When your kid is digging holes in the sand with another kid at the local park, and the other kid's mom is standing next to you, a conversation is usually cultivated at some point.
"Nice jacket", I said to this stunning women in a bright red overcoat.
"Thanks, I got it at Anthropologie"
"Oh, I used to work there...the store in Soho."
And that was the first time I met Kate Neckel. In that initial conversation I learned that we both spent our high school years in Maryland, that she had spent her young years in Miami, and that she was a painter. Her kids are of similar age to mine, and they happen to live a block away from us in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan.
We only ran into each other a handful of times after that, but about a year later, I just threw out the idea of having Kate kick off a Limited Edition series for Pretty Pushers with one of her drawings screen printed on a gown...the colors would all be her choice.
Throughout the design process, I have admired Kate's talent with no pretentious strings attached. She is totally cool,not prissy, and always has on the right bright lipstick. She is the perfect mix of strong, smart, feminine, and responsible...this is what I see in all Pretty Pushers customers, too. It just made perfect sense to put her art on our gowns for all to see.
Did you always dream that you'd make art for a living?
As a young girl, I always dreamt about moving to NYC and being an artist..but I never let the "oh how do I actually make a living from this" play into my dreams and I still don't. If I did that I would probably be behind a computer creating shapes instead of putting pen to paper....I just try to make what I love.
What are a few of your favorite things right now in NYC?
*I'm really into what chef Fredrik Berselius is creating at Aska in Williamsburg..
*Barry's Bootcamp...kills me and i love it...best workout in the city.
I think that all of us as working moms wonder how the other working moms juggle their lives. I have seen you working, and I have seen you at the park with your kids. How do you find that balance and are you at ease while you are in both situations?
Hmmm...I have no idea. I just try to go with the flow...it's not easy but that's what makes it amazing. A few months ago I rented an art studio in a lovely building in Chelsea thinking that it was time to get a "proper studio" but within two months I cancelled the lease and moved my desk back into our bedroom. I prefer working at home and while it may be hectic at times it's what inspires me the most...
When drawing your first sketches for the Pretty Pushers labor gowns, did you think about your own labors? Is there an energy in that art that you hope will be projected to the next mama wearing your gown?
Ha...I didn't think about my own labors but I did think about how I wished I would have known about Pretty Pushers and had a gown! There is definitely energy and love in the art but the amazing women wearing it have all of the magical goodness they need already inside of them!
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