On a snowy day in early January, Allison and I headed to Boston to meet this busy lady. It may have been super cold with a nasty wind chill, but that didn’t stop us from enjoying our time with Kate.
By Suzanne Larocque | January 20, 2015
What are your responsibilities for Safe Hub Collective? How have things changed since you started?
I helped to found Hollaback! Boston in 2011, and for three years served as Co-Director and Design and Policy Coordinator for the site before we transitioned to Safe Hub Collective to broaden our work and our team. When I first got involved with Hollaback!, we had to force the conversation about street harassment; now, people in Boston and beyond are much less likely to insist street harassment doesn’t happen, and are much more likely to join the discussion whether they agree with us or not.
Advocacy is only one of your “jobs.” Tell us what else you do.
I run a boutique design firm based in Boston, Union Jack Creative, focusing on custom web and print design. My partner Jack and I work with clients to bring dream designs to life, creatively and within their budget. We focus on combining our skill sets – I have an art background, and handle things like hand-lettering or sketching custom monograms, before Jack scans my work and incorporates it into digital designs. Jack is behind the design and print layout for Don’t Take Pictures, a biannual photography journal, while I tackle proofing and client correspondence.
By day, I work in Operations in a law firm downtown, and on the side I’m also involved in bike advocacy and the campaign to cultivate a later-night culture in Boston.
What obstacles or challenges have you faced in your career, and how did you overcome them?
As someone with (clearly) strong opinions, it was challenging for me early on to accept that I didn’t always need to express them. One of the revelations I had to help me get over my need to be right in all things was someone pointing out that the great thing about advice is that you don’t have to take it. That concept – that someone could make a critique or suggestion, and that I could accept it graciously but choose to move forward another way – was a game changer.
Imposter syndrome is an ongoing challenge, and a common one for women in business and entrepreneurs and creatives generally. Since my work is varied and across many fields, it can easily feel like I’m the one at the table who is not quite corporate enough, or creative enough, or grassroots enough, or savvy enough; for me, the solution thus far has been to keep doing work, keep listening, and keep focusing on the unique perspective that that position at the table gives me.
What inspires you?
The women in my life are a constant source of inspiration – from the women I was lucky enough to have as teachers, mentors, family and friends of my family as I was growing up, to the women I’m proud to call my friends today. I’m fortunate to be surrounded by smart, kind, funny, passionate people who are strong, creative, and entrepreneurial. They go after what they believe in, and they never fail to inspire me to do and be better.
Continue to Business Betties for the full interview.