Kat Burki is a woman you want to know. She exudes a beautiful and intelligent sophistication and she lends that to every facet of her company. To go into her new store is a breath of fresh air and to go to Kat Burki online (http://www.katburki.com/) is a beautiful place to get lost for hours. We were lucky enough to have a sit down with Kat and discuss everything from how she started to where she sees herself in ten years
Hi Kat, thanks for taking the time and chatting with us. So, first of all congratulations on the launch of your Connecticut store! It looks absolutely stunning. Were you behind the design of the store?
Kat: Thank you! Yes, I was behind the design of the store. I’ve had an idea of how the store should look for a long time. We actually had the entire space built out with this concept in mind. We also have excellent merchandisers that helped to carry out the vision to perfection.
Tell us about yourself, where did all of this begin for you?
Kat: I began as an interior designer. I still do interior design work but have much less time to carry too many projects. I started designing products through these design projects, which led to one ad, I ran in Panache Magazine featuring a mixture of pillows of my design with antique Aubusson pillows. The very first day this ad ran, a woman in Beverly Hills called and bought every pillow in the ad. I think I was hooked on retail from that moment on.
When you first started, what was your biggest dream? And have you accomplished that?
Kat: My dream is to create a feeling that overwhelms people with beauty, luxury and bliss. I want this feeling to come across in our environments that we create, through superior products and through our customer service. I have accomplished this but there are plenty of more people to reach and outlets to do this.
You recently came out with a new collection of candles. Each candle is dedicated to a specific sign. Take us through the process of choosing the scents for each of these signs?
Kat: I grew up listening to my mom and her best friend talk astrology. I was creating mini charts for friends as young as fourteen. I’ve really never carried the study of astrology further than that and it was always purely for fun. But I think I have a base knowledge and understanding that is there, and I’ve picked up on a lot throughout the years. I’ve noticed how people tend to gravitate towards certain colors and scents and these tendencies seemed to be replicated in signs that were the same.
I researched plants, herbs, and flowers associated with each sign. I began experimenting the summer of 2009 with these scents. It was a long process, and then to take three of four major fragrances associated with each sign and create a scent that was excellent took me until the spring of 2010. Along with this was the design of the tins, they are the colors I found associated with each sign as well as what appealed to that sign. Through experimentation and trail and error the line was finally completed. We have only had a few people not like their sign in a candle. It’s really amazing and most will say they feel “at home” or there is something pleasantly reminiscent about their sign’s fragrance.
Has this always been a passion of yours or is it something that you’ve developed through the years?
Kat: Yes, I really think this has always been my passion. I love to create ambiance, to create pleasant memories, experiences for people. I also love creating products of superior quality, its just often so absent in the marketplace.
What has been the response to your collection?
Kat: Extremely positive. Love, adore, addicted are all wonderful adjectives we hear in relation to the line.
What are your hopes for 2011
Kat: We are in the growth phase of our company. We are ironing out kinks and working hard keeping up with the growth. It’s exciting. I hope to have more luscious products to offer for the body bath and boudoir and hope to be readily available to more people.
What’s on the horizon for Kat Burki & where do you see yourself in 5, 10 years?
Kat: Kat Burki the line will continue to grow in our unique body and bath capacity. We will be launching a catalog and will open up one or two more boutiques and possibly store within stores. We are dedicating more personnel to online growth and our overall website plan. Me as a person will continue to make sure we are delighting people with soft and sophisticated scents, materials and environments. I have a deep commitment and need to give back and I am sure as I have more time, my time will become increasing dedicated to charities I care deeply about.