Mr. Kate is a DIY and lifestyle blogger, prolific YouTuber, entrepreneur, and long-time Create & Cultivate favorite and friend. She has killed it as a panelist—most recently on the "Lights, Camera, Action" panel at C+C Los Angeles 2015—and gives us a dose of inspiration and laughter on the daily via Instagram. On the eve of the release of her first book A Hot Glue Gun Mess: Funny Stories, Pretty DIY Projects, we asked Kate about the art of oversharing and how it feels to add "author" to your resume. Read on (and read to the end for an exclusive excerpt from the book!). — JM
Name, @username, day job/craft, elevator pitch:
Mr. Kate aka Kate Albrecht, @mrkatedotcom. DIY, design, & style blogging—and now author of A Hot Glue Gun Mess: Funny Stories, Pretty DIY Projects. The quirky Martha Stewart for the reality TV generation; creating content to inspire people to express themselves because #whynot!
A lot of bloggers are fantastic at walking the walk (including you!), but for all the talk of authenticity in content, you stand out as someone who also talks the talk. You keep it hilariously real and revealing in the book: were there any stories that you hesitated to share?
Awww thanks! It was a big and very conscious decision to reveal as much as I do in the book—you learn lots of hilarious and embarrassing things about me, from the time I pooped in a tub to my one-night-stand with a world famous athlete. I always appreciate when people are transparent and find humor in their "oops" moments, so I figured if I was going to spend two years writing and creating a book, I may as well bare my soul and not hold back. That said, I do hope people still like me after they read about the time I (accidentally) set fire to a kindergarten... oops! (PS: NO children were harmed!)
"If I was going to spend two years writing and creating a book, I may as well bare my soul and not hold back..."
What advice would you give other creative entrepreneurs who might feel like a hot glue gun mess?
That we are all hot messes, some people just cover it better than others. Learn to find a balance between laughing at yourself and taking yourself really F-ing seriously. It's the serious side of you that will grow your dream and it's the humor that will infuse the dream with creativity and also allow you to laugh when things get ridiculously messy and/or overwhelming... which they will. But then they get better!
This is your first book: what was the biggest learning curve? Favorite part of the process?
This was definitely the hardest and most involved project I have ever done. The biggest learning curve was realizing that I could actually write a book, which was something I never thought I'd do. My favorite part was writing the stories and then figuring out ways to link them to DIY projects in fun and funny ways. To give you an example, a story titled "I Used To Babysit My Stepmom" is paired with DIY Beyond Nude Nail Art Two Ways... how do they relate? You'll have to read the book to find out!
How’d the whole project come about? Did you approach your publisher, did they approach you?
We got a book agent who then guided us in writing a proposal and then she sent that out to publishers. We got lucky that a few publishers wanted to work on this book so we got to pick our favorite!
How many copies do you think your parents will buy?
Haha I think they've collectively bought 10 or so and then Joey's (my husband/business partner) parents bought another 10 so yeah... thanks and sorry I wrote that you eat too many cheeseburgers!
Besides your hot glue gun, What tools and/or apps are essential to your work?
I use a drill a lot in interior design projects to hang curtains, pictures, do DIYs, etc. As far as apps, I love the Polyvore app for building moodboards around any kind of creative spark and Afterlight for editing photos!
What’s at the top of your to-do list this week?
Planning the book release party!
What movie can you quote start to finish?
Clueless and Some Like It Hot
What’s the last interweb rabbit hole you went down?
Trying to pick the perfect tub faucet for a claw foot tub.
You’ve got $50 for a last-minute gift: what do you DIY or buy?
An at-home gel manicure kit (my favorite is the Sensationail starter kits). If you're going to spend the time DIYing some nail art, make it last as long as possible with gel polish!
Open a page at random: tell us what page, what you’re reading/seeing, and anything you remember about writing it/putting it together.
Page 167, the reveal photo for a "DIY Basket Canopy" project which is a really pretty and easy way to make a canopy for over a bed or daybed. I remember styling this reveal photo (we hung the canopy from a tree over a day bed on a patio) and I was obsessing over the tea cup on the coffee table in front of the daybed and how to place it perfectly. Of course in the photo we chose, the cup is blurred out but hey, it made it into the shot, and it matches the teal of the canopy cloth!
Hooker With a Head of Gold
“My early twenties were a mess. My best friend was a high-priced hooker. She was introduced to me as twenty-six-year-old Alex, who worked in fashion. I didn’t know her true profession until after our friendship ended years later, when I found out she also had a fake name and was six years older than she claimed. Alex was lovely—funny and charming, with a laid-back beauty—and we would laugh nonstop together.
Alex had this amazing laugh—a loud and genuine cackle. It was the laugh of a girl who didn’t give a shit what people thought of her. Her signature look was her long blond hair, which she wore in messy, beachy waves. She drove a Mercedes and had a realistic-looking boob job and lithe friends, which should have raised a red flag to her actual profession, but to naive, twenty-year-old me, she was an intriguing and fantastic friend…”
Follow all things Mr. Kate at mrkate.com and from one hot mess to another, believe us when we say Kate's book A Hot Glue Gun Mess is a must-read and hilariously defies any and all expectations of the usual DIY how-to books.