By Annie Rhoades
A creative eye and love of design led alumna Katie Scott (BSHEC 94), owner of Katie Design, to pursue a diverse career that has evolved from interior designer to author, public speaker and jewelry designer.
“I would say the start of my career goes back 10 years,” said Scott. “I started as an interior designer because it always came very natural to me. It’s what I considered a God-given talent and gift that I’m very passionate about.”
A New Orleans native, Scott graduated from Ursuline Academy in 1989 and enrolled at Ole Miss the following fall.
“I always knew I wanted to go to Ole Miss,” Scott said. “My entire family went there including my husband Stanton (BA 92). I had cousins who lived in Greenville, and it all started with Leslie Andrews [Carpenter] (BAEd 83). She was Miss Ole Miss, a member of Tri Delta and a cheerleader. I remember going to Oxford as a little girl and going out on the field with her and just being mesmerized. I knew then that was where I wanted to go to school.”
A member of Delta Delta Delta Fraternity, Scott delved into her studies with an initial focus on interior design.
“I used to struggle in perspective drawing because I’m not the best artist,” Scott said. “I’m a lot more visual than I am pen-to-paper, and I could never translate what was in my head to paper. My professor was so patient with me. He would work with me late after school and was always willing to take that extra step and encourage me.”
After graduating in 1994, Scott moved back to her hometown and pursued a variety of different jobs including a brief stint with a New Orleans-based advertising agency and working for her mother’s catering company.
“I liked decorating the food platters more than I did catering and realized I needed some form of art and creativity,” Scott said.
Scott moved to Houston, Texas, in 1999 and soon found herself building her brand.
“When I moved to Houston and bought my first house is when I realized, wow, I really have this interior design thing down,” Scott said. “My friends began taking note telling me that’s what I should do. I went to a big birthday lunch with a group of girls and announced that I was going to do start doing interior design. A girl that was there raised her hand and said she was going to be my first client. The rest was history.”
Katie Design launched in 2005 with a rapidly growing client list. Three short years later domino magazine named Scott “one of the nation’s top 10 up-and-coming designers.” In 2013 she was awarded “Best in Residential Interior Design” as part of the PaperCity Excellence in Design Awards.
“That was a pivotal time for me,” Scott said. “When I was asked by domino magazine where I received my training I really didn’t have any formal credentials, so I just timidly answered that it is a gift from God. What ultimately happened was when readers saw the magazine they contacted me and said, ‘we love and admire your interior design, but we love your honest and truthful answer. How did you discover your God-given gift, and can you help me discover mine?’”
That question ultimately led Scott to author, Let it Be, a book documenting her spiritual quest as well as public speaking engagements. During this time of self-discovery, Scott began wanting to wear more meaningful and symbolic jewelry that reflected her faith.
“I couldn’t find anything that was more modern and edgy and cool,” Scott said. “I didn’t know anything about jewelry, but I knew that I had the ability to design. That’s when the idea came to me that I was going to create my own line.”
The process was lengthy from design to conception, but with the help of her husband, Stanton, Scott launched her jewelry line in October 2013. A mere eight months later, her line was picked up by luxury retail giant Neiman Marcus.
“I’ve always felt like the book, The Little Engine that Could,” Scott said. “I used to hang a Neiman Marcus bag in my office. When I was designing the jewelry I would look at that bag and say one day I’m going to be in that store. When I finally saw my jewelry in a four-foot case in their Houston store it was surreal. I still can’t believe it, and believe me it was all divine.”