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Kate Hartley's picture
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Kate Hartley

United StatesMercer Island, United States

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April 6, 2013

Kate Hartley

About Me: 

I am what they call a "recovering New Yorker". After years of fast track, corporate style living and working in New York City, I fled to the Pacific Northwest in search of a saner way of life. I needed to trade in the pavement and subway for a back yard with a garden and trees. So here I am, nestled on a small island outside of Seattle, Washington where I live and work out of my home.

Having never done a moment of art in my life, I began to collage at age 41. Teaching myself through trial, error and happy accidents, I finally found what I had heard others talk passion. For the first time in my life, I lost track of time, completely absorbed in my world of creating something new and beautiful out of random elements. My collage work grew in to working with objects and home decor items...decoupaging trays, boxes, joy was in taking a seemingly ordinary object and bringing it to a new life. I worked in my little corner of the garage at nights and on weekends, while still holding down my "real" job as a product development manager for an art publisher.

My daily prayer was how to be able to do what I loved, creating beautiful items for the home, as a full time job. To my great good fortune,the company I was working for got sold and my department was laid off. I was I go out and try to find another "job" or do I take a chance on my self, and see if I can turn this passion into something. I was determined to make my living off my talent and my hands....whatever I did, I wanted it to be a hand made product made from my design. While I did have a few stores that carried my pieces, I needed to create a product I could make by hand and sell a lot of!

And so, I made some decoupage light switch covers and sent them off to a big retail chain of stores called Anthropolgie. Friends and associates thought I had lost my mind...who makes a business out of making light switch covers? But to everyone's surprise, especially mine, Anthropologie bought a full line of my light switch covers...for all their stores...across the country! My business, Full Circle Studio, was born.

Fourteen years later, we are still making everything by hand from my designs...we have a few more hands on board and make not only light switch covers, but magnets, paperweights, flour sack towels and linens. This past year, my designs have been licensed to create a line of pillows that are sold nationally. I have found the most wonderful women artisans to craft our products from their homes...and I still follow my passion of creating collages.

I tell my story to encourage any women out there...who may be dreaming of taking her "art" that fine art, jewelry, clothing, baskets, fabric, photography, writing, anything....out into the market place, to DO IT! I am here to help in any way I can.

With love,

My Passions: 
Creativity in all forms, authentic living, self discovery, my women friends,reading, art, animals
My Challenges: 
self expression, time to play and explore, reaching out via social media
My Vision for the Future: 
A world where all are valued, nurtured and respected
My Areas of Expertise: 
business start up, product development, business management
My Languages: 
English, A bit of French

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