Handmade Holiday Gift Guide • Simply 1 Love

Cat in her own words...

Do you have any fun nicknames? How did you get them? 
Haha my hubby calls me the "Snack Queen" because I always have snacks in my bag or we always need to stop to grab them before a long drive. Other than that just my name, Cat which is short for Catrina.

Tell us about you!
I am originally from a small farm town in central California and moved to San Francisco with my husband 2 years ago after he accepted his dream job working at a golf club here in the city. We were recently married in May of this year, and have one fur baby together (real babies soon to come). I love exploring new cities, driving around aimlessly & getting lost. Thrift shopping and fashion is my second love and I spend my weekends creating & sewing. Last year I started the tradition of passing out lunches to homeless people here in San Francisco. I used profits from my business and entitled it the "You Are Loved Campaign". I hope to continue the tradition annually and grow the campaign even bigger each year. Other than that I am a huge bay area sports fan and you can always find me at games all year long.

What is the name of your business and what is it you make?
The name of my business is Simply 1 Love. I hand make and sew kimonos, ponchos and accessories for women and girls. I also sell vintage and boutique clothing with a "girl next door" vibe.

How did you start your business? How has it evolved?
I started my business back in 2013 (maybe even earlier if you count the name change and selling on Facebook haha). I only sold hair accessories, many of which were hot glued (terrible I know). From there I made jewelry for awhile and then within the last year stared sewing kimonos and ponchos. Through all of the changes I have always kept the vintage/bohemian vibe and love that aspect of the business. I am sure I'll change things in the future but Simply 1 Love will always be an extension of who I am.
What is the meaning of your business name? How did you come up with it?
Simply 1 Love's name was created from my love of reggae music (one love) and just living simply. The brand has evolved since then but I feel the meaning behind it is still it is still the same. Also my one true love is fashion, and thats what I sell! haha

What is your biggest dream for you and your business?
My biggest dream for Simply 1 Love is to become more of a styling based business with the handmade aspect being a huge part of it. I ideally would love to throw styling parties, show women how to use their wardrobe to it's potential and eventually be able to create and grow my second company Frankie + Sirena (still in the dream stage @frankieandsirena). Maybe one day even owning a brick and mortar.

What is your favorite part? The part you don’t care for as much?
My favorite part of Simply 1 Love is being able to help women feel confident in their clothing. When I see a smile on the face of someone and know it is because of something I did it lights up my world. To be honest I am not a huge fan of sewing up orders and packaging/shipping. One goal in 2017 is to become ready made. I usually don't have stock on hand and it drives me insane when orders come piling in.

What is something we wouldn’t know about you or your business?
One thing you wouldn't know about me is that I lack self confidence and suffer from extreme overwhelm/anxiety when it comes to everything I have to do on a given day/week. To Do lists & wine have become my best friends when dealing with the huge pile of work I give myself. 

What has been your biggest accomplishment so far? What are you most proud of?
My biggest accomplishment to date has to be getting my kimonos on Sheana Shay of Vanderpump Rules. We got so many orders from her social media posts! Also it would have to launching my website and being completely self taught at everything I have done with Simply 1 Love.

What does shopping small mean to you?
Shopping small to me means supporting a dream. When you shop small you not only support a family you support a dream. You put food on the table of a family, allow a family to pay their bills and even send their kids to college. People like you and me are the ones impacted by the decision to shop small, not huge corporations.

Why is handmade so important?
Handmade is quality! I have struggled with the idea of fast fashion lately (think Forever 21) and hate the fact that most larger companies are not sustainable. I love that handmade items are made with love and are often times much sturdier than something bought from a department store. It is our job to leave the planet in better shape than what  we were born into and what better way than to buy handmade.

What are your plans for the holidays? 
What is your favorite way to spend the holidays? Favorite traditions? My hubby and I are spending the holidays with his parents in Santa Cruz (both Thanksgiving & Christmas) Because we are from towns close to each other all of our family lives close together and it makes it easy to spend time with everyone. Christmas day usually tops the cake by spending it at his aunt and uncle's house in Carmel by the Sea. Most traditions take place there (like this amazing breakfast called "EggThing" haha) 

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