018: Kate Wilkonson - Building community and connection with people through custom jewelry

Kate Wilkonson, owner of Arcatus Jewelry, is a Denver, Colorado native and classically-trained jewelry designer by trade, who focuses on custom pieces that have a story and a soul inside them. Though tremendous passion lies there, it’s a solitary life and by itself doesn’t complete Kate’s passion for connection and building community. They say the happiest people have the most community. Though not sure who “they” are, Kate agrees with this in its entirety.  She’s a traveler and a creative with a wild spirit. Finding the connections, the conversations, and the patterns in living makes her feel most alive. She’s excited to help people tell their stories, and of course, for all of us to make new ones along the way.

In this episode we talk about:

  • when she knew she was ready to create her own business and share her work with the world

  • how she approaches projects with clients as she seeks to tap into their stories and the deeper connection they will have with the pieces she crafts for them, as well as her personal work and the different types of challenges they present

  • Kate shares a story about a piece she created for a client that she traveled all the way to Mexico to find inspiration for

  • she shares her biggest challenge — which is one many of us face on a daily basis

  • she talks about her new products that are coming out soon, and an exciting, new collaborative project with a group of like-minded women


SPONSOR: 

This episode is brought to you by GATHORA. 
Are you an artist, creator, or entrepreneur that creates with purpose and wants to make the world a better place?  If so, GATHORA is your media company.  

We tell the world about your brand through storytelling rather than sales pitches like most other companies.  

GATHORA is committed to getting to the heart of your brand and its mission so you don’t just have fans, but “superfans” that will support you for years to come.  

Let us tell your story today.  Learn more at gathora.com.


TRANSCRIPTION:

Kate Wilkonson: 00:00:00 I will always say to not underestimate the power of having a community that understands you. I think, um, being a creative is a, you know, it's a, it's a different way that brains work and I just think it's so important to recognize that you are not the only person that exists that way and be able to go to all the places with people. So whatever that looks like to you, I just think that that's super important.

Gabe Ratliff: 00:00:37 Welcome to The Vitalic Project podcast where you learn how to find your own voice in a world filled with noise. I'm Gabe Ratliff. I'll be your host as I sit down with fellow artists, creators and entrepreneurs to learn more about their work and how they serve others so that you can tap into your creative purpose and live a life that's drawn, not traced. All right, I'm stoked. Let's get to it.

Gabe Ratliff: 00:01:06 Hey guys, thanks so much for joining me. On another episode of The Vitalic Project. On this episode, I sit down with Kate Wilkonson, owner of Arcatus Jewelry. She is a Denver, Colorado native and is classically trained jewelry designer by trade who focuses on custom pieces that have a story and a soul inside them and she says that though tremendous passion lies there. It's a solitary life and by itself doesn't complete her passion for connection and building community. They say the happiest people have the most community though not sure who they are. Kate agrees with this in its entirety. She's a traveler and a creative with a wild spirit. Finding the connections, the conversations and the patterns and living makes her feel most alive. She's excited to help people tell their stories and of course for all of us to make new ones along the way.

Gabe Ratliff: 00:02:03 On this episode we talk about when she knew she was ready to create her own business and share her work with the world, how she approaches projects with clients as she seeks to tap into their stories and the deeper connection they will have with the pieces she crafts for them as well as their personal work and the different types of challenges they present. Kate shares a story about a piece she created for a client that she traveled all the way to Mexico to find the inspiration for she shares her biggest challenge, which is one that many of us face on a daily basis. And she talks about her new products that are coming out soon and an exciting new collaborative project with a group of likeminded women. I absolutely adore Kate. I think she is an amazing human. She is such a kindred. I love our conversations and I'm so excited and so honored to share this conversation with you. Without further ado, this is my conversation with Kate Wilkonson

Gabe Ratliff: 00:03:12 Kate, thank you so much for being here on an episode of The Vitalic Project. I am so honored to have you here, my friend.

Kate Wilkonson: 00:03:20 Thank you Gabe. I'm honored to be here.

Gabe Ratliff: 00:03:22 I thought we would start with your journey as an artist. Where did that begin? And uh, how old were you and like what did that look like?

Kate Wilkonson: 00:03:34 My Mom always tells a story about how when I was a little kid sitting in my high chair, she would give me brands to color with and I would sit there and just peel off all the paper. And she kind of at that point in life was like, oh, she's got interesting motor skills. And then my dad always took us to a lot of cu games and things like that and we would bring our coloring book. And so for me that's kind of always been a part of me and then it's taken sort of different iterations throughout my life.

Gabe Ratliff: 00:04:07 Crayons, man. I miss those. Used to have so much fun with those. I haven't even, I haven't even thought about crayons in awhile.

Kate Wilkonson: 00:04:18 Yeah, something about the smell of them and

Gabe Ratliff: 00:04:20 [inaudible] did you like Plato? Okay.

Kate Wilkonson: 00:04:25 I, that's a really good question. I don't know if I was very into Plato. Not that I recall. I was more into like clay and at one point, um, when my parents did a remodel of a house, they built out a little craft room for me. Um, and so it was like clay and plaster. And carving tools and pottery wheel and that kind of stuff. So definitely, oh, doc tile.

Gabe Ratliff: 00:04:54 Yeah. So you, you got going pretty early then with the tactile stuff? Yeah, for sure. Wow. When, when did you get start to head towards the, the jewelry direction?

Kate Wilkonson: 00:05:10 My, that's something my mom got me into when I was a little kid, just like stringing beads and um, I have a mole on my wrists that I was always really self conscious of and so I would make beaded bracelets that would go up my whole wrist so that I would cover that up and then it's just kind of taken different directions from there. I went to school for apparel design and just realized in the midst of that projects, um, in that process that that was not where I felt like I belonged and ended up taking a metals class and just fell in love with it and it came really naturally to me. And then, yeah, just kind of spun off from there.

Gabe Ratliff: 00:05:53 In what respects would you say that you're still that same person as when you were a child?

Kate Wilkonson: 00:06:01 Okay, so an interesting question. Do you mean like, um, kind of, uh, artistic journey, creative journey?

Gabe Ratliff: 00:06:07 Yeah. Like what, when you think back to yourself, like where do you, what do you, what's that sort of connective tissue that still runs through you in the work that you do with that, your creative work, you know, from, you know, cause you obviously when you were young had these tendencies and you all also obviously had the support from your family to, you know, keep pushing that and seeing where that went. So I'm just curious like how do you sort of see yourself still connecting to that child within, you know, like what, what do you, how do you link back to that still today?

Kate Wilkonson: 00:06:50 I think I would say that I really still try and be super curious and not tie into any one particular thing or style or way of being. Um, just because I think that there are so many interesting ways to go and ways to um, you know, incorporate different materials or techniques that, yeah, I just, I think, um, that was something I did a lot of when I was a kid. I would just say, what happens when you combine this with this and what's your outcome? And so I still really try and have that kind of sense of wonder of and enjoy. When you like figure out a process of something that you never learned in school or you never have done before,

Gabe Ratliff: 00:07:42 who would you say are your mentors? Do you feel like you have mentors that have helped guide you along your way? You know, is that like your, your family or are there teachers or anybody like that that you can speak to that have really made an impact on your career?

Kate Wilkonson: 00:08:02 It's funny, I just was talking with a girlfriend the other day and she was mentioning that she got to see both of her mentors in one week and back on me thinking about like who are those people? And I don't really feel like I have them. Um, there have been times where I have been curious to see if there was somebody that I could get connected to you in that arena. And, um, I think on one hand that would be really beneficial, especially just the artist as business person kind of struggle. But on the other hand, I think that staying away from some of those more traditional ways of being allows me to keep a little more sort of truth to myself. I guess. I, um, have found, you know, if I spend too much time with someone and their style that I sort of absorbed some of that. So I'll try and just keep pretty clear. Um, so that I don't do that. But yeah. You know, any good business people, mentors send them my way because,

Gabe Ratliff: 00:09:18 okay. Are you listening? Business mentors. Oh wait, I'm one of those. Um, so, Are there any teachers that really spoke to you as you were growing in your craft or you know, as you got more further along that, that really inspired you or anybody like that? Maybe not a mentor, but you know, lit a fire that, you know, tapped into something that since you went down a direction or you know, like you talked about when you started working with metals, you just immediately clicked with it. Was there something about that teacher or was it just the, the actual medium itself?

Kate Wilkonson: 00:10:08 I think the way I always sort of describe working with metals and specific techniques kind of along the way is that that is when I sort of found my language to express myself. I think, um, you know, for a lot of people or is the reason why artists have tendency towards a specific medium. Um, and that was mine that I could, instead of trying to sort of fabricate things two dimensionally, getting a little more 3-d is the piece that really connected to the way I think, I guess. Um, and I would say that probably one of the most influential teachers that I had was not even at all in the metals world, but it was my art teacher or from probably when I was like first to eighth grade and ended up being my, uh,

Kate Wilkonson: 00:11:10 What was he, Oh, my like advisor to was Mr Sigler and he just did such a good job of, he's this big guy with this beard. And I remember this little kid, Mr. Kim for Santa and he just brought so much fun to art and he would do a really good job of putting projects in place so that you could connect to a bunch of those different techniques. So maybe you know of painting wasn't your thing, then you would find something else in plaster work. And he just was always happy and super supportive and he just friended me on Facebook this year and that just made my day to get, see what he's up to still. So. Oh, that's cool. He's awesome.

Gabe Ratliff: 00:11:58 Who would you say has offered you the most useful career advice and what was it?

Kate Wilkonson: 00:12:08 No idea.

Gabe Ratliff: 00:12:11 I was actually asking myself this the other day as I was prepping this and I was like, hmm, who is that for me?

Kate Wilkonson: 00:12:19 Yeah, I do have an answer for that

Gabe Ratliff: 00:12:22 for me. Um, you know, for me it's, it's, I don't have one person that's most useful. Um, there are a lot of people, uh, Pat Flynn has been a huge influence on me. Um, Chase Jarvis is another as far as like a photographer and like his mission and he and Pat Flynn are kind of similar in the work that they're doing just in different ways. Um, and that's, you know, that's more recent since I left the corporate world and became an entrepreneur and have been doing this creative entrepreneurial path, um, and now serving others in that way, like with the show and now beginning to do podcast coaching and courses for people like yourself that are wanting to grow their business and, and market themselves and push themselves out there and go to the next level in the end in their industry, you know, and to be able to take a stand the way that we can and have a voice with podcasts.

Gabe Ratliff: 00:13:34 So, you know, people like that really come top of mind for me because they're constantly throwing out advice and I'm constantly iterating on that. And I'm a lifelong learner as you are. And so I'm sort of always reassessing those kinds of things. And I was on a totally different career path. I was going the corporate way and then realized there was this whole new world for me. I W I didn't have that natural, you know, some, a lot of entrepreneurs have that inclination to like just like, you know, five years old, 10 years old, and they start coming up with these entrepreneurial ideas. And I, that wasn't necessarily me, it was just more of that creative, curious person and always try and stuff. And so I was kind of a late bloomer on this concept of being an entrepreneur. And so people like that have really, as I've now evolved into this new career, have really been, you know, helping guide me with, they're not even just their advice, but they're living, I'm all about people that are living their example.

Gabe Ratliff: 00:14:47 You know, like you're, you're a great example of that. You live example. You and I love how transparent you are about, I'm going to dote on you right now. Uh, I just love how even though in, and I'm sure we'll get into this, um, but you know how, how you are transparent about your, um, you know, um, being more of an introvert and private, but pushing yourself out of that space by the community work that you do and the community that you're very devout to growing and nurturing and being a part of and being, being engaged in not just being sort of a quiet supporter. You're actually out there doing it and at the same time pushing yourself. Um, and I just, I really respect and admire that because you're also aware and share that like you, you're not hiding the fact about it or trying to find a way to do it that's not pushing you. You're actually pushing your boundaries and continuing to be in that uncomfortable space.

Kate Wilkonson: 00:16:12 Well, thanks. I, it's funny a couple of words that you just threw in there. I had a really funny example of, um, there's this women's circle that I'm a part of and we had to kind of break up into groups and I answer a few questions and you know, it was like, what are the things that you like about yourself and talk about that to a group and what are the things that you don't really, and um, my kind of first thing was just kind of tapping again into my creativity and feeling confident in that. And then the other thing was that I just am super shy and Andy, I am private and I have found that that has a tendency to sort of isolate me a little bit. And I mean I could cry thinking about it, how many people that I have met in many social situations that came up to me afterward and we're just like, thank you for sharing that. I always thought you didn't like me. And um, it's just getting that feedback is, you know, a good mirror to say like, okay, it's worth putting yourself out there more. And um, definitely has always been a struggle for me. So I appreciate you saying that.

Gabe Ratliff: 00:17:26 Yeah, I mean it's, it's tough, right? I mean, it's, I have a, another dear friend who's on the show, Heather, she has a similar problem, you know, and she has, she had to speak at a conference and it wasn't large, but it still was, you know, a lot of people and you know, triple digits. And it's fascinating to me because you hear people talk about, um, and we, we actually were just had a meeting the other day and we're talking about Bernay Brown and her ted talk and around vulnerability and boundaries and how she was so scared doing that Ted talk. And it's one of the top Ted talks ever, ever in the history of ever. And she's so amazing. And you know, you hear people talk about how we get in our heads about doing things like that and being in front of people and how once you get started doing it, you know, it's like all the way leading up to getting on stage.

Gabe Ratliff: 00:18:34 And then once you start doing it and you just start showing up and doing it and being present to the moment. And present to the people that you're serving in whatever way that is, that you just are in it at that moment and then you just are, it's happening and the fear goes away and you just step into the role and do it. And I was sharing with her, that's one of the things I love about podcasting because it's such a great way to have that voice with people and not have to necessarily be, you could talk to thousands of people and not have to necessarily be on a stage talking to thousands of people. It's a very intimate connection that we have in this medium, but it's where you can have this community and have this connection without, you know, it's so it's actually really great for people that have, you know, that are more introverted or that are shy or you know, really have that conflict in social settings because it allows you to have this kind of intimate conversation and dialogue like we're having. But it can, you can be share it with so many more people and that was really eyeopening for her as well cause she was like, oh wow. I guess it's right, like you can, you know, and it doesn't have to be, cause you know, I know that that's a big thing for a lot of people, right? I mean over death people are more scared of being in front of people speaking than death. So that says something.

Kate Wilkonson: 00:20:06 Yeah. It's so funny. They're and been a few things in the past couple of years where I've, for whatever reason said like, okay well here it goes and facilitated some public speaking and things like that, which definitely was a good challenge. But there's something that's like next level about your work too, like the things that you come up with and I'm definitely catching myself in some pretty good battles on that front lately. Like I think I have kind of a ended up more in the past few years doing a lot of custom jewelry because there is this level of cocreation, which I absolutely love because you get a tell someone's story and you can sort of be the medium to figure out how you make that tangible. And now I'm in a space of, excuse me, I'm making a lot of my own work and that is the scariest thing, you know, it's worse for some reason to me than public speaking was maybe just because it's continual and you're not, like, you don't show up and say, okay, I can do this for a couple hours and then you're done. It's for as long as you choose to do that.

Gabe Ratliff: 00:21:20 [inaudible] what's that been like? Like the actual process now of, of doing your own work and following your own instincts and your own, you know, tapping into your own style and, and, and um, and evolution.

Kate Wilkonson: 00:21:40 It's funny, I've been noticing, I spent a couple of weeks down in Telluride a few weeks ago. I'm just kind of hold up and making a bunch of new work. And what came from that I realized was a lot of work that is a little more

Kate Wilkonson: 00:21:59 surface in the way that I would say. Um, I recognize I have always tried to live a life that has a lot of purpose. And so every piece I made, I have wanted to have kind of a story in this like deeper component to it and just sort of where I am personally is definitely still having a desire for that. But recognizing that every thing doesn't have to be this monumental accomplishment on that front. So some things are just pretty and they're, they're lighter and they're more feminine than things I was making a few years ago, which were definitely a little more edgy and sort of representative of my mood, I would say that were, you know, a lot of skulls and just kind of questioning like what is all of this mean I guess. And, and now I'm in a place where I definitely, there are a few pieces that have a really strong tie to

Kate Wilkonson: 00:23:12 Allowing the user to be able to make them make these pieces their own and some are just pretty for the sake of, I like these colors together and so that feels, it feels good. Just try not to get too heady about that.

Gabe Ratliff: 00:23:29 Nice. More experimentation. Yeah.

Kate Wilkonson: 00:23:34 And process wise too of figuring out how to incorporate things that maybe were parts of past or um, things that just like are, are not traditional that, yeah. So

Gabe Ratliff: 00:23:58 when did you know, and how did you know that you were ready to start your business, Arcatus and, and start showing your work to the world? Like we, we, we just talked about where you are now, but I'd love to kind of go back to that place of, you know, where, where you took that leap and started this whole journey.

Kate Wilkonson: 00:24:26 I sort of feel like I fell into that to a certain degree and still am, this is a now a point of my life where I'm seeking more of that. But in the past it, I wouldn't say there was a point of that. It just sort of naturally evolved, you know, doing the custom work with people just felt like that was the thing that really filled up my soul and in kind of a weird way is like a sort of medicine to be able to shoot. There are these like very intimate stories with people and a lot of those didn't even make their way onto social media and things like that just because I was so uncomfortable with that of kind of putting myself out there.

Gabe Ratliff: 00:25:23 Where are you with that now?

Kate Wilkonson: 00:25:27 It's a challenge every day, but I'm working on it more. Um, I'm looking at a whole stack of my new work that I just need to get photographed and start kind of trickling out there. And um, it's funny, in the past week I had a couple of really darker days where it's just moving back into existing in such a solitary world, um, from what I was doing, which was just a lot more collaborative and community oriented. It's like, okay, well it's been a few years and those exact same demons are there of, is it good enough? Will people like it? Can I handle the criticism? Mike? What does it all mean? Kind of thing. And uh, and now moving into a place where it's like, okay, if somebody doesn't like that piece, they don't like that piece and I don't have to make pieces that everyone loves. And I think that's where I've been held up is like hearing you know, criticism from someone, why don't you do it this way and why don't you do it that way? And finally just saying like, okay, well I don't have to listen to anyone else. I get to listen to what feels good for me.

Gabe Ratliff: 00:26:53 I love that. Thanks. Yeah, me too. For you mostly man, that's, I mean that's one of the core things that I constantly, they constantly comes up in these conversations and you know, with anybody in our industry, we're always dealing with self doubt. And I mean it's the same thing when I go back through and listen to these episodes and continue to try to refine interviewing and you know, really give value and also really be present, you know, and really be connected in these conversations. You know, they get, Keith goes to do these deep levels, right? And it's like same thing you're talking about, you know, where you're questioning like, oh, I only got so many downloads on this one. What did I do wrong? Or what wasn't, what wasn't great about that did I, was I not really honoring that person or you know, did that dishonor them cause I didn't get it to as many people, you know, like there's not as many people heard it or whatever that is.

Gabe Ratliff: 00:27:52 You know, there's like so many things that we can go through a, it's the same thing as a point, you know, being a photographer, filmmaker, any of those things, you know, it's like all the work we do. It's so, it's so personal. Even if you're doing it for a client and it's, you know, something tied to their story and all these things that you've done your due diligence to get all that information to create the piece, it's still you making the piece and you want to, you want to, um, you want to honor them and you know, make them feel fulfilled about the work that you did for them. Right. And like earn how much they paid for the work you've done and all of this stuff, you know, and it's like no matter what angle you look at it, it's constantly a thing that we have to go through. So I appreciate you sharing that because it's very vulnerable, you know, as we go to those places. Um,

Kate Wilkonson: 00:28:46 I'm sure that, sorry to interrupt you. Um, something I realized with, with doing a lot of that, I had this piece recently where we kind of just, my first vision for it didn't feel like the best fit for her. And so what we ended up a lighting on was something that to me didn't feel like as deep as we could go, but for her felt like just what she wanted and that was enough of a connection to this person. We, we made a piece around where that was a good way for me to check myself and be like, it does not always have to go to all the deepest places, you know? And that's for sure. I'll a lesson of life for me.

Gabe Ratliff: 00:29:37 Yeah. Yeah. I can totally connect with that. Right. Cause like we go deep. That's why I love having conversations with you because we get deep and you know, there's life is a complex thing and you know, it's fun to go to those places and not just be superficial. But yeah, it's, it's, some people don't care. They like that. It's not that they don't care, but they don't care to go that far. They don't need, they don't need to go that far in order to find care for themselves or find some extra thing. It's just like, no, I'm looking for the thing. You did the thing. Thanks.

Kate Wilkonson: 00:30:15 You're like, that's so funny because yeah, I have spent a lot of my life wishing that I was different and that's something I'm trying to embrace more of now too, is like, I think it's awesome to have conversations with people like you, like where you can question all those things. You know? I think even if at the end of the day we figured out there is no meeting and who knows what, it's still nice to question that. So thanks.

Gabe Ratliff: 00:30:43 Absolutely. Thank you. I mean I feel like it's part of the journey right? It's just like

Gabe Ratliff: 00:30:49 what we do in life. It's the same. It's like the, the inner self and the outer self are both on a journey. Um, and I, you know, I think like a great example. I think, you know, our friends or just coming back from several months of vagabonding abroad and it's like the concept of that and the expansion that you have with that is amazing. You know? And not everybody does that. Not everybody cares to do that, but the people that do do that, it taps into something that I think is powerful. Other people just tap into other things that are powerful for them. And I think that's the beauty of us being unique beings, you know? And I'm glad to hear that you are embracing that in yourself because you're amazing. You're fucking amazing. And, uh, everybody I know that knows you. We all feel that way.

Gabe Ratliff: 00:31:49 So like, I'm, I'm so glad to hear that you're continuing to add, to look at those things, you know, and to keep pushing yourself because this is a journey we're all on. I mean, not even just as creatives, but as humans. You know, like we're all on some kind of journey and some people, they may have blinders on to those things. But I feel like there is something to be said for those of us that are looking for something deeper, you know? And that even if it's just the meaning to us in this existence, it's still worth it.

Kate Wilkonson: 00:32:29 Yeah. And I think the would I recognize in relationships where I have that is just the feeling of connection and not being alone on this weird ride that we're all on that makes it all, you know, just like truly feeling connected to people is the best thing I can describe.

Gabe Ratliff: 00:32:55 Yeah. And it, it's interesting when you step back and, and recognize when it starts to get to that place of a true connection. And not just this like more than an acquaintance, you know, like friends, but even, you know, longtime friends. Right. And because we've, we've been in a similar circle for a long time and there are just different levels for people. And it's interesting to see how those develop as time goes by. Because, you know, obviously some people fall off and some people move and this and that, but there's something to be said when, when you continue to be intentional about that connection, you know, taking that friendship to a new level or that relationship, whatever that looks like, whether that's in business or with friends or with family, you know, all of it has its own trajectory, but we all have that ability to guide it and to like be intentional with it and either let it fall off.

Gabe Ratliff: 00:34:00 You know? And it's interesting with social media and it's like people have the ability to be connected to each other all over the world. But we're seeing that more and more people are feeling disconnected from it. So it's interesting to see how this is, I feel like there's going to be, there's like a backlash of people wanting to have more intentional like actual connection and like being in person and having intimate conversations. Like we're having like this in a way where it's, this is more connected than just following your feed, seeing what you're up to, liking it, you know,

Kate Wilkonson: 00:34:39 and you get the, I think something that I hear when you're saying that is just how like a component of being able to be vulnerable and you...I had dinner with this really old family friend last night that we've known each other since we were born and we were just talking about how refreshing it is to be with someone like that who has known you through so many parts of life. And it's like the thing that you're missing is all the story, you know, the tell me about your family, how'd you end up where you are, you know, things that you're just like at this point in life. Like how do you possibly fill in new friendships with all those details? But I think, um,

Kate Wilkonson: 00:35:27 yeah. And you see when you get to actually have conversations with people and relate on a really authentic level, that is like the ability to say, yeah, you know, today I'm really not doing that good. And there is another level of, I dunno, it's, it might be a strange word do you use, but like refreshment in knowing, oh, it's not like everything. Your life is entirely perfect. Like what you painted it to be on social media, you know, like, Oh, you have moods and you're struggling and because this being humanists such a weird thing.

Gabe Ratliff: 00:36:04 Well, it's so unifying, right? Like it's, it's the thing that opens the door to connection, whether that's like you and your friends and family or if it's like you and prospects, right? And your clients and the people that you have already worked with. Right. It's like those understanding there's a human behind it all and that we have moods and you know, ups and downs and life happening and you know, that all plays a part in the work we put out. And it's interesting how businesses have commodified products, but I feel like there's this shift where it's coming back to like it, you know, you hear a lot about like authentic marketing and all this stuff, but I feel like there really is this pole that people have of like something real, you know, where there's like something, they're more than just billboards and ads that pop up all over websites and you know, commercials. But there's something else there that people are yearning for. They, you know, that's why I think the millennial movement has been so impactful around the intention and the mission behind businesses and supporting those businesses. And that's really started to explode is because they, they're, they like grew up wanting more and now that starting to bleed off into other generations. And I think it's awesome because I think as humans we're like, can we please have get back to like things that have like, you know, wait to them and are not so superficial.

Kate Wilkonson: 00:37:53 Yeah. And the, I know we've talked quite a bit about the movement toward minimalism and Marie Kondo and things like that and just how impactful that is that it's like moving away from this idea that more is better too. You know, shifting focus and time to perhaps the more becomes deep per connection and more time with friends and the things that fill you up as opposed to this desire for more things.

Gabe Ratliff: 00:38:27 Yeah, it's exciting. One, I know for me what I've found is as you get rid of more things, it opens up the space for the things that you really want and need. Not The things that you thought you wanted right now because we, we, it's like, it's just like if you're, you know, packing a suitcase or if you're packing your house, if you have a bigger house, you're going to fill it. Yeah. If you have a smaller house, you're going to fill it, you know? And it's just like if you, if you're having intention behind this things that you're getting and what you're filling it with and having less of the like things, the items, the possessions and having more experiences and time to do the things you really want to do and less distractions to actually do those things, then you can really tap into something that has more power, right? That has more meaning like creating things or going somewhere you've never been before and learning something about a culture you never knew much about or you know, tapping into a new group or forum or community of people that you never knew you wanted to be a part of and then you ended up getting completely enamored with it and it completely shifts your life to do something that was far more impactful than you were on that journey before. Yeah.

Kate Wilkonson: 00:40:04 Yeah. That's amazing. What A, what I've noticed creatively is,

Gabe Ratliff: 00:40:10 yeah,

Kate Wilkonson: 00:40:10 looking around our home that is just pretty clean and doesn't have a lot of things around that era. It just frees up more space in your brain to like, what's the thing I'm going to create today? And that's so liberating. Yeah.

Gabe Ratliff: 00:40:23 So you've noticed that actually be a reality that you've seen from that?

Kate Wilkonson: 00:40:28 Definitely. Yeah. If I, I mean if my house is messy and there's things all over the place right now, it's all creative things like stones and things just to see what like inspiration strikes. But it's, you know, keeping the pile of mail to a minimum and making sure that's not the first thing. I see that it's just the things that you are trying to put your energy toward.

Gabe Ratliff: 00:40:58 How would you describe, I'm going to have to start kind of pulling back towards what you're putting out into the world relative to that. So how would you describe your, your style and your design aesthetic to kind of explain to people so they can kind of get a more idea. You were talking about how you were doing, you know, skulls and you know, some of these other kinds of edgier things when you were conflicted about what the meaning of all this was. How do you sort of, when you look at your, um, when you look at, you know, your, uh, you know, comprehensively at the work that you've put out and you have this sort of 30,000 foot view, how do you speak about your work and your style?

Kate Wilkonson: 00:41:46 I feel like, kind of going back a little bit to what we talked about at the beginning of just, um, all these pieces being a part of being human. So, you know, the, the skulls are one facet and I think, um, sometimes that depending on the viewer can be interpreted as something that's a little bit morbid. And I actually see that entirely as the opposite. I think it's just fascinating, this world that we live in, that somewhere in the DNA of this animal is this formula that creates this armature for this being to live on. That is amazing. So I think the kind of thread in most of my pieces is a Da, a desire for a story. So, um, that's a lot of where my custom work is, is you know, working with people to figure out what is the thing for you that has the most meaning and how can we honor that. And it's interesting, I think I touched a little bit on how the new stuff is a lot more lights and pretty and exists in this place of just being something lovely as opposed to really like digging into the depths of what is the meaning of it all. Um, so I would say from a sort of 30,000 foot view that it's,

Kate Wilkonson: 00:43:24 it all is me kind of trying to question what is, what is this right there were on what is being human mean? And sort of examining all the different facets of what that can mean.

Gabe Ratliff: 00:43:41 When you're working with people in tapping into their stories in your, you're in that early stage. I'm fascinated with this stage of development. I love it. The brainstorming, the early, early concept [inaudible] I just, I think that is amazing because once you see it and you start working on it right then it already has a life of its own. And so I feel like that initial, you know, embryonic stage where it's like, just starting to figure out what it is is just powerful. So I'm curious, when you're in that stage with people, how do you, how are you tapping into those stories and like what is that process for you? Like how do you take that and then turn that into, you know, the catalyst for the piece itself? What does that look like?

Kate Wilkonson: 00:44:30 So it's usually similar. I would say occasionally they take awhile to marinade on, but I just prefer to sit down with someone one on one and face to face and just talk about, um, you know, if it's somebody who has a stone that they inherited from their mom, say like, sit down and really make sure that I get a feeling for who that person is or was and, and what the recipient's style looks like. Are they edgy or are they traditional? Things like that. And just kind of digging in to see what are the things that were super important to that person. Is it architecture? Is there something to do with your story that might take place at a hotel or things like that. And it's, it's funny, usually, usually it, when we're kind of talking something will strike and I just know that that's the direction to go.

Kate Wilkonson: 00:45:29 And occasionally we'll get pretty far down that path and just realize like this isn't a good fit for this person's style or whatever. And then kind of reevaluate from there. But it's really trying to make sure that I understand all of the parties involved and how we can create something that goes from, just like we talked about, like more of something to something that they'll look at and, and maybe that reminds them of this person that they lost or a, you know, a time in their life they want to come and Marie and things like that. So

Gabe Ratliff: 00:46:10 do you, do you have a story that you could maybe share that, like really spoke to you or was he had this really great story behind it or it would just really inspiring or anything like that?

Kate Wilkonson: 00:46:24 They're all, I would say for the most part, story worthy in it's, it's difficult for me to choose. One. One that was really fun that I definitely spent a lot of time marinating on was this woman who came as a connection through a friend of mine. And she had this hearing from her grandmother. Her grandmother had this pair of diamond studs and she had lost one. So she gifted one to her, her granddaughter. And so we sat down and I kind of learned some of their family history and as we were texting and writing on Instagram and things, she, you know, little bits wouldn't leak out in terms of what their name meant, which was great vine and things like that. And it, it wasn't until I was traveling in Mexico, which her family, um, are, is a Mexican family. I believe that's where her grandma still lives.

Kate Wilkonson: 00:47:29 And I was walking through this church in Mexico and looked up and saw this ceiling and it had this pattern on the ceiling that was like eight pieces of Pie essentially. And that is the thing that just felt like the route we should go with her family, that her or her grandmother kind of being the, the pivotal, a woman in the family and having seven kids that would surround her. And then so we ended up doing a piece off of that ceiling in Mexico that kind of paid homage to her family. And then I did a carving of a great belief on the back and that had like a bail. That was a great fine. And so it's fun. That's, that's one of the pieces that I'm not sure hat, I mean very clearly had I not have traveled to that place would have turned out very different.

Gabe Ratliff: 00:48:20 Yeah. That's awesome. I love that. That's so great how those things come together, you know? And then I like that, although I love the, that the design thinking, but also that layered metaphorical reference rate where it all comes together and it's something that actually hits deeper than you trying to figure out. Like say like you said, if you didn't travel there and didn't go connect in that way, you're just trying to come up with something that's like speaking to them based off of what you've been told or you know, what you see in your research and meanwhile that's part of the research, right, to go and to go that extra level. But that's where that magic happens to then come up with something like that that just really hits home and hits all those cylinders as far as you know, something that's going to be meaningful and and have like true connection that they can all get. You know, they see it and they're like, oh nice. Yeah, I know

Kate Wilkonson: 00:49:23 there that trip was funny. There was another one that, that I was working on that I had been hired to do and I had a hard time connecting. This piece was going to be a surprise and I had a hard time connecting with kind of my contact to learn about who this piece would be for. And I ended up finally connecting with her in the cab on the way to the airport for that trip. And one of the things that came up was like, she really loves Frida Kahlo and I'm like, well that's really funny cause I'm going to her house in two days. I ended up like finding a piece there and we kind of spun off of that, but it's just fun. Those are the kinds of things where I just realized, you know, the world is smaller in a really lovely way than, than we think when we're like running from a to B in arc sort of normal lives.

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Gabe Ratliff: 00:50:49 Where do you find inspiration when you, I mean, if you're, you're now starting to do your own work and go through another evolution now that you're doing that, you know, I mean you've got input from clients when you're working on their story and all those things, but when you're working on your own, where do you look for inspiration? Where do you find it? Where does that come from? Where is your muse?

Kate Wilkonson: 00:51:19 I think a lot of that sometimes becomes very process oriented. That's, you know, I'll come up with an idea and I'll think, how can I make that harder on myself and in doing that, make it more interesting to the end user of like, I really have never seen something like that. So it's kind of usually it's just challenging and saying like, what's a way, sure. I could put a post on that and it would be a pair of earrings, but what's a way to make that more interesting? Um, and it's kind of finding the balance of what makes sense to do every piece by hand and what makes sense to have a cad component too and kind of spin off from there. I would say that's that, that's where a lot of this new stuff is, is just like, can I do this? Will it work out?

Kate Wilkonson: 00:52:12 And yeah, there's this piece I've been playing with the whole time we've been talking, which is a new little locket. Nice. So it w it has a chain that runs all the way around it and it will be the kind of inspiration for this was almost like a little medicine pouch for people. Like how can you create something that is customizable but also gives people the ability to make it really, there's so, you know, toying with the process of like, can we laser weld this? And this could be something where you can hold someone's ashes or does it just have a few posts in it and you can hold your rose quartz or whatever you want to hold on there. So

Gabe Ratliff: 00:53:01 Nice. Yeah. That's awesome. Oh, I love it. You're like playing with it while we're talking. Yeah, it's awesome. It's awesome. So tactile,

Kate Wilkonson: 00:53:15 I don't have any Koreans to rip the paper off.

Gabe Ratliff: 00:53:21 You know, I, I want to also touch on, I really loved your, as we're, you know, this is coming through in our conversation, but I really loved how you spoke to what it is that you love about what you do. And I was wondering if you could put that in your own words, cause I really, I just love where that comes from.

Kate Wilkonson: 00:53:45 Yeah, I think it's multifaceted. I would say, and it's, it's very different depending on the piece. You know, some are my favorite because it really is developing a connection with a person and getting the feel that, like we talked about earlier and some, it's just sitting down and to say like, can I do this? And there, there is a different pace. I've noticed, especially this week where I was riding with a friend and I was like, today is all jewelry day in this just pace of life where that to me is very much flow state where a day will pass and I've just him in the studio and listening to a podcast or a book on tape and it's just time loses its meaning a little bit and that feels really good. And at the end of it too, you know the, the wax I do most of my carvings with is this kind of plasticized bright blue wax and it just does not get old to have that cast and pick it up and it's gold. It's just the most fun thing I can imagine.

Gabe Ratliff: 00:55:07 Oh that's awesome. So I want to, I want to flip here a little bit and kind of go the other direction around your biggest challenge and where that lives these days and, and knew how do you, how do you work through that?

Kate Wilkonson: 00:55:32 Yeah, I mean for me 100% it's just putting myself out there, like having the, knowing how to do that and being comfortable with it. And I am, you know, trying to just live in a place where it's like Wah, Wah. Asking myself that question. Like why is that so scary? It shouldn't be. That's ties in all of these parts. Like to go back to the example I talked about earlier with the, you know, the group of women to say like, if you put yourself out there and you tell people your experience, the reception can be incredible. Um, I think I've been playing a little bit with identity in the past few years and, and kind of what I'm defined by an now after not really living in this world, recognizing my little artists person is like, Hey, actually we want to be seen, you know? And so getting out of my own way to try and make that happen.

Gabe Ratliff: 00:56:35 Yeah. And that's why you're here. Thank you. Thank you for having me. You Bet. I mean, it's, yeah, I mean, like we talked about earlier, it's, it's, it's hard to, you know, get on that stage and, you know, be like, look at me, look at me when you're not coming from the place of vanity. You know, you're just like, I'm just doing my thing. I love hearing. I love hearing people's stories about where time slips away, you know, and putting something on that you're listening to and just getting into your work and it's nighttime, you know? And that's just awesome. I love hearing that because that means you're doing what you're meant to be doing, right? Like it's like you're, you're living in that space of your passion and, and you have purpose behind it. Like the tapping into people's stories and connecting with them on a deeper level, whether that goes super deep or not, but then taking that and then tapping into your passion to then produce something that you're putting out into the world.

Gabe Ratliff: 00:57:49 I mean, that's powerful and that's living with intention, but then on uneven, you know, a different level to also as the creative and the human who is recognizing and acknowledging your own, um, uniqueness in how you show up in the world. And then wanting to push that and to see how far that can go, you know? And, and like going beyond the comfort zone of staying in your studio, listening to a podcast. Yeah. Right. By yourself and like being in this space of, you know, of, of solitude and working in that way, but then saying, no, I actually really am a social creature. I do want to participate in this community and push yourself out there. I mean, that's, that's awesome. That's awesome. No, Matt reflection. Yes.

Kate Wilkonson: 00:58:51 I really appreciate you saying that. It feels like that's what you're meant to be doing. Cause it's sometimes can feel like, I don't know. I don't know the answers to anything.

Gabe Ratliff: 00:59:03 Right. Well and you know, I mean there's, I think the other thing that happens to you, you were talking about how the world is smaller than we think, but the other thing that's come out of social media is access to the amount of creativity that's in the world. You know, and as creatives we're seeing all this competition potentially, right? Like it's, it's, there's a deeper lizard brain thing going on of like, you know, I need to survive and I need to make money to survive and I'm competing with these people that are doing similar things to get the money and the, the, you know, the business to be able to thrive and survive, you know? And so it's like taps into something very deep. And that's where a lot of that competition comes up for people as they feel like they have to squash others or they feel like they have to, you know, just be the absolute best, which I love that, like pushing yourself to be the best at something because you love it.

Gabe Ratliff: 01:00:18 But when it is at the detriment of others, that's when it starts to go to a dark place. And I think this visibility that we have, this access we have, right? To See Instagram and see what other people are doing or Facebook or wherever and see all of this creativity that's out there. It also, I feel like can be intimidating and overwhelming, right. To be like, why do I deserve to have a voice? You know? And it's just, it's, it Kinda goes back to when we're an art school getting critiqued and you know, like that other kid that's in your class is just naturally really awesome. And like I remember I used to, I used to hate critiques when I was young, but then I realized as I got older, it's just toughening you up. And it's also helping you realize like what you really dig and what you don't like, what you really care about being better at and what you don't, you know, and toughening your skin.

Kate Wilkonson: 01:01:20 Yeah. And I think just to touch on something you said about, you know, kind of being the best and not really like putting other people down in that, one thing that struck me in that was, was also what that does when you kind of take that on to yourself that, you know, it's that level of like perfectionism of something is can be paralyzing. That like you don't want to put anything out there unless it's perfect or you know, unless people will view it as such. And just recognizing that to some people and will be perfect. And to some people they will hate it. And that is totally fine because you can't be everything to everybody.

Gabe Ratliff: 01:02:11 Yeah. I think that's one of the best lessons that we can learn as artists, you know, is that it's, and I love hearing you, you've mentioned that throughout the conversation around recognizing that for yourself, you know, and continuing to check back into that. And I think that's something that comes up a lot on the show is how we handle perfectionism and how we push through it. You know, how will you push through writer's block or, or you know, any of the blocks we have where we get in our own way. And that's a big one, right? Cause we're all, whatever the reason it is and whatever that stemmed from as we were developing is a really powerful thing when you're talking about perfectionism and you know, wanting to get workouts. Some people are really good. I envy some of those folks that are just really good at like, I'm just going to, it's good enough, it's out.

Gabe Ratliff: 01:03:09 Ooh. But then I also really, really appreciate people that are just completely devout to their craft. And are just are unyielding to say like Stanley Kubrick, right? Like that guy was yielding to his vision and his work. He was just like, this is it. And he is a legend now in that medium because of his, his ethics around his work and his like just absolute devotion to his craft and like what he wanted to do and say with it. You know? And I just read really am impressed by people like that, that just are unyielding. Okay.

Kate Wilkonson: 01:03:56 And that was her way to, with people like that. Um, in your craft is one thing, but what is the rest of your life look like? Also, you know, are, are you dedicating yourself purely to your craft or are you also able to have relationships and friendships? And that's a, it's an interesting balance because I sometimes think that that's a hard balance to maintain.

Gabe Ratliff: 01:04:26 Yeah. And I mean I love that you brought that up because that's the real journey, right? Cause it's not just about like your, we are more than just your art. You're more than just your craft. You're more than just your job, your career. Right. You're, you know, if you have a family, if you have, you know, friends and family, uh, friends and, and relatives and you know, your community that you're a part of your passions outside of your craft that help feed your craft, right? Like the travel, the sports or music or whatever it is that you participate in to feed your soul to then you know, also feed your inspiration for your creativity. It's, it's all part of it. It's, it's awesome. I love that you brought that up cause that's, so that's like the, that's the next level on the journey, right? Is it's not just about being a master of your craft, it's being a master of your life. Yeah. Somebody tweet that right now. Can you share a time when you sabotage your own success?

Kate Wilkonson: 01:05:49 I am hesitating because I'm trying to pull out just one

Gabe Ratliff: 01:05:56 copy that yeah. Been there myself.

Kate Wilkonson: 01:06:03 I mean I can point to many times when there has been opportunity for someone to help me say where I was, not in a clear enough space to recognize what that actually was or able to take that help. I can also point to times where, you know, I've had opportunity to like sell the different places and for whatever reason I just blew it. And um, yeah, I don't know. There's, there's plenty.

Gabe Ratliff: 01:06:43 Yeah. Yeah. And it just, you know, that's always a good question I think to, for us to all connect to, you know, how we can do that individually. You know, cause we're all doing it. Yeah. Like we all have that capacity to sabotage ourselves or uh, you know, we, I, I think so many of us have a fear of the failure, you know, and it's like another part of that fight or flight thing, right? It's like if you fail, you don't eat and you die or you know, you're not prepared for the barbarians coming over the hill.

Kate Wilkonson: 01:07:18 Well, it's so funny too, because it's, it's not just a fear of failure. It's a fear of success too. That's, that's what I look at is, and I, I just can't get my head around why, because that's the thing that I want the most. But I will intentionally self sabotage. And I had been spending a lot of time trying to look at the my patterns in why I do that. And is that just kind of a cycle that my brain is stuck in is when I feel this, then I feel guilt and this is my story. And instead now saying like, okay, but I'm sick of that story. I want a new story. So when can I catch myself in the midst of this loop and step to the right instead of going down the same old path. But it's, that's where, I mean human brains are remarkable because we just, we get in these loops and they're incredibly hard to break out of.

Gabe Ratliff: 01:08:18 Yeah, I totally connect with that. Uh, as well. Cause I, the fear of failure and the fear of success are equally powerful and they can just take hold because I know most of my life I didn't feel like I deserved it. I have through the work I've done, I've recognized like that's where it stemmed from. I just didn't, I didn't grow up in like a really well to do family. Do you know, like we did okay. And my parents always provided for me. So I'm very blessed and I'm also a white male, so I have tons of privilege just inherently in the pigment of my skin and my gender. And one thing I love is that that's no longer hidden. You know, where people are talking about it. And there are those of us out there that are being social warriors trying to really support and stick up for the female gender, transgender, you know, different races and colors, creeds, whatever.

Gabe Ratliff: 01:09:18 People that are just out there wanting to fucking live the same life that we've been blessed to have. And I'm one of those warriors and [inaudible] even with that, and because of that, I'm also at the mercy of still not having such a hard life that I've had to fight for it. Like so many others. But I still feel like I don't deserve to have better because I know other people, I feel like they deserve, deserve it more. Right. Yeah. But one of the things that was really impactful to me was really connecting with the concept of if you, if you do better and you

Gabe Ratliff: 01:10:07 Help more people and you are successful that you can help even more people. Right? Like the better you do, the more you make, the more resources you have to then support others. Like the Richard Bransons out there, the Elon musks, you know, all of these people out there that are like really successful, but they really are trying to make an impact on the planet with people, you know, with social justice issues, like all kinds of things out there. And it's like those people are paving the way for others to see, okay, if I get out there and I hustle and I like do it with intention, the successes, not just for me, it's for others. You know, it's not just me being successful in like rich and famous and all that bullshit. It's like being successful in the way of like true success, you know? And then being able to pay that forward. Yeah.

Kate Wilkonson: 01:11:05 And I think I like how you define success there cause I totally resonate with that. I think, you know, there's obviously a component to kind of the reality that we live in where success is often defined as, you know, how you are financially. Um, but I really feel like from another level there's so many other ways to look at that and say like, yeah, how many people are you impacting? Are you spending your days just kind of in these selfish ways or are you able to connect to other people? And I always, there's this friend that I talked to a lot about, about, uh, rippling outward. That's like, in what ways are you bringing that, that to me, having a balance in that, and of course, you know, being able to pay your bills is, is huge, but that, you know, at the, at the end of life, I want to feel like that was just as important.

Gabe Ratliff: 01:12:12 I'm curious when you're working on a piece, when you, you know, as you're iterating it and you're getting to a place, when do you know it's done in like, do you know, do you intuit it or do you have something in your process or do you just see the vision at the beginning and that's what you work towards or how does that work for you?

Kate Wilkonson: 01:12:48 It really depends on the piece. Sometimes you just kind of know and sometimes, um, it's more like asking yourself that question repeatedly. I had a teacher who was like talked about how, you know, being an artist and a perfectionist, you could keep working something to the point where you ruin it. And so taking step back, it's often I can kind of feel it in certain pieces. Like, am I just about to take this too far and maybe it's just done and yeah, there was one I was working on recently that I was stuck in that mode of like, how do I make this so different that it's something that people are going to be surprised by and process wise and all this stuff. And at the end I was like, one, you're making yourself crazy. Nobody looks at that. Or like a few of your jeweler friends will, but just it's done. It's done. And if people resonate with it, that's great. And otherwise like, you know, this process isn't that important, so.

Gabe Ratliff: 01:13:54 Do you have a favorite piece that you've created or one that like really went to a new place that you were excited to go to or anything like that?

Kate Wilkonson: 01:14:12 I would say that I have a few, they tend to be, for me personally relevant to specific points in life. So I had a piece that I wore for probably two years. It was just like a talisman. I never took it off ever. And what I thought was so interesting about that piece was one day it just fell off and it was the perfect day to a fallen off. Um, this piece that I held up for you earlier is one of my favorites I've done in a long time. Just because the process and the challenge of doing it and what I see it's potential to be, you know, I, I hope that people resonate with this and, and see that because I can't wait to see stories that come through of what are the things that people want to wear that close to them. So those are usually my favorites. And then there are a few, you know, I'll do pieces of like an engagement ring or wedding ring and those will come back to visit and be cleaned and things like that. And it's always fun. It feels like kind of visiting with an old friend to like get up. Oh yeah. Because so often it kind of comes through my hands and then ends up where it's supposed to end up and it's just fun to kind of get a visit with it again and show what it feels like. Um, so

Gabe Ratliff: 01:15:40 nice. Yeah. One of the things I love about your story is the story around the name of your company. And I even thought as we're starting to kind of wind down, if you could maybe tell us that story about where that came from. Cause I know it's like really near and dear story to you and I just love it because it's such a unique name.

Kate Wilkonson: 01:16:03 Yeah. Try not start cry on this one. Um, years ago I was living in bend and I had a very small kind of social circle. It was, we always called it this psych menagerie of super creative. So we'd always cooked dinner for each other and have craft night in that kind of thing. And um, one of the people in this group was, uh, a man named Nicholas who was just, is still, uh, just one of the most remarkable beings I've ever met in that he just really lived life on his own terms. And you know, Ben was a very small community, especially at that time. It was, um, there was not a lot going on economically and you know, he would stand out in the middle of these roundabouts with the sign that said fear. And a lot of people didn't get it. And they'd yell at him and he'd say, yeah, exactly. Like what is it that you're afraid of? So he is someone who had me asking a lot of big questions. And so we had been talking, I was trying to name my business at the time. And so I had gotten this email from him that just said, what about Arcatus? And

Kate Wilkonson: 01:17:27 I sent him back a response that was like, what are you talking about? And he was like, for your company. And so as I ask what that meant, he sent me this definition and it was kind of part from Latin, meaning our canus a secret mysterious and Arcadia from the Greek as a region are seen of simple pleasure and quiet. And so kind of the definition that he put together with that was a secret and mysterious region of quiet, simple pleasure. And I always kind of took that a little more as a place to,

Kate Wilkonson: 01:18:06 kind of sit and be quiet and a place to meditate and just reflect on things. And so I fell in love with that name for what it meant and who wrote that. And it also just feels like a strong word. And if you were to go Google that, what you would learn is that it is the beginning of a scientific name of a fish, which is not what we meant. But, um, so yeah, that's it story.

Gabe Ratliff: 01:18:35 Well you certainly swim. You're on pace. Good or bad. It's very good. Well, I wanted to ask, do you have, thank you for sharing that. I know that's a deep story for you. Um, but I really loved the story and I think it's so relevant to who you are and what you do and where you are and what you're putting out into the world. Thanks. Speaking of what you're putting out into the world, I was curious, do you have any new products that are coming out? Are you, you know, you're doing all this new stuff that's your own design? Um, so I'm curious, you know, what do you got coming that people can get excited for?

Kate Wilkonson: 01:19:16 Yeah. So I have a whole new kind of line of work, some of which will be able to be duplicated and personalized and some which is more just kind of process driven, one of a kind sort of things. A lot of rustic diamonds in there and carving and cast in place and some fun kind of things like that. And then in my sort of community world, I am working on an event right now, which is in collaboration with a company called Black Rose and also Archipelago who is in town and we're bringing Mardeleva (Tulum, Mexico) to Denver. Um, so Mardeleva is Eduardo Castillo's kind of new projects. That's all trio of musicians and it's mostly improvised, and the, the idea of this event is you come in and you are a part of this journey. So doors closed as specific time and it's, it's just more of a sound journey that takes you to a lot of different places and ends in a bit of a dance party, but it's just really designed to be super nourishing, I would say. Um, and just connected. So

Gabe Ratliff: 01:20:36 mmm. Love all of that, all of those things. And when, when can we look forward to that? The event

Kate Wilkonson: 01:20:45 that is coming up soon? It's June 8th, so like three weeks out.

Gabe Ratliff: 01:20:49 Wow. And that's in Denver? It is. Yep. Nice. So anyone wanting to come to Denver? June 8th? Yeah, it can be wonderful. And um, yeah, and so I'll definitely, let me get the links to any of that from you so that I can put that in the show notes. Okay. Is there anything else coming up for you? Anything else that you want to share?

Kate Wilkonson: 01:21:17 I think that's most of it. Yeah. Just I would say stay tuned on like Facebook and Instagram as I make more work that will be, and likely Instagram mostly. Um, the kind of first places it goes if it's not headed to a gallery or things like that.

Gabe Ratliff: 01:21:36 Awesome. So last few questions. I've got a fun, I got some fun, like just wrap up questions that are sort of like, you know, quicker response and I think they're just fun. Um, if you had to write a book, what would it be about?

Kate Wilkonson: 01:21:58 This is funny. So I'm on just ask me what the title of my book would be other day to remember what that was. I have no idea. A friend told me last night, she was like, you should write a memoir. I had a kind of crazy near death experience that um, the new year and she was like, that needs to be in a book. And um, so I don't know. I can't say that I have one at the forefront of my brain, but it's a good question.

Gabe Ratliff: 01:22:25 Well, I concur with her cause that was a really, really interesting story. More than interesting. I mean it was, it was, you know, those are important events, you know, that caused the impact usually for the better. Yeah, for sure. Describe a simple pleasure.

Kate Wilkonson: 01:22:51 Coffee in the morning. Smoothies for me, I'm kind of a health food nerd. Um, and coconuts, if I have a coconut in my fridge that will me out of bed faster than anything else.

Gabe Ratliff: 01:23:07 I love it. I love all those things. Make a protein shake every morning and coffee. And I love coconut, but I don't always have those in my fridge, so

Kate Wilkonson: 01:23:21 I don't either. But when you do and you have the knife they get through and yeah.

Gabe Ratliff: 01:23:25 Yeah. There's a, uh, arepas place that's here in town in Denver that, um, makes really amazing arepas, but they also do their, they actually core and do their own coconuts and they even brand them on the outside just to like, like, so you have this whole experience when you enjoy it. Oh, so good. Every time I go, I get it. I'm just like, yeah,

Kate Wilkonson: 01:23:54 Next time we meet, we meet for coconuts.

Gabe Ratliff: 01:23:56 Yeah. It's that, um, Avanti F & B. Oh, okay. Yeah, it's down there. But they have, oh, so every time I don't even care. I think it's like eight bucks, but I'm like, I'll get to, I don't care. That was the same as like, yeah, they are. Well, and it's like, if you're going to spend eight bucks on an alcoholic drink, why can't you spin it on nature's nectar? Said thank you. I was like, wow, that came out. I didn't, I didn't stutter. Uh, if you had to live somewhere else, where would you live

Kate Wilkonson: 01:24:32 right now? It would be Spain. Um, I had a really incredible trip there a few years ago and just fell in love with a few little towns there. And as I look forward that, that for sure it would be a dream.

Gabe Ratliff: 01:24:49 Can you share the town's cause uh, you know, one of our favorite places,

Kate Wilkonson: 01:24:56 Mallorca and Daya and Valldemossa.

Gabe Ratliff: 01:25:00 Nice. Mallaga is now on our list to go check out. It's on the southeastern coast. Um, but we've been there. Tiff has been there four times and I've been there three times.

Kate Wilkonson: 01:25:12 Okay.

Gabe Ratliff: 01:25:12 So we really love that place.

Kate Wilkonson: 01:25:15 Yeah.

New Speaker: 01:25:16 Um, okay. So, uh, last two questions. Is there anything else that you'd like to say? Any parting words, any, anything of inspiration or, um, just, uh, any, any parting words for budding artists or people on their path?

Kate Wilkonson: 01:25:39 I will always say to not underestimate the power of having a community that understands you. I think, um, being a creative is a, you know, it's a, it's a different way that brains work. And I just think it's so important to recognize that you are not the only person that exists that way and be able to go to all the places with people. So whatever that looks like to you, I just think that that's super important. And then I just want to say thank you to you gave for what you're doing and the way that you're supporting us creatives and for what you're putting into the world. It's really awesome to watch you on, on your journey.

Gabe Ratliff: 01:26:26 Thank you so much. Thank you. And thank you for sharing all of this awesome sauce. That was uh, that was a whole lot of awesome sauce you just shared.

Kate Wilkonson: 01:26:36 It wasn't as scary as I got some thanks.

Gabe Ratliff: 01:26:38 You Bet. Um, where can people find you on the interwebs?

Kate Wilkonson: 01:26:43 I am on Instagram at @arcatusjewelry, which is A R C A T U S. Same thing on Facebook. And then arcatusjewelry.com and I'm kind of looking at spinning off a little bit there and turning Arcatus into more than just jewelry. It will be kind of handbags and leather goods and all. So, um, events and more of a production side of things as well.

Gabe Ratliff: 01:27:12 Are you guys hearing that? Are you hearing what I'm hearing? That's amazing. Get it girl. Get it.

Kate Wilkonson: 01:27:19 Thanks.

Gabe Ratliff: 01:27:20 I love it.

Kate Wilkonson: 01:27:20 Getting it.

Gabe Ratliff: 01:27:21 Get it. Who runs the world? Girls.

Kate Wilkonson: 01:27:25 Girls.

Gabe Ratliff: 01:27:28 Well Kate, thank you so much. I am so honored and so, so, so pleased to have you on the show and keep it up, girl.

Kate Wilkonson: 01:27:36 Thanks Gabe!

Gabe Ratliff: 01:27:40 Well that's it for this episode. If this is your first time listening, thank you so much for being here. I really hope you enjoy the show. The Vitalic Project podcast comes out bi-weekly and is available every other Thursday for your enjoyment and all links and show notes for this episode can be found at vitalicproject.com. If you haven't yet, please subscribe to the show and leave a rating or review on iTunes. If you'd like to be a guest or know someone that would be a great fit, please go to vitalic project.com/guest. If you want to follow us, you can find us online by searching @vitalicproject and thanks again for listening. Until next time. Keep being vitalic!