Turquoise Talk: An Interview With Designer Cat Horn

Last week I received an email notification from Twitter saying that a ‘@Katire1’ was now following me on Twitter. I am always interested in connecting with different people online via Twitter, and I found her profile, especially her bio line, which read, “Costume designer for this play we call life. Accessories and apparel design”, intriguing and so I clicked through her website link to learn more about her and her designs.

I was even more intrigued after seeing her jewelry designs and sketches on her website. I was so excited I had to have a chat with her to learn more about her designs and inspirations. Thanks to technology, we connected via Google Chat. I thought you would love her pieces too so I wanted to share a transcript of our chat with iamglor.com fans. Feel free to share your comments at the bottom.

iamglor.com: So, I just want to say thank you for taking the time to chat with me today. I really appreciate you taking the time—I know you are very busy. As I said in our email exchange, I am excited to chat with you about your work, which I love by the way!

Cat Horn: It’s not a problem, I’m flattered you wanted to write about my designs…thanks, I’m glad you like them. I am working on all new stuff for spring so I am always updating.

iamglor.com: So tell me, who is your inspiration?

CH: I am inspired by free spirited type of woman.  I cannot think of anyone in particular since it’s more the feeling I go with.  I love gypsy lifestyle, flapper. In general, [I design for] the type of woman who is individualistic, self confident and above all playful.

iamglor.com: Wow, that is great because your pieces are great…why accessories and apparel, and which do you enjoy designing the most, if you had to choose?

CH: I think accessories; I love to design clothes as well.  I have a degree in fashion design and worked in the industry for a while as a costume designer, which I loved.  But the way I dress myself is I choose very simple clothing and dress it up with a lot of accessories.  I really like how a simple outfit can be taken to another level with the right accessories and can give it real character. I always have on about five or six bracelets, a necklace, tons of rings and my hair done up some way or another but I am always wearing just a tee shirt and jeans.

iamglor.com: I can definitely tell that you love accessories, and you are right it does make a difference in the entire ensemble.

CH: Definitely…

iamglor.com: What was it like being a costume designer and where did you do it, locally in Philadelphia or NYC?

CH: I live in Philly, but I actually did Costume design in Pittsburgh, where I grew up.  I wanted to study fashion design to become a costume designer.  I worked on costumes for the Washington DC Opera and a History Channel movie called “Desperate Crossings”.  It was a blast.  I love historical dress, and it is really what inspires a lot of my work.  I hope to go back and do it again some day.

iamglor.com: So it sounds like you started out in costume design, how did you branch out into jewelry?

CH: I have been making jewelry since I was about 10.  I took a 3-week trip across country with my family that summer and I fell in love with Native American bead weaving and the colors and patterns they used.  When we got back, my parents bought me my first beading loom and I was hooked.  I taught myself how to bead weave, then macramé and eventually wirework. It had always been a hobby but one day a friend of mine told me I should sell my stuff on Etsy, and it just kind turned into a career path.

iamglor.com: your friend was right –you are talented! And Etsy is a great outlet for selling your handcrafted goods!

CH: I love Etsy; it is such a great community to be a part of. I can never say enough good things about it.  I know a few of my other designer friends got their start there as well.

iamglor.com: who do you design for—what age group?

CH: My target customer is 18-39-year-old woman; she is an Indie-type girl, or guy since I’m trying to design a few things for men as well.

iamglor.com: Cool, so tell us about your accessories / apparel pieces. What are your top five pieces, and why they are your favs?

CH: my number one favorite is my Fools Gold Silk Friendship bracelet, and in a close second, the Silver and Silk Friendship bracelet.  They were really the first thing I designed for the Etsy shop.  They were based on a song I learned as a Girl Scout that goes “make new friends but keep the old one is silver and the other’s gold.”  I think it is such a sweet, but not cheesy, way of showing you friendship.

iamglor.com: no, it is not cheesy at all. That is actually fascinating.

CH: …next, I love my brand new ear cuffs; I just put them up in the shop now. I always loved the look of having multiple ear piercing but was too scared to get more than the one I have. And, unlike wearing big heavy chandelier earrings that tug at your piercings, these are really lightweight and [they] don’t hurt to wear for a long time. Plus, I really love asymmetrical earrings.

iamglor.com: oh, yes, I saw those in your Flickr style group. I absolutely LOVE the leather cuff bracelet—the turquoise was a great color choice.

CH:  I was actually just going to say that my other two favorites are the Leather Cuff bracelets and the Chainmaille. The turquoise is awesome; it is a major player in my spring designs.  I think it is going back to my first inspiration with Native American jewelry that is probably why I like them so much.

iamglor.com: Yeah, it is really beautiful. You have great pieces in your collection and I can see your inspiration in each one.

CH: Yeah right now I am really inspired by Tribal cultures, art history, and geology.

iamglor.com: knowing that now, it makes sense and I can definitely see your inspirations in your accessories—really nice work, Cat

CH: Thanks!

iamglor.com: So tell me, who is you favorite jewelry designer?

CH: I think that is a tie between Digby and Iona and Erica Weiner.  Digby and Iona have a lot of really cool ornate casted pieces that are very whimsical.  I have a ring from them that is a roaring lions head on the body of a sea serpent type creature that wraps around the finer and I wear it all the time.  The thing I love about Erica Wiener’s work is that she uses a lot of vintage items and I think she is really inspired by history of costume as well.  She made my other favorite ring, which is a rough-cut crystal solitaire; very simple but gorgeous.

iamglor.com: A tie? Well, that is great that you love their pieces. So do you think your design style is more like Wiener’s?

CH: I think so, that is probably why I love her pieces.  Actually, I think her ring was the first thing I ever got from Etsy.

Quick Questions –seeing that Cat was so inspired by others’ works, I had to learn about her personal style.

iamglor.com: What is the ONE piece of clothing or accessory you cannot live without?

CH: Hmmm, tough one…there are so many pieces I wear almost every day… I think though [that] I would be lost without my Fender Watch.  I have worn a watch every day of my life, and I feel naked without it. And this watch in particular is awesome because it is big and chunky but very sleek…like the guitars it is designed after.

iamglor.com: Nice… that is great answer. I have a watch I got as gift and it definitely feels weird when I do not have it on…so we know we find and buy your pieces on Etsy, where else can we find your jewelry?

CH: Right now, I only sell in one other place, Beadworks here in Philly.  I hope to expand more into small boutiques in the coming year.

Horn’s top five pieces from her line:

  1. Fools Gold Silk Friendship bracelet

  2. Silver and Silk Friendship bracelet

  3. Ear cuffs

  4. leather cuff bracelets, and

  5. Cooper Chainmaille

iamglor.com: That’s so great—I hope you can expand because people would love your pieces. What’s next for you, you mentioned Spring collection –talk about that a little bit. What can we expect?

CH: Well, the collection is inspired by tribal culture, art history, and geology.  I plan to add a lot macramé and Chainmaille pieces.  The stones I am using will be several different types of Turquoise, Crystal, Agate and Jade, and Pyrite, and maybe a bit of Lava rock.  I am planning to use a lot of wood and shell, too. I am also looking for vintage pieces to use as well, like, clock keys and religious metals.

iamglor.com: Do you have any accessory advice or styling tips you could share with our readers? If we invest in one thing this season, what should it be?

CH: A big trend I am seeing is wrap bracelets.  I think specifically ones that can double as a necklace.  I love them because you pretty much get two-for-one. I’ve been calling them convertibles!

iamglor.com: HAHA. Nice that sounds innovative and smart!

CH: Yup, also really long necklaces can sometimes work the same way if they have a clasp.

iamglor.com: I know you are on Twitter, Etsy, and Flickr, where else can people find and connect with you?

CH: Well, people can connect with me on my Facebook page and I have a blog called Cat’s Cradle.

iamglor.com: well, THANK YOU again so much for taking the time to chat with me.

CH: Anytime, it was a pleasure.


Cat Horn is an Accessories & Apparel Designer bases in Philadelphia. She has been working in the fashion / design industry for many years. To see the entire collection of Cat Horn’s jewelry, you may visit her Flickr photostream. Follow Cat on Twitter (@Katire1), and become a fan on Facebook. To purchase some of her cool jewelry pieces and accessories, visit her Etsy store.

I would love to hear from you so please share your comments and thoughts below. Thanks for reading and come again. (Thanks, Cat!)



2 thoughts on “Turquoise Talk: An Interview With Designer Cat Horn

  1. Pingback: Todays Most Popular Posts -Jewelry Beads

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