Kate Nickols, owner and designer of Katie Lee: Bridal + Eveningwear, answers The Pitch‘s questionnaire

: Kate Nickols

Occupation: Owner and designer, Katie Lee: Bridal + Eveningwear

Hometown: Lenexa

Current neighborhood: Lenexa

What I do (in 140 characters): I work with individuals to design custom, made-to-measure wedding gowns and eveningwear. I use high-quality fabrics, couture techniques and handsewn details to create one-of-a-kind dresses.

What’s your addiction? Buying fine fabrics. I love beautiful fabrics and, in particular, gorgeous laces. I am a self-professed “silk snob.” I have drawers, bins and bolts of fabrics of all kinds. I also am addicted to Snapchat.

What’s your game? Soccer. I was raised on the sport, starting to play at the age of 3. I love going to watch Sporting KC and the USA team. I also love to watch football and am always cheering on my Wildcats! Go, State!

What’s your drink? I love a great Riesling. Relax is my favorite.

Where’s dinner? Anywhere with a great gluten-free menu, but mostly at home. I make a mean Alfredo sauce from scratch that could rival any Italian restaurant’s. When I don’t feel like cooking, my go-to places are Chipotle, Blanc Burger, Spin Pizza, Kona Grill and Gram & Dun.

What’s on your KC postcard? Nelson-Atkins Museum. It is one of my favorite places in Kansas City.

Finish this sentence: “Kansas City got it right when … ” They built Sporting Kansas City’s stadium. It has brought so many wonderful experiences to this city, and I’ve loved being able to support such a success!

“Kansas City screwed up when … “ The Plaza kicked out the local small businesses. When people come to visit KC, they come to the Country Club Plaza. But instead of getting a taste of what Kansas City has to offer, they see the big-box stores that are in all other cities. Don’t get me wrong – the Plaza is still one of my favorite spots to eat, shop and hang out.

“Kansas City needs … “ A stronger way to unite our wonderful fashion community and designers. We have amazing talent here in fashion, jewelry, hair and makeup. We need to come together and support each other and our dreams.

“In five years, I’ll be … “ Spending my days running my own “one-stop shop,” offering beautiful fabrics and dresses but also continuing to create one-of-a-kind gowns for customers. I’d love to play a larger part in Kansas City’s fashion/beauty industry and working to help others who have similar dreams to mine.
“I always laugh at … ” Myself. I can be quite clumsy and have the occasional blonde moment. If I couldn’t laugh at myself, then I’d have no sense of humor.

“I’ve been known to binge-watch … “ Criminal Minds and other crime shows. I love the mystery and suspense of these shows as well as learning the interworking of the mind and why people do things they do. Also, my day usually begins with CNN all morning long while I am working.

“I can’t stop listening to … “ My Pandora “Studio” playlist. It has a wide variety of music, including artists such as Lana Del Ray, Arctic Monkeys, Macklemore, Pearl Jam, Lee Brice, Tom Petty and others.

“I just read … “ Christine Comaford-Lynch’s Rules for Renegades.

The best advice I ever got: Think of mistakes as lessons. There is a reason everything happens, and it usually is for you to learn something and to act differently in the future.

Worst advice: Go get a full-time job to pay the bills and put my dreams on hold. I have been told this a lot, but I’ve always wanted to start my own business. I can’t say it doesn’t cross my mind from time to time, but I’d rather take the road with more struggles if it means I’m doing what I love.

My sidekick: Saint, my brother and his girlfriend’s puppy that I watch sometimes. He keeps me company during long days in my studio.

My brush with fame: I have shown collections at Kansas City Fashion Week and West 18th Street Fashion Show. I was featured with a three-page spread in KC Weddings’ most recent magazine. I have designed for local celebrities, such as Kelly Jones, formerly of Better Kansas City, and Staci Klinginsmith, Miss Kansas USA. I have also had a few opportunities to go live on-air to showcase my designs. These have all been amazing opportunities that I’ve been blessed to experience.

My 140-character soapbox: I love my clients! It makes my day when I get a message from a bride telling how much she loves her dress.

My recent triumph: Leaving the world of bosses behind and making my business my full-time job. I may have the occasional side job, like decorating homes and stores for the holidays, but I am proud to be on my own on a daily basis doing what I love.

See designs and more at katieleebridal.com.

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