The Ghinda Beauty Project: Ghinda's Own Kathryn Leanna Shares Her Thoughts On Beauty and Bridal
I've had the pleasure of knowing Kathryn Leanna ever since I was a freshman at Columbus College of Art and Design. From the moment I first saw her present a collection I got a feel for her beautifully crafted designs with a feminine touch, and an unexpected edge. Going to school with Kathryn has been a pleasure, working with her has been an honor, and becoming her friend has been the greatest experience of all. From the classroom to the studio, Kathryn works hard to deliver the best quality and the most beautiful designs. I had the chance to sit down with her in our very own studio and speak with her about the business of bridal as well as what makes her feel beautiful.
As I sit down with Kathryn the first thing I notice about her is her smile. Sweet, and with a contagious personality, Kathryn pins and sews at the machine as we speak. She is concentrated and thoughtful. Seeing a person in their element like this is one of my favorite things because I think you get so see so much of who a person is if you pay attention. It is also when a person is in their element that I think they are often their most beautiful.
I ask Kathryn what inspires her most as a designer and she takes a moment to think before letting out a list with enthusiasm. As a fellow designer I understand how this feels. Fashion is so easily influenced by anything, and she gives affirmation to that as she let's out her own personal list, "I really am inspired by the changes from season to season, I find that so interesting, the blend between one season and another, nature in general is inspiring to me. Architecture and politics in fashion are also really important to me. Fashion should be smart. I like to stay well informed because of that. I like to pay attention to fine art and practical design."
Who does someone who's as inspiring as Kathryn look up to? Her response was, "The people in my personal life really inspire me. My friend and classmate Jacob Maitland will try absolutely anything, he's fearless and so well informed about the world and his trade. He's willing to go through a lot of trial and error, more than what is required of him, just so that he can learn and grow and become a better designer, the same with Jen (CEO of Ghinda). Jen is the same she's always willing to take a risk and try something new to see if it works, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't but she's always willing to try and she's always willing to learn."
Kathryn's trade gives her a sense of confidence, but what else makes a fashion design student feel confident and beautiful? "When people compliment my smile." Kathryn shared a very beautiful personal story of her overcoming insecurities about her smile. As she told me I could hardly believe she'd ever been so worried people were judging her for it. Since I've known Kathryn one of the best things about her is her smile. It is the kind that lights up a room and leaves you in a better mood after being around her. "I get told that my smile makes other people happy and when I hear that it really makes me happy, it's one of the best compliments I can receive- and it makes me smile more!" Kathryn also shared with me a few other things that add to her self confidence and sense of feeling beautiful. "Having time for myself and being alone also makes me feel more confident," she shared. "I enjoy being mentally alone. I like to read, drink some tea and when I'm lucky a good nights sleep is good too!"
Working with brides I am always interested in how everyone's individual experinece compares to my own. "I think it's great they [the brides] have such a vision. Clothing shouldn't be a shell, it should be you coming out of your shell, and I love that about bridal especially, bridal is so personal, it's so about them." Kathryn continued to sew and talk with me about the future for her and her experiences at Ghinda. It was so great to hear about her feelings on Ghinda because we work on different parts of the business and have different experiences, but share so many of the same views. "Ghinda has given me a lot of confidence as a designer I would say, when I was a kid I never thought that being a designer was reasonable. It's kind of crazy, this fearlessness, you really have to trust yourself so that others can trust you too."
What an awesome philosophy to not only carry in design but in your personal life as well! Kathryn is but just one part of our incredibly talented and tight-knit team. We hope you'll follow along as we sit down with all of the members of our incredible team and ask them for their outlook on beauty and design, and we hope to see you soon in our studio!