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Katie Dean believes that the careers we are destined to have can be realized as early as childhood, and that they can be achieved with good old fashioned hard work and a bit of encouragement. And after learning about this young entrepreneur's path to success, she's making a great case for that theory.
Though the Lansing, Michigan native—who now has an eponymous jewelry line—had always enjoyed art and had begun college for sculpture and ceramics, Dean took a departure from personal creative endeavors following her move to Los Angeles at age 18. After working a string of jobs that included personal chef, nanny, and finally stylist's assistant, she found herself desperately seeking her own outlet. Katie Dean Jewelry began after the designer made a few beaded pieces for herself and had people inquiring about buying them, and now it's a full-fledged line of affordable, trendy-yet-minimal pieces available online as well as in an impressive list of stores including local spots Yolk and Shout and About.
We pinned down the jet-setter (who travels constantly to promote her brand) for a green juice and chat at Atwater's The Juice—a spot close to her live/work space in Silver Lake—where we learned where she goes to get pampered, her go-to fitness class, and the sentimental hand-me-down she puts into rotation amid her white tee-heavy wardrobe.
What are you drinking?
A #3: apple, celery, kale, romaine, parsley, lemon, and ginger. I need to get my greens in but I like them with a little bit of sweet so this was perfect.
Best place to get pampered in LA?
Blushington! For my makeup. And then if I'm really going to do a girl's day, Kate Somerville because it's so luxurious. They really give attention to you, it's not just in-and-out. They want you to have an experience and their whole vibe is just so comfy and cozy. You're going in there and you're there to be pampered. And Blushington always does me right. I'm actually going to be doing some exclusive pieces with them in rose gold, so I'm really excited about that—but that's months from now! And their locations are beautiful. They give you tea or champagne. It's also right next to a Drybar. Saturday is my birthday so I'm getting a blowout there, and then going to Blushington!
What's your top beauty trick?
St. Tropez—best self tanner I've ever used. Kate Somerville also has one if you're very much on-the-go, because theirs is a towelette. That's so easy! I'll use St. Tropez when I'm home and have time and Kate Somerville if I'm traveling and that's my trick because I don't have time to sunbathe and I just look better with a bit of a tan, let's be honest!
Favorite spot for a workout in LA?
WundaBar Pilates is my item. For pilates, that is what it do. Now, I needed to get a bit of cardio in and I'm not a fan of just doing a run on my own so I recently started doing cycling. I love AuraCycle. They also have a yoga studio, which I have yet to try. But I did their cycling class on 3rd Street. Beautiful class! It was so empowering. Also, I went there one day with a headache—I rarely get headaches—and I left that class reinvigorated. I really sweated it out. When I go there I'm excited, not dreading it. And the music is so on-point, which is essential in a cycling class.
Where do you go in the city to get inspired?
Locally I like Echo Park or I'll go for a walk in Silver Lake but I also really enjoy going to Venice and Malibu. I go to the Westside a lot because it's a totally different vibe there. It's very fresh and relaxed. I'll go to the Malibu Country Mart or the Brentwood Country Mart. I'll go to Farmshop for meetings or to do sketches. I enjoy going into the little pockets where I can walk around and go into a coffee shop and go into one of their unique boutiques. Oh! And of course The Getty.
What one store could you blow your entire tax return in?
Wow! This is tricky! I think I'll have to break it up. I would say Reformation—I really love their styles and what they do, their purpose. I'm also a huge fan of Madewell. They have high quality products. All my jeans are from there and my boots. I've been into wall hangings lately and Minted is my spot right now. I'm picking out more abstract art because I'm growing into that. Maybe also Lululemon. I'd spread it out.
What's your jewelry line's best selling piece right now?
It's actually a mini collection of the evil eye pieces: a necklace, ring, earrings, and bracelet. I know the reason it's a best-seller is because it's very unique. Even though there's so much evil eye jewelry out there, I really wanted to make ours very delicate. It's still a statement piece but it uses a very intricate chain to connect on the necklace and bracelet. I feel like my pieces give off a happy vibe, but they're still chic because they're dainty and delicate and minimal, which is very important to me—it's a statement without being too much.
Besides jewelry, what is your go-to accessory?
Honestly, a white tee. I wear a white tee consistently because I feel like it's easy but still stylish and on-trend. It's classic but I don't have to think about it too much, which is important. Even though I'm wearing a fuzzy jacket today with a vintage floral dress, I'm still very minimal inside! My standard is very chill—I come from the Midwest! I like to wear jeans and boots and a white tee!
What celebrity style do you most admire?
If we're talking about from any time period, I have pieces named after Audrey Hepburn because they're very classic. I definitely refer to her when I'm trying to pick out something to wear. I'm like, "keep it classic and keep it classy." I want to look back and feel like I was proud to wear that. More recently, I really like Jennifer Lawrence's choices. I like monochromatic outfits and I admire that in her. I also admire Kate Hudson's style. Her whole vibe is a huge inspiration for me. She's not afraid to smile, which I think it very rare these days.
Do you have a favorite vintage score?
I think that I went through a phase that a lot of people go through where I only wear vintage and then I was like, "Let me find my own voice," and I found that I really feel best in minimal clothing—not minimal in the amount of body it covers! I just decided that it was more me but I totally have days I want to wear something vintage. I do have my grandmother's dress that she wore on the first date with my grandpa and I'll wear it sometimes! It's so beautiful and it's such a memory. It's beautiful, I won't get rid of it.