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Lost Kat Studios – Origins

Katya Laroche

Welcome to the shop!

Katya LarocheLost Kat Studios is, at the moment, entirely the works of designer, Katya Laroche – cat lover, photographer, speaker of spanish, creatively mad and philosophically confusing.

Every artist and crafter wants to make a living at what they enjoy and I’m no different in that regard. I’ve used many different methods of marketing my stuff, most recently Etsy, and found that I felt like I was merely blending in with the masses of artists and crafters struggling to do the same thing. I thought about one advantage I might have over other stores, after all, there are lots of custom jewelry makers and lots of photographers like me and it can be really hard to leave an impression on people. Not to mention that much of Etsy feels like you’re just advertising, joining circles of and treasuring other struggling artists and crafters, rather than paying customers. This seems like a lot of work for less than substantial outcome and somewhat similar to banging ones head on the wall.

The one advantage that I came up with was actually my current full time job, web design, and my college training and 15 years of experience in photography and writing. My problem for the longest time was finding the time among all my client’s needs and my own existing projects and blogs to finally get a shopping cart based site together. Then the fun of finding a look and feel that I was happy with. Honestly, the most difficult sites I have ever done have been my own. When it’s work, I can pump out a good looking website in no time but when it represents me in any way, my vast span of tastes and interests always causes me to design and redesign till I go blue in the face – often times abandoning the project for a time, revisiting and starting over from scratch.

I also find that my personal tastes are not those of the popular stream which could potentially affect sales. I have always liked dark sites with colors and patterns over clean, clear and crisp modern sites that seem to be the trend of the decade (as a web designer, I consider these sites to be easy, lazy and boring to work on). I of course do a lot of those kinds of websites but I would probably not want one for myself. I like websites that are fun to look at and original though modest, and hopefully when this site is up and about on the internet, I won’t get the urge to change every single thing about it within the first week.

My Work

I have been into photography since early high school and primarily into film photography. I never had the urge to get into studio, wedding or family portraits so my photography has stayed mostly based on my travels and artistic point of view. I like to photograph dilapidated buildings and places, nature, animals and some of the more overlooked details of the world.  When I am in cities, which is rare, I like to take street photography, usually of strangers not looking at the camera, empty streets and historic looking buildings. I am not a super social person but I love to observe people from a distance and take photos of interactions between people that are timed just right and are special moments, even if the people involved are unaware of the moment at all.

I started making jewelry and crafting years ago and have progressively gotten more and more attached, constantly adding items I want to make to my list and eventually my items for sale in my store. I don’t list first tries of any of my crafts, so quality will always be high. I have high standards for everything I do so I won’t even list an item unless it is well made and/or well practiced.

I like to scour antique shops for vintage jewelry, usually broken and forgotten, so that I can revive it. I tend to mix up vintage pieces with modern elements, partly due to vision and partly out of necessity, but always with purpose. I love old keys, old resin beads, natural stones and strange kitsch pieces of jewelry that I can re-introduce to the world. I love to imagine the person who originally wore each piece and try to honor its history with its reinvention.

Why a website over being in a local store?

Me, my boyfriend and our pets have been traveling around the U.S. in a travel trailer since 2009. Before that I lived in Portland Oregon, Argentina, Spokane Washington, Montana, Idaho Arizona and everywhere in between from childhood on. I have never felt local anywhere and never really been established in any community. When we decide to stop traveling, if ever, I will definitely look into local options for places to carry my stuff, but I realized when we really started traveling that talking to stores in towns around the country, then trying to keep track of commissions, stock and sales from far away (and probably over the phone in most cases) would be a constant problem and possibly lead to more loss than gain in many ways.

HOWEVER! If you want to carry some of my stock in your store I would be happy to talk about it! I believe I could handle about 5-6 long distance stores with my other work loads and would love to picture my stuff in your shop!

I will constantly be adding stock to my shop as time goes on so there will always be something new to see. I am currently in the work of transferring over all my Etsy listings, then the work of adding my new stock will begin. Some new items in the shop will include, pet toys and beds, home decor in the way of fabric arts, stickers and post cards with original photos and designs and several (but not all) of my photography!

Thanks for visiting and hope to see you again soon!