An Interview with Kate Gabrielle from Scathingly Brilliant

While living in New York City last summer I was fortunate enough to meet up with Kate Gabrielle who creates a fabulous blog Scathingly Brilliant for a day of museums and adventuring (see her post here). We really got along and I loved hearing about her business and her life; I felt like we didn't have enough time in person- and that's one of the reasons I also asked her if she'd have time to do an interview! She gladly agreed and I am so happy to share Kate's interview with you!
 "How would you describe your childhood?"
Kate Gabrielle: "Happy. I had the best childhood ever. My parents owned their own mail order business and I used to go to work with them every day after school and play with all the shipping supplies. I used to feel so bad for the other kids at school who didn't get to draw on giant pieces of cardboard or play hide-and-seek in a giant warehouse. Of course the other kids had really fancy toys and My-Size Barbies but I'd take cardboard and markers over that any day. My parents encouraged me to be creative and most of my childhood memories involve some sort of amateur theatre production or make shift art show. All their employees humored me and my retired grandfather came over to play with me every day (he even used to let me dress him up with Pretty Pretty Princess jewelry! He was a keeper!). It was wonderful."
 "What is your earliest and most vivid memory?"
Kate Gabrielle: "When I was three my family went on vacation to Montreal in Canada. While my parents were organizing our luggage in the lobby, I waltzed onto an elevator and the doors closed behind me. My earliest most vivid memory is hearing my mom on the intercom in the elevator crying, and guiding me back to the lobby. I have snippets of earlier memories but that one is still so vivid in my mind."
 "What is one of the happiest moments in your life?"
Kate Gabrielle: "This is probably going to make me sound so completely pathetic, but without a doubt the happiest moment of my life was last May when I met the cast of The Office in Scranton, Pennsylvania. My brother Kyle and I went to The Office Wrap Party, a convention that was held to commemorate the last season of the show. Thousands of people went, but on the last night I heard that the cast was hanging out at a bar in downtown Scranton. My brother was too young to go inside, so we hung around the back entrance hoping we'd catch someone leaving (yes, we're TV groupies, apparently). What happened was even better- we were whisked inside and got to hang out behind the bar with the cast! We're both shy and didn't really say much, but we did have a nice conversation with the actor who played David Wallace, Andy Buckley, who shares our mom's maiden name and thought my name was Cake. Basking in the presence of our favorite actors was amazing. When I saw Steve Carrell (my favorite) coming into the room I can't even describe how happy I felt. When we were introduced I just kept saying, "Thank you," over and over. I was saying thank you for playing my favorite character, for taking the time to meet us, for participating in a show that had gotten me through some of the roughest moments of my life. He had no idea what exactly I was thanking him for, but I did. When we left the bar that night my body was pulsing with sheer joy. I know it sounds silly- it's a TV show, but it has meant so much to me and I can't even describe it."
"Tell us more about your adorable cats.. anything you want!"
Kate Gabrielle: "I have two cats- Hubble and Arrietty plus one family cat, Chloe. Chloe is our oldest, she just celebrated her 11th anniversary on Valentine's Day! When we met her, all of her legs were bandaged and she was recovering from frostbite. She had been abused, too, and part of her tail was missing. She had a rough life before she joined our family so she's a bit of a tough broad, but also really delicate. She hides during even the lightest rain shower, and sits patiently by her food bowl when she wants a treat. Since she went through so much, I tend to spoil her like crazy. Every time she asks for treats, she gets them. I think it makes up for the abuse she endured before she found us. I just like making her happy. Hubble joined the family two years ago and he's SUCH a character. He's always laying upside down with his legs up in the air and his little paws folded up under his chin. My lap is basically a Hubble magnet... if I sit down, he's in my lap in a heartbeat. He's also super ornery. If I come home to find toilet paper all over my apartment or plants knocked down from my bookcase, I immediately know who's the culprit! Arrietty joined the family last year after I lost my beloved Maine Coon, Hypatia. She helped my heart heal in a way that I don't think it could have without her; she's quickly become my little buddy. Arrietty is incredibly affectionate and sweet. She loves sitting with me (usually if Hubble has already claimed my lap Arrietty with get cozy with her paws on my knee) and she loves to lick. If I hold my hand up over her head she'll stand on her hind legs, grab my arm and pull my hand to her so she can lick it. It's ridiculously adorable!"
"What are your dreams?"
Kate Gabrielle: "When I was younger I wanted to achieve immortality through my artwork. I'd read books about Picasso and Salvador Dali and think about how awesome it was that everyone still cared about their work even when they were dead (this seemed perfectly normal until I typed it). Now, I just want to be happy. For me this ultimately means finding a way of life that doesn't include the internet, or at least a way of life where my income doesn't depend on the internet. I don't really prefer it. I've met so many amazing people (Polly included!) but when it comes down to it, I'm always much happier when I'm not near a computer. At one point I wanted nothing more than for everyone to know and remember me, and now I want to remain anonymous. I can think of nothing more idyllic than living in a beachfront cottage, living a respectable, quiet life with no internet access and then being remembered fondly by my closest friends and family."
  "When did you start drawing and painting?"
Kate Gabrielle: "As soon as I could grip my little hands around a crayon :) I drew a lot more when I was younger, before the self-criticism that comes with trying to be a *professional* artist crept into my brain. I constantly long for the days when I could just draw with abandon and not care what anyone would think about what I created. I wasn't lacking in self-confidence as a kid, I thought everything I drew was pretty amazing. A happy medium between that and the complete lack of confidence I have now would be nice."
 "Do you long to visit any specific country? Why?"
Kate Gabrielle: "I'd love to visit Russia. I'm half Russian, so it would be wonderful to see where my ancestors came from. Also, I'm absolutely fascinated by their history and I think it would be such an interesting place to visit! I'd also like to visit plague burial sites in Europe... I know it sounds kind of creepy, but I have a morbid fascination with The Black Death. It's one of the most (if not the most!) important events in human history and although it's hundreds of years in the past the human emotion attached to it is still so raw."
"You are self-employed. Would you mind sharing a bit of your *usual* schedule with us?"
Kate Gabrielle: "Oh Gosh. I'm torn between making up an incredibly detailed daily itinerary or being honest about how lazy I am, ha! To be frank, I usually wake up pretty late (like 11-ish) and then spend about an hour in bed resisting my boy's urge to eat breakfast. I just want to lay there forever. I love my bed. Eventually I get up, eat breakfast (an egg on a slice of toast with orange juice) although if there is cold pizza in the fridge that will trump the healthy breakfast. Then I feed my cats and check e-mails. I flag the ones I have to reply to and answer them two months later. I usually check some websites (buzzfeed, tumblr, blogs, the news, modcloth..) while thinking, "Why did I do this? When I'm 80 I'm going to look back and regret how much time I wasted online!" At this point I start getting my Etsy online orders ready. If I haven't had any/many orders that day, which is usually the norm nowadays, I spend A LOT of time refreshing my shop homepage hoping  to see a new sale. At the end of the month, things tend to even out, but my god do I obsess over it every day. Around 2-ish I go home to have lunch with my parents. My dad takes my packages to the Post Office for me (he also owns his own business so we feed two birds with one bagel.) and I'll go up and watch tv in my old bedroom for a little while. Most of the time I end up staying for dinner and then going back to my apartment afterwards, but sometimes I get caught watching marathons of LOST with my parents and don't get back until like 12 AM. Oops!
When I get back it's cat time. We all lay down in my living room and hang out. I'll pet them, they'll play with each other, I throw cat toys and they bring them back to me, It's pretty fun. Then I make myself a little snack (usually carrots and hummus) and read in bed for about an hour before watching either 30 Rock or The Office and then going to bed. Then I get up and do it all over again."
 "What inspires you?"
Kate Gabrielle: "Pretty much everything! The internet, my childhood, vacations, music, documentaries, books, music, food (food!!) it's dangerous actually, because almost everything gives me an idea for something... I can't possibly DO every idea I think of (especially when I'm already so busy reading, watching TV, and playing with my cats. Duh!) I have a giant notebook of ideas to do *someday* and I usually pick the ones that are least likely to go over well and do those first."
"Do you have any particular habits?"
Kate Gabrielle: "I'm a very repetitive person.. I have a habit of eating the same foods over and over again (I've been having chick peas with tomatoes, parsley and panko flakes for lunch almost every day for like three years (sheesh!). I also listen to the same song on repeat for weeks. It drives my family crazy, especially when I have control of the CD player and we're all packed in the car. This is actually the main reason why I don't drink alcohol. When I like something, I get really attached to it, so I'm afraid if I ever found a drink I liked, I'd drink it WAY too much. I go through grapefruit and orange juice like you wouldn't believe. I wish I could trick my brain into thinking water was the best beverage ever so I could be a little more hydrated and less acidic, lol!"
I hope you enjoyed Kate Gabrielle's interview! Don't forget to enter her new giveaway here! She's giving away a pink Crosley record player and to enter you must perform an act of kindness to one person.
love, polly (and Kate!)


Alexandra Marie said...

Great interview- had fun reading this! Alex

The Braided Bandit said...

She's adorable and I loved learning more about her! You asked really interesting questions too and I love hearing more about the non-fashion side of things :)
xo Hannah

Delores Harshaw said...

Loved the interview! Kate's blog is one of my favorites and was one of the reasons I got in to blogging. You asked some great questions and her answers remind me of myself sometimes. I also never tire of seeing her darling cats <3

Ms. Megan said...

This is such an amazing interview!! Kate is so beautiful + so inspirational!!! xo

Kate H said...

Awesome interview ^_^ I love that you asked such interesting questions, it's great to get an insight into the lives of other bloggers!

Danielle Morgan said...

I am a big fan of Kate's blog, and I really like the interview you conducted with her! Thanks! :)

Alice Barton said...

i love her blog and style, she's so adorable! :) x
Alice Barton ♥ TheMowWay

~K said...

Such a lovely interview which really good questions!
Kate is such a lovely person with a beautiful blog!

~ K

~K said...

Such a lovely interview which really good questions!
Kate is such a lovely person with a beautiful blog!

~ K

@gardengal4466 said...

Loved it! Great questions, interesting answers, gorgeous photos & a treat to read ♥