We sat down with Kate and learned how after the death of George Floyd, she felt the collective pull to question the brands she was creating content for—even leaving a company that wasn’t being true to the words they were asking her to write. She realized that even if it feels small in the moment, that by continuously taking a stand for what doesn’t feel right can still have a powerful impact. We love how Kate continues to use this as her own personal standard, not only for the copy she writes, but the brands she supports and products she buys.
We are also excited to share more about Kate’s style inspiration (which may or may not have come from her time spent at clown camp), how she takes cues from her surroundings in Mexico to slow down, and how tapping into the minds of her inner circle gives her the creative push she needs.
What people call you: Kate
Where you live: Mexico City
What you do: Freelance Copywriter & Content Strategist
How would you describe your style?
Reformed clown. I went to clown camp for 5 years so this is a real thing.
Who are your icons? What is it about them that inspires you?
My friends. They are each insanely creative and hilarious in their own way. I'm constantly in awe of their talents and look to them for life advice, inspiration, and to alert me when my outfits go too far on the circus spectrum.
When do you feel most confident?
When the hair is big.
What’s your daily routine?
I've been a work from home person for almost 4 years so I'm used to being in sweatpants all day, but I'm trying to push through the urge and at least put on clothes for half the day. As a freelancer, every day is a bit different, a struggle between being too busy or being not busy enough and scared everyone has forgotten me and I'll never work again. But moving to Mexico has helped calm my anxiety about working equaling productivity equaling self-worth.
Mexico City is always sunny and beautiful which is sometimes motivating and sometimes taunting. People take long lunches here that last 3 hours, and if I don't have meetings all day I'll use this as an excuse to walk my dog around aimlessly and watch people eat and get inspired about what to make for dinner.
Describe a time in your life when you felt like a modern warrior.
Not just me, but collectively, after the death of George Floyd, I felt this push to think critically about everything, including the advertising and branding industry that I work in. As copywriters or designers or project managers, we are the anonymous voice behind brands, companies, and agencies - we create how their values are perceived to the public despite what their real values might be behind the scenes.
When Black Lives Matter protests began erupting around the country, I was suddenly the person tasked with writing those words of solidarity you saw in emails or on Instagram for many different companies and brands. It got me thinking that these words, even if it looks like they come from a company or brand, come from me - a white female.
It was a difficult thing to reckon with, that my job isn't just a job - that I am inadvertently the voice for what a business represents. I ended up leaving a company I felt didn't practice the inclusion and diversity that they wanted me to write about. It was a small thing but it felt that I was taking a stand, and I do think it made the company actively try to change their ways in the future.
The advertising industry (and every industry!) needs more diversity, period. Nonprofits like 15% Pledge are doing amazing things to get the retail industry to reflect the diversity of the United States, urging retailers to have at least 15% of their products from Black owned businesses, and to have at least 15% of their staff at every level be Black. Since I work for myself, I try to incorporate this mentality into the products I buy or businesses I support.
I also decided to offer my services at a sliding scale for Black, Indigenous or POC run brands or companies since everyone deserves advertising to get their brand noticed.
I believe that we all have an impact on how the world functions, and even if it feels small, we can each do something. That to me is warrior energy - everyone using their own talents to create big change together.
How do you relax and unwind?
The Bachelor and a weed cracker.
What keeps you going?
My partner who is my number one source of encouragement and support, and who takes care of so many things I pretend I don't know how to do, aka laundry. And our dog Stevie who came from a Mexican trash pile and is the walking inspiration of a glow up.
Something you’re obsessed with right now:
Poog Podcast with Kate Berlant and Jacqueline Novak! Two comedians musing over their obsession and fear of wellness. Poog is GOOP backwards by the way.
Words to live by:
Accept the things you cannot change, change the things you cannot accept.
What’s your hype up song or anthem:
Anything by Lizzo or Fiona Apple.
What does Warrior mean to you?
Everyone using their own talents to create big change together.