Kate Kim Shah is a wellness entrepreneur, advisor, and mother. She launched rmdy (@rmdyco), a Johnson & Johnson backed health startup, while getting her MBA at Wharton. Kate is passionate about community building, sustainability, design, and living a joyous, healthful life with her family, which resonates deeply with us.
We just love Kate’s spirited lifestyle, juggling it all so elegantly and passionately in Montecito, CA. We first collaborated with her on a Mother’s Day luncheon she was hosting for fellow Mom entrepreneurs. What made it even more exciting for us was her background – being of Korean heritage married to an Indian, she has an appreciation of both cultures that are steeped in exquisite art & craftsmanship and an “insider’s” love for the Indian design aesthetic.
Kate delighted us further by using our Amaya and Florence linens for the Emmy-nominated PBS show “Moveable Feast” hosted by chef Alex Thomopoulos. Kate was a local co-host for the Santa Barbara episode, for which she brought together the best culinary creatives, chefs and farmers from the region. Keeping the aesthetic minimalistic the Korean way with superbly patterned Indian textiles makes for a pretty impactful table setting that looks relaxed, yet with no shortage of charm and style! We will be sure to share a link to the episode on this blog post when it airs in October.
Read on to learn how to live it up with Kate Kim Shah, no matter what the occasion.
Our biggest style inspiration most often originates from our roots
“…my style is a hybrid of my grandmother’s elegance and my grandfather’s sense of humor. Both were my sartorial icons and hosted parties everyone looked forward to”.
Q: We’re big fans of your personal style and tablescapes. Can you tell us about your background and if it has influenced and informed your creativity and style today?
A: My grandparents were a big influence in my life, and I like to think my style is a hybrid of my grandmother’s elegance and my grandfather’s sense of humor. Both were my sartorial icons and hosted parties everyone looked forward to. I learned a lot from watching my grandmother prepare for her parties. She would cherry pick delicacies from different merchants and thoughtfully select the serve ware for each dish for every party.
Personal style evolves with where you are in life
“…since becoming a mother… it’s become much more relaxed, playful, and patterned (the best camouflage for a toddler’s hands!)“
Marriage of diverse cultural influences enriches one’s perspective to great effect!
“…minimalistic silhouettes and intentional use of negative space from Korean culture, in contrast to Indian motifs that tend to be more ornate, colorful, and patterned complement one another nicely because one allows the other to shine.”
Q: We saw your stunning wedding feature in The Knot and loved how you were able to synthesize your Korean and your husband’s Indian heritages. Can you share any design inspiration you’ve gleaned from both cultures that carry very different design sensibilities, and speak to ways you’re able to incorporate the two when entertaining?
A: Indian and Korean cultures are steeped in exquisite art & craftsmanship, so it’s easy to draw inspiration from our heritages. I gravitate towards minimalistic silhouettes from Korean culture, such as moon jars and vintage calligraphy, that have clean silhouettes and intentional use of negative space. It’s a contrast to the Indian motifs I’m drawn to, that tend to be more ornate, colorful, and patterned, like our Indian hand block printed table linens from Marigold Living. I find these two aesthetics complement one another nicely because one allows the other to shine.
Every meal is worth celebrating
“I love to set a beautiful table that draws my guests in”.
Q: We loved seeing how our pieces fit into your Mother’s Day brunch as well as your Moveable Feast PBS shoot. How do you approach special occasion styling as well as more casual family gatherings?
A: I think every meal is worth celebrating, no matter the occasion! I love to set a beautiful table that draws my guests in, and I don’t believe in stowing away heirloom silverware or linens… they should be enjoyed with love.
How to make each event feel special
“I always aim to incorporate… just one unexpected piece that brings a smile to my guests and makes the occasion one to remember.”
Q: What are the necessary elements to incorporate to make each event feel special but not overwhelming for a busy mom like yourself? You make it look effortless!
A: I always aim to incorporate at least one element of surprise and delight for my guests. Whether it’s an acoustic guitarist at a girls brunch or a goodie bag of locally sourced gifts for a dinner party, just one unexpected piece that brings a smile to my guests makes the occasion one to remember.
“How versatile these linens are is a testament to their beauty.”
Q: Why did you choose these particular designs for both events? Anything about these classic Indian patterns that particularly speak to your aesthetic?
A: I was drawn to the Amaya and Florence designs for several reasons, but especially because of how seamlessly they would complement our Spanish Mediterranean home and the olive trees in our garden. How versatile these linens are is a testament to their beauty.
So many ways to use Marigold Living linens to spark joy in everyday moments
“…to line a fruit bowl, wrapping gifts with linens in traditional Korean bojagi fashion and more.”
Q: Do you envision using these pieces in your everyday life?
A: I love to use Marigold Living linens to spark joy in everyday moments. Before putting out a bowl of fruit, I’ll line it with a Florence napkin to add color to the table, use our Amaya table runners on a wooden bench to turn it into a console. For special gifts, I’ve wrapped them in a placemat or a napkin in traditional Korean bojagi fashion to delight the receiver.