Woman Wednesday: Kris


Q and A with Kris, Durango, Colorado

“If you don’t fail at some point, you don’t really appreciate how great the great is.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: There are so many things I’m passionate about: family, nature, chocolate, my dog, how colors work together, patterns. The list goes on; I draw on nature for almost all of my inspiration. I’m often out on a bike ride or run and see things—little stories unfold—and that becomes a seed for my next design. Or I may take a photo of a plant, maybe just one little baby leaf because it has chartreuse, hunter, and eggplant with a tiny splash of fuchsia and that completely winds me up. I can see an entire storyline unfold, a complete collection based on that one little leaf. I’ve always been this way. My mother used to tell me how impossible I was to shop for because I would design something in my head and tell her that’s what I wanted! Currently, I’m developing concepts for a boutique in Telluride that has asked for an exclusive line of wool/silk scarves. Then I will be jumping on ideas for our summer line of scarves and linens.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up in New Orleans; my mother’s family is all from South Louisiana. So, as you can expect, I was surrounded by amazing culture: food and music and dancing and the smells of New Orleans like jasmine, camellias, magnolias, the swamps, seafood. All of this combined was a tremendous source of where my love for design started.

We moved to Telluride, CO, when I was 11. That’s where I really embraced the outdoors and nature. Then there were the women in my family, strong women. My mother and my grandmother, both a force to be reckoned with. They were and are both the epitome of good taste. My grandmother was of the opinion that a crisp white blouse, a good shade of red lipstick, and perfume was pretty much all you needed to get dressed! It was her collection of scarves that inspired me to design my own. My mother, her eye for color, has always been the most on point. I still discuss all my designs with her. She was the reason I took risks in my life; anything I did that could have been viewed as risky, she was behind it. She encouraged me to go abroad when I was 15 on exchange, and she is still my ski buddy. She gave me my love of travel and not being afraid to put myself out there. She encourages me to push my design further with little suggestions or ideas. 


Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: Failure is a part of life. If you don’t fail at some point, you don’t really appreciate how great the great is. I know people that feel failure is a bad thing. Yes, it’s scary as hell, but it’s usually something you can handle and learn from. Embrace it and dig in.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: To me, feminism is being true to your female self. It’s a powerful force. I’ve seen that in my mother and grandmother, and now in myself and in my two daughters. We’re each incredibly strong in our own way, and we’re not alike. But we’re true to our feminine selves because of the strength that entails.


Thank you for reading!


I’d love to connect with you! 🙂

Kris Roufa

https://athomewithray.com/
Follow us on FB & IG @athomewithray

Thoughts, questions, or comments?

Let us know! Comment below! 🙂

Woman Wednesday: Katie

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below. 


 

Q and A with Katie, Madison County, New York 

“In high school, I thought I would be married, making good money at a reliable job, and adopting a couple horses by now. None of those things have happened so far, and I’m actually very happy that they haven’t! I have changed course so many more times, and it’s felt very hopeless and confusing at a couple points along the way. In the course of all of that turmoil and changing directions though, I have grown immensely. The setbacks have taught me strength and opened my eyes to ideas and opportunities I would have never imagined before recently. I am always looking forward, always feeling hungry for more.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I’ll answer this with what is probably a very broad, cliché answer: I am passionate about love and happiness. There isn’t anything more important in life than these two things, and they mean something different to each person you talk to.

 

mccutcheonanimals_tangocubbymango

 

For me, being passionate about love means building a life around the people and animals who are special to me and making sure I dedicate enough energy into spending quality time with them. Just like anybody, I have suffered the loss of beloved relatives, friends, and animals. I’ve grown stronger from these experiences, and I have realized just how precious the present is and how immensely my relationships affect my inner peace. Love is a nice segway into the “happiness” portion of my answer – the two go hand in hand for me.  It can be difficult to pin down what brings you genuine happiness in life, and I think I am finally starting to understand the meaning of it for myself! For me, happiness comes from finding fulfillment and joy in the things I do every day. I came to this realization through working on my career in jobs that weren’t completely fulfilling or positive for me and my quest for happiness. They may be right for other people, but not for the entrepreneurial spirit that has always been building inside me.

 

captureworking

capture

Pictured: Designs by K. Marie Design Co.

 

I left my office job at the beginning of 2018 to pursue my own design & illustration business, K. Marie Design Co., and I have since found a genuine sense of happiness and fulfillment I always knew was missing. This change put a lot into perspective for me and it’s been a challenge, but I can tell you one thing; I’ve been able to focus on my passions for love and happiness a lot more since I made the jump. I’ve never felt surer of anything. Working for myself also meant having the flexibility to accept a position teaching a design class at my alma mater, Cazenovia College, during the fall 2018 semester. You never know what may happen when you take brave new steps. Nothing worth having ever comes easy, including the process of making your abstract dreams and passions part of your everyday reality.

 

_kmariedesignco

A2 card&envelope mockups

Pictured: Designs by K. Marie Design Co.

 

Q: What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know?

A: This is something I have learned recently, something very important. It is okay to change course! It’s okay to change plans, and it’s okay to question yourself. I grew up desperately wanting to be part of the equine industry, and then it blew up in my face when I went to do that in college. I then spent my time honing my design skills hoping for the perfect 9-5 job after college, and that expectation ultimately failed me, too. In high school, I thought I would be married, making good money at a reliable job, and adopting a couple of horses by now. None of those things have happened so far, and I’m actually very happy that they haven’t. I have changed course so many more times, and it’s felt very hopeless and confusing at a couple points along the way. In the course of all of that turmoil and changing directions though, I have grown immensely. The setbacks have taught me strength and opened my eyes to ideas and opportunities I would have never imagined before recently. I am always looking forward, always feeling hungry for more.

 

capturesun

 

capturecat'

Pictured: Designs by K. Marie Design Co.

 

Don’t limit yourself by what you, your peers, or society tell you your life “should” look like at any stage in your journey. Take your time, try different things, and learn when it is time, to be honest with yourself by recognizing that something may not be right for you… and make a change. You will find your way – it may be hard to believe when you’re in the low points, but as long as you keep pushing forward, things will work out for you.

 

mccutcheon_family_jimandjulie

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My childhood was wonderful – very family oriented, which has definitely had a big impact on the person I am today. My parents are very nurturing and generous people, and I never understood just how much that really meant at the time! My mom stayed home with me, my sister, my brother, and our dog. We didn’t have a lot of the material things other kids had, but I never once felt alone or unloved. I wouldn’t trade that for anything. My mom and dad continue to be a huge influence on me today. They have always been very supportive, and they encourage me to do things that make me happy.

 

Capturecouple.PNG

Pictured: Artwork by K. Marie Design Co.

 

This family support has been vital since I left home for my freshman semester of college at The University of Findlay in Ohio, where I was planning to be an equine business major. Things didn’t work out at Findlay due to a lot of personal things I was going through at the time, but my family was behind me through it all. I eventually went home to NJ, spent the spring semester of my freshman year at the community college, and then transferred to Cazenovia College in the fall of 2012. After about two weeks at Caz as an equine business major, I realized that my lifelong love for horses was better off as a hobby rather than a career in a fast-paced, unforgiving industry. I changed my major to visual communications to chase my other love besides horses, which has always been art. I’ve always loved to draw, and the community at Cazenovia helped me find my feet and discover smart ways to marry illustration and graphic design together. I’ve been through quite a lot since I left home eight years ago, and it’s all played a part in making me into the creative, free business owner I am today! I can confidently say that I am excited rather than terrified by a future of unknowns and constant development in myself and in my creative career.

 

cazenovia_lake

 

 

Q: What would you like others to learn from your story?

A: I’d like others to learn that you have to do things that make your soul happy. Don’t settle for a job, a relationship, a major, or anything that does not feel right to you. You are the only one who can make good things happen for yourself, but you are also the only one who can prevent good things from happening by becoming complacent and accepting less than you know you deserve. Evaluate your life and your happiness. Do some brainstorming and soul searching and think back to the dreams that lit up your eyes when you were younger. What do you want your life to look like when you’re 90 years old and thinking about your past? Is this what you want to remember? Maybe it’s time for a change!

capturekdesign
Pictured: Design by K. Marie Design Co.

Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism means pride and equality. It means building other women up and encouraging other women to pursue their passions and make their marks on the world. A lot of people out there will use feminism as a shield to hide behind while they try to tear men down. Those people are not true feminists. Feminism is important to me because we have been pushed around and treated like we’re lesser than men in a lot of different ways. I see a lot of progress for women in the modern world, and I think it’s fantastic that men and women are joining together to make the world a more justified place for people of all genders. There will always be room for improvement, as with anything, but the fact that there is more awareness and more action is a great start.

 

 

capturedoodle

Pictured: Sketch by K. Marie Design Co.

 

Connect with Katie:

 

Website: www.kmariedesignco.com

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kmariedesignco

 

Instagram: www.instagram.com/kmariedesignco

 

Etsy Shop: www.etsy.com/shop/kMarieDesignCo

 

 

 

 

Katie & My Lilianas would love to hear from you! Comment below! 

Follow us on Instagram.

Connect with us on Facebook.