Welcome to our newest tradition, Maker Monday! We believe in bridging the gap between our customer and the maker -- and this new project is a great way to learn about the person behind the product!
This week our Store Manager/Purveyor of Hopes & Dreams, Marissa, chatted with Katelyn Hanf from TetraKate. Kate is one of the newest makers at The DIME Store and we spent some time getting to know her a little better!
So Kate, where are you from? Give me some of your best stats.
I’m 26 and I grew up in Mckinney but I’m originally from Ohio. I transferred to UNT and lived in Denton for 4 years. I got a job right out of college and now I work in Allen and live in Dallas. I come back and forth and spend most of my time between the 3 cities.
Well I work 3 miles away from the house I grew up in and lived there for 20 years so I was ready to move on. I’ve been in the same job I got straight out of college - I actually started in my last semester during finals!
Wow! I can’t even imagine how crazy that transition was. So what exactly are you doing now?
I’m a site manager which means I manage the storefront of websites. I typically have big clients that own multiple websites. I’m learning how to use several different and all the different aspects of running ecommerce. I came to UNT with the intention of majoring in Advertising but I switched to Merchandising and fell in love with digital retailing.
How/when did you start making?
I was always in art clubs or DIY projects but I could never find anything I really loved but I was out of college with a lot of free time and doing some experimentation. I knew one girl that was selling on Etsy and doing really well so I thought “I have time” and I really want to do something with my hands. I happened to have a bunch of clay so I just started making jewelry for myself and friends. I would wear some big statement earrings and I would get compliments and people asking if they could order some; I didn’t really plan for it, it all just kind of happened, so I opened my shop in March 2017.
Where did the name Tetrakate come from?
I came up with the name a long time before the shop. I was really into pattern drawing and lots of geometric drawings on graph paper. I had hoped to one day make an Instagram account for those drawings and I thought about a name and came up with TetraKate. Kate, obviously for my own name and Tetra is a reference to geometry, specifically the tetrahedron which is the most stable of the 3D shapes.
I love when we start out with one idea and it ends up being something completely different...
I thought the biggest thing I’d ever do was get them printed on notebooks, I did not expect it to be making jewelry!
Tell me a little about your history with Denton...you went to school here but what brings you back?
Yes, I graduated in May 2016. I have such a good network. I still do several markets there (The Backyard Market at East Side, Studio E, etc.) and one of my best friends is an artist in Denton so I try and come out and support her whenever I have a free night.
How has Denton changed since you lived here?
There are so many more places for community to go! Now, with all of the stores and bars opening there is more of a variety. There are also more sub-communities coming up and maybe I didn’t know about them when I was there but I have definitely seen the community getting bigger over the past year.
How do you balance the full-time gig and making? It’s really really hard. A lot of the time I get really inspired at work but I can’t do anything about it. I don’t get to choose when I work on that. When I get home, I’m tired! You have to be really committed to it. If I have a big event I have to hole up at home and get things ready but when it’s not crazy busy I can be more flexible. I really try and build my schedule around that.
Has there ever been a temptation to give one up? Never for long enough for me to go through with it. I have those thoughts but then I go to the event and get feedback and start talking to people, it makes it really worth it. In order to do both you really have to know yourself and be a self-motivator.
As an established maker, how would you encourage others in this same position? Well thanks for calling me established! I definitely don’t feel like it all the time. You have to be really honest with yourself. If you want the freedom to come home and do whatever you want, whenever you want, this isn’t for you. There will have to be sacrifice but if you choose something you really care about, it’s worth it. There are days where I really don’t want to work on this but if I didn’t love it I would’ve ended it a long time ago. You have to be all in! And expect It to be a time requirement!
That’s really great advice. So time for a fun question: If you didn’t need sleep, what would you spend those hours doing? I would take time more for myself! I would workout a lot more. I’ll take any time I can get to work on that! I would also work on TetraKate as much as I could.
Last question, because Denton loves Denton, what are some of your favorite places and things to order in Denton?? Eastside - moscow mule, West Oak - latte, DIME - I like looking at all the stuff, it’s really inspiring, Barley & Board - I’ve tried so many things on their brunch menu and it is ALL GOOD!