April 19, 2011

An interview with Katie of I Go By Katie

Today we have a lovely interview with Katie of I Go By Katie and Darlingtonia Moccasin Co. Katie and I have been blog buddies for around a year now, and I look forward to her posts every day. I truly admire her love for quality clothing and fun odds and ends, as well as her strong work ethic, and the fact that she makes such amazing, quality moccasins and leather goods by hand. She also takes some of the most beautiful photos in the blogosphere, and I'm happy to call her a friend.

Meet Katie:

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Katie Kukulka, I am a 24 year old photographer, cobbler, artist, blogger & collector living in Northern California.

2. What got you interested in blogging, and how long have you been blogging for?

I started my blog just over a year ago mainly to document my various projects. At the time I started I go by Katie I was experiencing a photographer's version of writer's block & had not taken a single photo for fun in over 9 months. I thought having a blog would encourage me to start shooting again. I'm so glad it worked!

3. Can you tell us about your style?

I think my style in a cross between 1940s inspired classic simplicity, 1950s Ivy league preppy & 1970s awkwardness. I love victorian antique jewelry, leather boots, dark denim, cardigans, neutral colors, scarves, large brimmed hats & of course moccasins :).

4. You own Darlingtonia Moccasin Company, where you sell your handmade moccasins and leather bow belts. Can you tell us how you got interested in working with leather, and also what you love most about working for yourself?

My handmade career was really an accident. One day when I went to buy what seemed like my 50th pair of basic brown moccasins. I looked down at my feet & thought, you know, these are boring. I started thinking about designs I would rather see & then decided to make them myself. After making a few pairs I thought other folks might like them too & that's how my business came about. The best part about working for myself is being able to have full creative control. I love being able to create based on my own ideas rather than those dictated to me by someone else. It's also fantastic being able to set my own hours & work from home.

5. What are your favorite trends for spring?

Definitely clog sandals, I am absolutely obsessed with this clog sandal trend. Every pair I see I want!

6. When you're not busy blogging, what can you be found doing?

I love to sew garments, so when I have free time I make things to wear. I also love to knit, read, learn new skills & of course take photos. When I am not taking photos for my blog I am setting up my 4x5 camera & shooting for my fine art portfolio. Unfortunately really have very little free time these days!

7. With regards to fashion, and your own handmade goods, what do you draw inspiration from?

When it comes to fashion I suppose I would say I am inspired by emotions, seasons, tradition & my travels. I pretty much just get dressed. I buy & wear what I love. I don't follow trends or try to fit into any particular fashion niche. I love shopping handmade, I love natural fibers, I love made in the USA garments, I love to be comfortable.

When it comes to the things I make I find inspiration in the everyday. I think about the things that make up my life, simple indulgences, my favorite places, fond memories, my childhood & the people around me. I also love to make things that have a function & that can fill a need.

8. If you had to pick one outfit to wear the rest of your life, what would it look like?

As boring as this is going to seem, I would wear a pair of dark denim jeans, a comfy loose fitting tee shirt, a long sleeve cardigan & a pair of moccasins. I care about being able to move, create & function much more than what people think of how I look.

9. You have a strong passion for photography. Can you tell us a little bit about your background in photography, and also what is your favorite photo you've taken (and why)?

I became interested in photography in high school & started to photograph local bands at their live shows. My peers loved the photos I took & I just kept taking pictures. After high school I ended up at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco & once I immersed in photography education there was no stopping me, I was in love. I took the opportunity to learn everything I could about film & antique photographic process which became my passion. I think my favorite photo I've taken is of my muddy feet next to those of a horse. It embodies my struggle between my love for adventure & my homebody tendencies.

10. Do you have any advice for aspiring small business owners? What about someone interested in photography, but doesn't really know where to begin?

My advice to aspiring small business owners would be to do your research, both into the legal/business side of things & product development. Make sure your products or ideas possess originality & you are passionate about them. Let yourself make mistakes, embrace challenges, grow & learn.

My advice to aspiring photographers would be to just pick up a camera & experiment. Some of my all time favorite photos were accidents & I had no idea what I was doing. Just remember, new skills take time to develop, if you become frustrated it's important that you don't give up. Be patient & have confidence in yourself.

Thank you so much for doing this interview, Katie! Don't forget to check out Katie's moccasin shop, Darlingtonia Moccasin Co., as well as her blog for some daily inspiration.



  1. Thank you for this, Chelsea! She is so beautiful and so inspiring.



  2. she has such beautiful hair, and i love her vintage style!

    <3 steffy
    Steffys Pros and Cons

  3. this was a really great interview- and her bangs are the cutest!
    chelsea- i love your blog! i'm from phoenix (i recently moved to portland), and your posts make me miss the (short lived) chilly spring mornings and iced coffee coffee at lola/cartel/lux.

  4. Oh I love Katie! She has one of the best blogs.

  5. I love Katie!! She is so inspiring and I heart visiting her lovely blog!!! xoxo

  6. I absolutely love this! What a wonderful interview, Katie is so inspiring! <3

  7. Katie is one of my favorites in blogland. I found your blog via hers! Awesome interview.

  8. I love her blog! Great interview!!

  9. Fantastic interview! Thank you for sharing with us :)

  10. Great interview, I am a fan of Katie's blog.

  11. I am so in love with her scarves. Great taste and great interview.

  12. Love Katie! Great interview Chelsea.