We ran a piece on her before she went out on her own and now we managed to corner her again between precious pee breaks and food runs (because she is so damn wanted for her design magic). We're back with Katelyn Peterson of Edition Design, her new company she's co-founded. The woman designs digital and print with some of the best tech or new retail giants of our time. And she's SOOOOOOOOO COOOOOL. Packing a quick whit and a sweet new desk at WeWork's Embarcadero Center we grabbed her for a quickie photo shoot and new set of questions on what it’s like to start fresh.
1. What made you finally decide to go out on your own? I did a piece on your early on and you were still teetering on leaving your comfy design studio job.
Honestly, there wasn’t one, final deciding factor. A month or two before we decided to make the call, Malin and I went to a panel discussion with the founders of Hot Studio, Method, and Mucho. One of the questions posed to the panel was exactly that: “what made you finally decide to go out on your own?” There were a number of logic-based answers given but, Maria Giudice, founder of Hot, simply said “when it is time, you will know.” Soon after that panel, Malin and I were chatting by the water cooler (as one does in a comfy office job) and just looked at each other and knew it was time to go.
2. It's been what, 6 months since you've opened doors with your co-founder, Malin? You’re based in San Francisco and Malin in Portland. How does that hinder or help your biz? Team work? New Business dev?
I really can’t believe it’s only been six months. It feels like it has been six years! Yes, I’m in SF and Malin works (most of the time) from of Portland. She and I met here in the Bay Area, which is where we worked on laying the foundation for Edition: building our initial client base, company structure, vision, etc. Malin grew up in Portland and both her and her finance’s family live there, it was kind of understood from the beginning that she’d be going back eventually, so we just built that into our plan. We see each other at least once a month, either she comes down here or I go up there, and we are in constant communication: text, iMessage, phone calls, FaceTime, all of the apps all the time, so our lack of close-physical proximity really hasn’t made any sort of a difference from what I can tell (except that she can’t judge me for coming into the office with wet hair HA).
3. How are the new WEWORK offices on the Embarcadero treating you? Meeting cool or interesting peeps in the building?
I actually love it. Malin and I rolled our eyes at WeWork before we started touring buildings. We thought it was just for scooter-riding, 24 year old dudes in engineering/tech sales/data analysis (if you’re reading this and meet any of those criteria, nothing personal) but it’s turned out to be an amazing, diverse community of people. I’ve met clients and made friends! The set up provides the flexibility and amenities that we need in order to be able to meet our and client’s needs. I know I’m starting to sound like a sponsored post but the staff is awesome, I seriously love them, and you can’t beat the view! The end.
5. What are your first clients outta the blocks?
They’re over the board! Our very first client was a company called FirstJob, now Mya Systems, an AI recruiting bot. We hadn’t even launched our website yet and we only had a handful of projects to show (we made the choice early on not to show any of the work from our previous jobs) but Eyal, the founder and a good friend, decided to trust us with their rebrand.
**Not to take any credit for this but they’re killing it. Mya just raised 18 million in series B funding and we’re so happy for them! Mya is like our little baby.
6. How are you getting your name out there?
Referrals, word of mouth, social marketing, networking, talking to people, friends, volunteering—you know the drill—the hustle is real.
7. Show off some of your fav designs so far.
8. What inspires this kind of work?
Anything and everything. I think the fact that we’re in the epicenter of innovation and surrounded by amazing, smart, talented people is a huge source of inspiration and an incredible driver. Everywhere you look there’s a 17 year old who just created a cryprocurreny using a Polly Pocket or a chef who’s serving poppyseed buckwheat-beef tongue pastrami pancakes (I word-for-word copied that from State Bird Provisions). Not only does it force you to up your game but you end up getting exposure to information and sources of inspiration that you wouldn’t have even known to look for.
Literally shoes off now. Answer me quick
Fav vice: Coffee.
Most used app this week: Insta... I mean the news… No, really, it’s Instagram.
Most horrific article you've read: Anything beginning with Donald Trump’s tweets.
What's always with you: Ideally my house key.
Shower morning or night: Morning.
Wine or Liquor: Yes.
Most embarrassing work moment: Too many to count.
When are you the most productive during the day: Early morning and after 3:30pm.
LAST, how would you like to be remembered?
Well, there’s hope and then there’s reality. I hope to be remembered as a caring friend and partner, a designer who listened to my clients and solved their problems with the perfect balance of form and function, Forbes Top 100, and a Nobel Peace Prize Winner, all while maintaining work-life balance, lifelong friendships, and a rocking’ bod. The reality is that my great grand kids will probably find my cached email archives and discover that I was ill prepared for temperatures below 60 or above 78 and had an affinity for baking shows. We’ll see.
[I have not proofread this answer and I have had 2 mimosas. I may have second thoughts about it in the light of day]
Summer Wilson - Creative Director and Photographer of Battle Cry
Photo by John Thatcher