Katie was born in St. Louis but grew up in Arkansas after moving there when she was 10. She was a Razorback at the University of Arkansas where she earned a degree in design. Her first job out of college was at a residential furniture store but Katie realized VERY early on she did not want to “sell furniture to women who wouldn’t make a decision.”
Katie moved to the Steelcase dealer in Springfield, MO but when an opportunity with Steelcase in St. Louis came, she took it, working two years in administration before becoming Showroom Manager at Color Art. Once here she moved to outside sales and gradually into leadership as first a Sales Trainer then Team Leader for New Business Development.
Katie’s relationships with St. Luke’s and Washington University allowed her to help with strategic education and healthcare initiatives. When it came time to launch a fully-focused healthcare initiative, Katie was, naturally, included in the effort.
KT We brought-in outside consultants in design, marketing, and Steelcase to discuss what it would look like to be successful in the healthcare market. We rebranded and hired someone to guide us with a dedicated healthcare showroom. We focused more on training and got the right software to help us document our work. It was always the goal that healthcare would be 30% of the furniture business and we’ve met that goal – plus more – every year since we launched in 2008.
Katie now oversees more than 8 people that focus specifically on healthcare related solutions.
AM What’s your favorite thing about Color Art?
KT I would say it’s the people and the environment. Now that our space is fully renovated, it’s exciting to come to work. It’s interesting to see how everybody is adapting – or not adapting – because this is what we do. I love figuring out how to make it work and I think it’s interesting to share what we’ve learned with our clients. I also love that leadership is always wondering what they can do to make things better for people, “What can we be doing?” “How is this working for you?” “Are you able to work?” I feel like if you’re hard-working and dedicated, there are opportunities at Color Art. If you want to try other things all you have to do is plant a seed. I’ve been here more than 24-years and I think it’s safe to say I’m gonna retire here. It is such a great place.
AM Any secret talents or claims to fame?
KT I have one but I don’t think I want it in the article (laughs)
AM What is it?!
KT (reluctantly) I was in a country music video.
AM WHAT?! That is so cool!! I would tattoo that on my forehead. When was this? KT Oh gosh. I was in my twenties. It was a long time ago. My character was a beauty queen and I had a sash and a dress and they gave me this hair and teased it real high. It was hilarious. (laughs) AM Is it fun being in a music video? KT I only had a little part so it was actually kind of boring to sit around waiting all day.
*identifying information has been redacted but I totally YouTube’d it and it was awesome.
AM Any jobs you feel like you’d be terrible at?
KT I don’t think I would be a good doctor, I get too upset when I see people hurting, or the blood. I definitely couldn’t be an astronaut. I’m claustrophobic and afraid of heights. I think I would totally freak knowing I’m enclosed and in space.
AM What hobbies would you enjoy if money weren’t an option?
KT I’d like to learn more about wines. AM What’s your grape? KT I’m a chardonnay girl but I’m very picky. My husband gets mad when I order the most expensive glass on the menu but I do think they’re better.
AM Do you remember the name and type of your first pet?
KT The first pet I remember is a little orange tabby cat named, Bunny. I saw him at the pet store when my parents went to get fish and I would not speak to them until they got me the cat. (laughs) I went almost a week without talking to them until I came home from school one day and my dad had gotten him for me. AM I am so impressed by your obstinacy! How old were you?! KT I was probably like, 7. AM That is some dedication for a 7-year-old. A whole week?! That’s good. (takes a mental note)
AM Anything on TV you refuse to watch?
KT Well, I don’t really care for X-rated stuff and I don’t like scary stuff. My husband and daughter like it so I’ll watch it but I don’t really enjoy it.
AM What would you have for your last meal?
KT Dessert; a piece of carrot cake, a piece of key lime pie, and a coffee with Baileys.
AM Is there anything from your past you wish you could redo for the first time?
KT Yes, and I just told my family about this yesterday. You know the song, Celebration by Cool and the Gang? When I was in 10th grade, my cheerleading squad was State Champions and we did a routine to that song. It came on the radio and I was like, “I just want to remind everybody..! We’re Arkansas State Champs!” (laughs) We worked hard for it!
Sports Teams Cardinals
Superhero Wonder Woman
Movie I love motivating sports movies like Remember the Titans and Rocky. All of those Cinderella stories where the underdog comes back and wins.
Could you choose a favorite dessert? Carrot Cake
Pineapple on your pizza? Yes
St. Louis Destination Charlie Gittos on the Hill