even though I like something, that doesn’t mean that it will sell or that other people will like it as well, and vice versa.
What are some of the most rewarding things about owning an online boutique?
I think the most rewarding thing is everything that I have learned. I put myself to the test and proved to myself that I can do anything I put my mind to. I don’t think there are any negatives that can come out of something like this, owning a clothing store. Even if you fail, what you have learned along the way and taught yourself is priceless.
What inspires the style of BHC and who are some of your style icons?
I think that style of BHC is very classic but with a modern twist. I love the southern class with a little twang to it 😉
What are some of your favorite trends for fall?
Anything cheetah/leopard print, bell/flutter sleeves (whether on dresses or tops), blazers/car coats, and anything “tea length”/midi. I think the longer skirt/dress trend is making a massive come back compared to how a few years ago girls wanted everything short. Now the style is circling back around (my favorite part of the fashion industry), and women are more interested in looking classic and put together.
What does a typical day look like?
Absolutely insane haha! I work the equivalent of 4 jobs right now, so it’s a little crazy (but who doesn’t like a little craziness). I typically wake up around 5am and go to the gym where I get home around 645am to make some breakfast. From there I make sure my blog post of the day is good to go and that my instagram has been posted. After eating and a shower, I head to my full time gig at Elizabeth Bruns in South Park. I leave there around 4pm every day to head to volleyball, I help coach a varsity team here in Charlotte and that’s my time to get away from all the stress of life. Because I played at USC, it taught me that the second I walk on the court to let go of everything else, so I like to call it my therapy :). From there I head home to take care of our 8 month old puppy and work until about 10-11pm every night. I’m either getting my posts ready for the next day or sending emails with companies about collaborating with them, filling orders for BHC, etc. Around all of this, I also fit in shoots with my photographer (Deeana Kourtney Photography
) for everything I received in the mail that week. She’s also become one of my best friends so it’s nice to have this set time each week where we get to see each other and catch up. I also work for KIND Snacks, so I fit that into my days as well when I can.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
That’s a great question, and a very hard one at that. I don’t have an answer for career-wise, but in general, I want to be healthy, spending time with my family as much as I can, living in the moment and just happy. I know that sounds so cliche, but life can change in an instant, and I never want to take that for granted.
If you could style any celebrity, who would you pick and why?
Oh! I always think about this. I have so many different styles depending on how I’m feeling. My usual go-to is a Reese Witherspoon and her brand Draper James. I love the classic, southern belle look of it. If I could, I would buy everything she sells, but my husband might kill me 🙂 Another would be Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Her classy, poised & elegant look is what dreams are made of! I have this vision of what her house would look like, full of silver & crystal, throwing cocktail parties all the time. That is what I want to be doing when I get older! My final style is a casual, jeans & sneakers one. I love plaid and fleece lined jackets, patagonia. My style is pretty much like my life, hectic and always changing.
If you had to choose to do something other than working fashion, what would that be?
If I had to choose anything it would definitely be working for a non-profit. I used to plan all of our companies volunteer events and I’m so passionate about that, that one day I hope to be doing that again. It’s the most self-satisfying things, helping others, even if it’s something small, every little bit counts.
What’s in your purse?
Dangerous question. Food. Always food. I eat every 2-3 hours (max) so I have around 4-6 snacks in my purse at all times. Besides food, not that anything else is important, but I have mascara (my go-to makeup product that I won’t leave the house without), my wallet, chapstick, gum, probably some dog snacks (I love dogs and always have to have some kind of treat to give them), and my planner. I can’t get into having my calendar on my phone, I like to be able to flip through and have something tangible, so I can’t go any where without it!
I am so thankful to call Kathryn a friend and so proud of the work she is doing. Click any of the above photos to shop her looks! You can find her in the following places:
Website: Blake House Collection and Southern Tailored
Instagram: @blakehousecollection and @southerntailored
Facebook: Blake House Collection
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