If you are a conventionally attractive woman, you’ll do better in life. Katie used to buy into that notion, but has decided that these societal standards aren’t for her. She’s never fit that “convention” and has grown into loving that about herself. In the past, she dressed to “hide” things about her body, but now she lets that roll peek out and still feels beautiful.

Little by little, she empowers herself by disobeying the established rules about how curvy women should dress. You see these rules everywhere. Wear this to hide that, accentuate something else. “Eff that,” says Katie, “I’m going to wear what I want.”

For her, it’s all about dressing for herself and not everyone else. She thinks this newly developed point of view is part of maturing and wanting to feel confident. She defines her own fashion rules and that’s what inspires her confidence.

I met Katie at Target, where she works as a lead strategist. She’s that happy blend of analytical perfectionist and zealous creative who strives to create meaningful conversations between people and businesses. She’s worked on big accounts like Bayer, Frito-Lay, Wrigley, Papermate, Nestle, SC Johnson, Chevy & Allstate. For her work on Bayer, she received an Effie finalist nod.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the “Mayhem” character for AllState. Katie took over as lead strategist on that account in 2015. Yeah, watch out, because she’s only getting started.

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Katie has great style. She’s that woman at the office that can pull off a t-shirt, jeans, sneakers and ball cap and make it seem business professional. I wanted to get to know her even better, so we got together and talked about family, confidence, adult braces and various other interesting things.

Given the choice of anyone is the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
Alive or dead?
It’s your dinner party.
My Grandmother. She’s deceased, but I would really like to talk with her. Connecting to my roots generates energy for me. Knowing that I’m part of a continuum, 1 in a long line people gives me a sense of who I am. History and heritage are very important in my culture.

Would you like to be famous?
Yes I would! I believe if you’re given an opportunity, you should take it. Use power for good! I do this in small ways everyday, but if I were famous, I would have scale.

Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
Yes, I rehearse conversations and presentations. My mind works faster than my mouth. I’m a stream of consciousness note taker and then I organize later.

When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
5 minutes before I met with you! I Snapchatted with my new niece.

Do you have a secret hunch about how you’ll die?
For some reason, I feel like my ticker is going to give out on me.

Name 3 things you and your fiancé appear to have in common?
We’re very emotional. We both have a deep desire to cultivate family, which is actually a behavior that you have to practice everyday. We both like to make stuff. He’s a guitarist and I’m a singer. That’s how we met, through music.

women-i-work-with-katie-ablan-floral-dress

For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
My fiancé, Tim.

If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
Teleportation. I’d love to randomly pop up in Paris.

Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time?
I thought I wanted to be a physician, but it turns out that I’m really bad at organic chemistry. So, I’ve been thinking about becoming a doula or a midwife. Pregnancy and birth are really cool and I’d love to give support during this process. I want to be a vessel of communal knowledge because we’re losing it.

What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
I can’t say that I’ve had it yet. I’m still in the first act of the movie.

What do you value most in a friendship?
I wish I had a singular word for it. It’s this notion of empathy and behavior. Someone who understands you and actively has your back. There’s probably a word, I just can’t think of it.

How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?
I had an amazing childhood until I was 10 years old. My baby brother died unexpectedly and it really changed the family. I feel like I had a catastrophe level family event, and you don’t get out of that unscathed. I now have a huge, warm & amazing extended family and because of Tim, I have 2 amazing extended families! In some ways, I’ve had it much better than others and in other ways, I’ve had some hard knocks.

When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
Yesterday. As I was leaving my newborn niece, I cried. I cry multiple times a week. I love it!

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Back to style. How do you create your look? Where do you shop?
In general I am a high/low/freegan shopper and dress for style over trend or retailer aesthetic.

In my closet: I’m an ASOS fangirl, thrift store, Burberry, Forever21 (yes, I still shop there), Louis Vuitton, vintage (I have a fringe jacket that I will never throw away), True Religion, Sam Edelman, surprisingly lots of Target (especially since I started working there), I try to buy clothes when I travel. I went to Vietnam last year and had a bunch of over-the-top sleepwear made.

Get Katie’s looks
Look 1
Brown dress: ASOS
Lips: Bite Beauty in Kale
Necklace: SugarFix by Target
Shoes: Bought online from a retailer in Tokyo

Look 2
Blue dress: ASOS
Lips: Revlon (the label rubbed off so I’m not sure of the color name)
Necklace: Forever21
Shoes: Target

Look 3
Floral dress: Michael Kors
Lips: MAC lipstick in Dubanet
Earrings: Bauble Bar
Shoes: Sam&Libby by Target

Look 4
Lips: MAC lipstick in Dubanet
Hat: New Era/Chance the Rapper Limited Addition Sox Cap
Black turtleneck: ASOS
Black jeans: Target
Shoes: Dolce Vita by Target

Posted by:womeniworkwith

2 replies on “No stilettos, but I fucking love lipstick.

  1. Great article! I longed for a resolution to the pull quote of adult braces & being viewed as juvenile. Katie is fantastic & inspiring. The article leaves me wanting more.

    Like

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