Happy Christmas from What Katie Did!

Happy Christmas from What Katie Did!

Hi, I’m Katie from What Katie Did, and Happy
Christmas. We made it! I hope you are managing to spend some quiet
time away from work and you’ll be able to relax with your loved ones this Christmas,
and also spend some time to reflect on 2019 and what you’ve got planned for 2020. As the year draws to a close, I always like
to spend time this year to look, to reflect, on what’s happened over the previous months
and to really, really set a plan of intention for the year ahead. All in all, it’s been a pretty good year at
What Katie Did. We’ve had a great amount of fun, but we’ve
also had a few challenges, and in the first half of the year we had a burglary in our
London boutique, and it was actually an armed robbery. It was a robbery with intent, and the person
who broke in, I mean, he could have been armed with a fountain pen, we don’t know, but because
he was pointing something, the police saw it as armed with intent or an armed robbery. So that was extremely scary for everyone involved,
especially Chloe, who was in the shop by herself at the time. And it’s just this awful thing to happen. We’ve never had anything like that happen
before. I mean, we’ve had a couple incidents when
we were on Melrose in LA, but not actually involving a person. It’s when someone comes into your space. And also, Chloe had spoken to him before,
which made it doubly worse, that I said to her afterwards, was there anything that would’ve
stood out about this guy? And she was like, “No, he just, we were having
a chat the day before, and everything seemed fine.” So it’s just a horrific thing to happen, and
it really did knock us all for six. For a few months afterwards, our London boutique
was only open by appointments. And I have seen on a few forums recently where
people have said, oh, What Katie Did, they’re only open by appointment, as if we’re so,
so far up our own bums, that’s the reason why. And it’s frustrating, because I didn’t want
to go into too much detail at the time while the investigations were going on and everything
and make it sound a lot worse than it was. But it really was awful. And unfortunately Chloe is no longer with
the company. She left a few months ago, and it’s just horrible
for anyone to be put in that situation. As I’m sure you’re aware if you’ve ever been
broken into, it’s just, it’s like a personal attack on you. More recently, I’ve been personally attacked
on social media for being too inclusive, if you can believe such a thing. At What Katie Did, we’ve always had a very,
very diverse customer base, and this is what makes having a shop so special. It’s because we get to meet you face to face,
and we really do have such a wide range of customers. The only thing that we all have in common
is a love of vintage glamour. And when you look at glamour, it’s very much,
it was all about artifice. It’s all about make believe and just embellishments. So we don’t care if your idea of glamour is
dressing up for an hour, a day, or a lifetime. If you’ve got a love of glamour, then you’re
welcome at What Katie Did. And we have great fun with our team and our
customers, serving them in the shops and making them feel fantastic, and we just want to make
you feel as great as you possibly can, no matter what age you are, what sex you are,
or what size you are. It doesn’t matter to us at all. And I’ve been in situations in our shop where
we have had a diverse range of customers in the shop and we’ve had some, what I call straight-laced
customers walk in, and I’ve been thinking, oh my goodness, what’s going to happen here? And everyone has had an absolute ball. So I see our shops as a safe space for everyone,
and I know it’s hard for some of you to actually walk through the door of a boutique where
you’re going to get one-to-one service because it’s not exactly anonymous, but believe me,
if you get through the door, that’s the hard thing. And once you’re through, then you’ll have
a great time, and we’ll really enjoy interacting with you at What Katie Did, because we’re
a small company, an indie company. We’re pretty diverse within the company, as
well. We’re not all vintage people. We range and have different styles and different
interests. So while it’s enjoyable learning from you
guys, it’s the same within the company, having chats with each other and learning about each
other, as well. While the first part of the year had its challenges,
and there’s a few things I won’t go into, but if you run your own business, you always
know there’s things that sometimes don’t go that smoothly, and that was definitely the
case for the first half of the year. But the second half of the year has been absolutely
amazing, and we’ve had our best ever October, followed by our best ever November, and hopefully
our best ever December. So we’ve been crazy busy and we really haven’t
had chance to think or reflect on anything. It’s just been so busy. But we’ve all had great fun and we probably
will be recruiting at a starter level both in LA and the UK next year. So if you know anyone who’s looking for a
job, whether they’re returning to work, or whether they’re young, just left school, please
bear them in mind because we’re going to see how it goes the first few weeks in January,
because we’re always worried about whether things will go down in January. But looking at history, everything just keeps
going up. So hopefully, fingers crossed, we’ll be adding
to our team very early next year. This year, I’ve spent a lot of time in our
LA boutique, as I always do, and also it was fun to get out on the road. We do the Goodwood Revival, and we also do
Retrofest, and it’s always nice to get out and meet people and also see what everyone
else is doing. And the vintage scene is quite small and everyone
really knows each other. So it’s always nice to catch up and have a
chat and see what we’ve been missing. And that’s, again, it makes things really
special. It’s very important for us not to be just
online, because if you’re just online you do get a skewed sense of reality and you do
miss out on an awful lot. And it’s actually when I’m on the shop floor
or when I’m interacting with other vintage brands, that’s the best feeling. That’s what’s really fun is getting to know
everyone and having chats, and I can remember talking to people in the lingerie industry
when we used to do trade shows. It’s the trade shows where you’re supposed
to be selling to, you know, fancy shops. That’s not the exciting bit. The exciting bit is actually catching up with
everyone on the lingerie scene and having a chat about who is doing what and finding
out all the gossip. What Katie Did wouldn’t be What Katie Did
without our amazing team. We do absolutely everything in-house, from
the photography, to packing your orders, to the design, everything’s done in-house, in
one place. And this is what makes What Katie Did very,
very special. I was listening to Teri talking to a customer
on the phone a few minutes ago before I came up here, and someone was asking her about
why we didn’t do larger sizes and she said, “Well actually, I’m the designer,” and so
it’s amazing to be able to, you know, you phone up and you don’t know who you’re talking
to, but I might answer the phone or Teri will answer the phone. You’ll be talking to someone who really knows
everything inside and out. So that’s what makes What Katie Did special. And everyone here has gone above and beyond
this year. It’s been an amazing year, and I’m really
proud of everyone who makes up part of our team. And of course, I must thank you guys as well,
because again, without you we wouldn’t be here, and it’s, I shouldn’t really say this,
but I know I said that we have our shops and we get to know you in our shops, but we actually,
if you order online, we actually get to know your names online, as well. And we do pick out regular customers, and
we do take note of you, and we do care about you. So it’s not going to an anonymous fulfilment
center. It is actually with us downstairs, and we
really take care of what you’re doing and we really do appreciate your business. Moving forward to 2020, we’ve got some very
exciting news coming up soon, so I’ll be catching up with you on New Year’s Day for the big
reveal of that. So I hope you’ll catch up with me then. And in the meantime, I’m wishing you a very
peaceful and Happy Christmas, and I’ll see you in a few days. So take care.

4 thoughts on “Happy Christmas from What Katie Did!

  1. "We do recognise names and we do see regular customers". So heartwarming to hear. I was feeling very awkward and nervous when I talked to Katie for the first time at last Goodwood because I felt I knew her but she couldn't know me. So nice to hear that we are noticed by her and her amazing team Xx

  2. when I worked at a mens clothing/lifestyle store in San Francisco, someone broke in during the dead of night, stole $1300 worth of hunting knives (which we kept under lock and key), and was out again in less than 20 seconds according to the security cameras. Even though we weren't there when it happened, it was so upsetting and stressful coming in the next day with broken glass everywhere.

  3. Happy holidays, all, and thank you for being both a small business I look up to and one at which I am thrilled to spend money! Keep up the good work and get some rest. <3

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