Event Announcement with Shop Katsch

Today, I am excited to share a special event coming up this August that I am co-hosting with Shop Katsch!

Wedding and Event Stationery from Minted. Featured: Enchanting Plum Wedding Invitations

Invitation here

At the end of August, I am joining forces with the boutique shop, Katsch, to host a Sip & Style event to welcome the fall season. It’s going to be a special night of food, drinks, shopping (of, course!), and sharing our favorite fall trends for 2016 and how to work them into your wardrobe and home decor. It’s an invite only event, but you won’t miss a thing because I will be recapping the home decor trend forecast here on the blog once the event is over. Plus, I love a good party, so I’ll also be sharing all the party details that we collaborated on together with Minted.

If you get that special invite in the mail, you won’t want to miss it because there is an extra special discount for shopping that night and you will get a firsthand look at the new fall fashion and decor pieces along with ideas on how to incorporate them into your wardrobe and home.

Also, this is the first post for one of the new features I’ve promised you guys. I’m sharing some local love of my favorite places to shop, eat, play and stay in the QCA and northern Midwest region. It is my first BH Midwest post as part of a little parting gift to you local friends and visitors to the area before we move out to New England.

In honor of this fun Sip & Style event, I thought we could do a little Q+A with the owner of Katsch. I always like hearing from fellow girl bosses and their stories of how they started up their businesses. It’s always so inspiring!

Entrepreneur: Amy DeFauw

Title:  Owner of Katsch

Location: Geneseo, Illinois

Q&A with girl boss Amy DeFauw of Shop KatschQ +A time!!

B@H:  Give us some background on your shop Katsch.

Amy:  Katsch is located in the historic downtown district of Geneseo (113. N. State St.). We opened in October of 2015 and carry a variety of women’s apparel, accessories, home decor and gifts. We cater to the needs of everyday Midwestern women who want to look great without too much fuss. We cut through a lot of the trend hype and pick the styles we know will resonate with women in our area. Whether it’s our apparel or home decor, our style is easy and effortless but always polished.

B@H:  Describe your career path that led you to opening Katsch.

Amy:  Owning a boutique has always been a dream of mine. I majored in retail at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with the vision of getting a little experience at a corporation and then venturing off on my own. Leaving that corporate job was a lot harder than I imagined. After working with some truly amazing people over 7 years, it was really hard to say goodbye to the comfort of a successful career and steady paycheck but I needed to follow my heart and my heart told me it was time to move closer to family. To be honest, the move really gave me the courage to open the store. I don’t know if I would have ever left the comfort of my corporate job to take on the risks of owning my own business. That being said, when I look at my life right now I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.

Shop Katsch located in downtown Geneseo, Illinois

B@H:  The name Katsch is so original. How did you come up with it and what does it mean?

Amy:  Katsch is a take on my maiden name, Katschnig. The store and my career move was so centered around family I thought it would be a really great way to pay tribute to that. I also love the originality of it. 

B@H:  What has been the hardest thing about starting up a boutique?

Amy:  The unknown.  Owning your own business is all about trial and error but I always try to reflect on the “mistakes” and learn from them.

B@H:  What do you love most about your job?

Amy:  The freedom to be creative.  If I have an idea I can act on it and see results in a relatively short period of time.  I’ve been told my ideas are endless, so I’m always coming up with something new I want to try. 

Shop Katsch | A women's fashion and home decor boutique located in historic downtown Geneseo, Illinois

B@H:  What advice would you give to someone starting out that wants to open a boutique?

Amy:  Get experience.  Whether in business or in fashion.  Work in a boutique a few months or a year and see what it really takes to run a business. It’s about more than buying beautiful jewelry and trendy home decor.  At the end of the day, you are buying the products your customers like, not what you want to put in your closet. 

B@H:  Are you married, dating, or have kids? How do you balance work with home? 

Amy:  I’m married to my high school sweetheart, Rob. He is very supportive and loves to see me work on something I’m so passionate about.  At this point, it is easy because Rob and I are understanding about working long hours or weekends. I grew up in a farming family which taught me great work ethic.  I have the mentality when something needs to get done you work and really focus on the task until its complete (that can mean early mornings and late, late nights). Then,  you rest, relax, and enjoy your family.  I don’t know if it’s the right way to do it, but it works for now. 

Fun doormat for purchase at Katsch in Geneseo, Illinois

B@H:  What time of the year is your favorite to shop? 

Amy:  I love fall.  The season in general is my favorite and I think it has a lot to do with the fashion!  The temperatures allow for lots of layering which means endless possibilities!!  My go-to pieces in fall are leggings, a button up, a lightweight vest and booties.  Mixing it up with scarves and jewelry can totally transform your look.

B@H:  What fall trends are you most excited about in fashion and home for 2016? 

Amy:   In home, I’m very excited to see Mid-century Modern emerge as an even bigger trend this year. It’s been out there for a while, but it’s finally reaching our area in a more approachable way. Overall, it just seems fresh and new. Within fashion, we are recycling trends from the late 90’s.  Ribbed fabrications, mock necks, and burnished colors are done in ways you can easily cycle into your wardrobe without feeling like you pulled the outfit from an episode of Boy Meets World. 

B@H:  I love how you set your shop with product.  Where do you pull your inspiration for styling vignettes in your shop?

Amy:  I try to make Katsch a unique shopping experience for my customers.  I never want it to look the same as someone else’s store, so I’m always playing with vignettes.  I like to blend traditional display practices with how you would stage your home.  Overall, it should feel clean and organized; never cluttered or overwhelming. Pottery Barn, Ballard Designs, and Better Homes & Gardens are some of my go-to’s for staging and styling inspiration.  Classic style with a unique and updated twist.

Q&A with girl boss Amy DeFauw of Shop Katsch

B@H:  How would you describe your personal style in regards to fashion? 

Amy:  Polished yet casual.  Personally, I’m cautious of trends because I don’t want to look like I’m wearing a costume. I love button downs, leggings, and booties which can easily be dressed up or worn more casually. My jewelry game is usually on point. 

B@H:  How would you describe your personal style in relation to your home?

Amy:  My style in relation to my home is still evolving.  I’ve always approached my living spaces with a curated mentality. Mixing vintage pieces with the comforts of “new”. Whether new or old, every piece I bring into our home must have a story. I love florals, metallics, and feminine touches in home accents like pillows and curtains. To me, it’s all about layers. I don’t identify with one style in particular.  My home is a melting pot which forms into my unique perspective.

Shop Katsch, Geneseo, Illinois

B@H:  What is a typical day like as a boutique owner?

Amy:  I’m an early bird and typically get to the store a few hours before we open.  It’s a very calm time when I can hammer out some of the behind the scenes tasks I need to take care of.  After we open, Kelsey (her shop assistant) and I tag team helping and interacting with customers.  I always love seeing friendly faces so regardless of what I’m working on, I generally see what’s going on out on the sales floor.  Marketing and social media take a good chunk of time. I like to post about our new arrivals as soon as we get them in. It’s one of the most fun parts of the job.  Keeping the website up to date, reaching out to other business owners and bloggers, and taking care to book work are all tasks I dabble in each day.

B@H:  What can you NOT live without in business?

Amy:  My phone.  I’m always snapping pictures, posting on social media, answering emails or searching for a little inspiration online.  My husband says I’m addicted and I am!  I love being connected and constantly learning.  It has become such a source on knowledge for me. 

B@H:  In the business district you are in, how do you keep it fresh and stay competitive with other boutiques to compete with so close by?

Amy:  I’m always looking for products and styles not found in Geneseo.  My goal is to offer a different perspective but one that stays true to my own personal style. 

Shop Katsch | Located in Geneseo, Illinois

B@H:  When I watch movies, I spy set design and costume styling. What is your favorite movie or show to look for a good dose of styling inspiration?

Amy:  I love Sex and the City because the fashion is so unique and true to each character’s personality. I would never wear most of the outrageous looks they are wearing but it inspires me to break out of the mold and try something new. 

B@H:  What services do you offer customers outside of the shop experience? 

Amy:  We have a loyalty program called Katsch Rewards, a Birthday Club, and offer private shopping events where we close the store and let groups of women sip some wine, have some fun, and shop. We also offer personal shopping and styling services by appointment. 

"Booze" Decanter available at Shop Katsch

B@H:  I feel like after spending time in your shop it is more than just a place to buy things. What do you hope to inspire in people when they experience Katsch?

Amy:  Awh, I LOVE that!  We always want people to feel welcome and comfortable at Katsch.  The message we are constantly giving is fashion should be fun and easy. 99% of us don’t look like Heidi Klum and that is okay! You still look great! We want our customers to walk out feeling confident and happy.

B@H:  What is your favorite social media platform and why? 

Amy:  Definitely Instagram.  Personally, I find IG to be an amazing source of inspiration and love finding new profiles I connect with.  From a business perspective, I think our Insta followers engage a little more because it doesn’t feel like the whole world is watching. 

B@H:  What era for fashion and home do you most gravitate towards and what do you love about it?

Amy:  I think I resonate with the 70’s.  I love the freedom of the Bohemian spirit, but the glamorous evening looks are my favorite.  Farrah Fawcett hair, lots of eyeliner, and pops of metallic. Yes, please!!

Q&A with girl boss Amy DeFauw of Shop Katsch

Photography: Kristin Cadwallader

I’d love to give a big thank you to Amy for sharing a bit about herself and her business with us today! I’ll be recapping the Sip & Style event at the end of the month, just in time to start thinking about how to welcome fall into our homes. Who are we kidding…I’m already thinking about it!

Not in the Quad-Cities area? You can shop Katsch online HERE for fashion, jewelry, accessories, home decor and more!

The Q + A fun continues over on Amy’s Katsch blog today…I’m over there now sharing a bit about myself and my personal style…

CLICK HERE

Home and style interview with Kristin Cadwallader of Bliss at Home

More about BH Midwest & BH Travel Diary. These are new features running August-December on B@H. We will be highlighting our favorite shops, places to eat, places to stay and play in the upper Midwest region. BH Midwest will focus on the local businesses we love in the Quad-Cities area. BH Travel Diary posts will be all-encompassing travel posts where we visit our favorite places to travel to for a day trip, weekend getaway, or destination vacation stay in Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Basically, a guide to our accommodations, favorite activities, restaurants and shops. Our first BH Travel Diary will run this month featuring Door County, Wisconsin. 

**I am collaborating with Minted for this special Sip & Style event. All opinions and images are mine.

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