Sympli Women That Inspire: An Employee Spotlight
Meet Kathy, A Sympli Designer
At Sympli we are proud to work with so many strong and vibrant women. Today we are featuring one of our senior designers, Kathy Bolton. With years of fashion experience, she has brought endless creativity, innovation, and beauty to the Sympli line. Here’s a look at her journey, and the challenges she’s overcome to pursue her dreams of working in the fashion industry.
Did you always know you wanted to pursue fashion?
I actually started out in a very different direction. Following high school I had set out to pursue a career in Computer Science! My parents felt it was a safe road, one that would lead to a secure job… but I was always interested in fashion. I had even researched Design Schools in LA, London and Paris since that was where I really wanted to go! Unfortunately, my parents didn’t see it my way and they wouldn’t support what they thought was a risky direction. I ended up going to NMU in Michigan and SFU in Burnaby with the intention of completing a degree in Computer Science. However, after 2 years or university I was frustrated enough to make a change. I took my first big step towards my dreams and set off on my own, putting myself through a private design school in Vancouver by working part time and taking out a student loan.
What would you say has been biggest obstacle on your journey?
For a long time my biggest obstacle was probably myself; it took me awhile to acknowledge the creative gift I have. I’ve always loved creating original designs, and watching the garments come together start to finish! As a teenager I had been fascinated with fashion, and I actually made a lot of my own clothes. Going to design school took it to a whole other level, and I was finally able to make the complex patterns needed for the designs I imagined in my head. It was easy as a student to stay up all night working because I was so happy! I worked in the industry for a while as a pattern maker in order to perfect my skills, and I enjoyed the challenge, but it wasn’t the creative fulfillment I wanted. So I made another change!
What advice would you give to your younger self?
The struggles I’ve endured, and the experience I’ve gained have only confirmed what I’ve always believed in: following my heart is the only navigation tool I need. I would tell my younger self to just go for it, and stop stressing over all the details. After deciding to launch my career as a designer I started my own company and worked as a contractor for many years. I gathered a lot of incredible experience until eventually joining Sympli in 2008 to work with Jan. Designing for the Sympli label has been crazy, amazing, and hard work! Every day I am inspired and passionate about what I do. It’s a creative world that I love to live in!
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