We had the good fortune of connecting with Katell Schmitz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katell, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
In order to talk about success and where we are with our brand today, we have to start with defining what success is. And that’s the thing with success, defining it should be a personal conclusion. Our definition of success should be different from others’, even the people we look up to. In retrospect, it was fortunate that I got to grasp this concept quickly in my entrepreneurial journey. It led me to decide what I wanted success for myself to look like. It did not look like ‘making six figures in six months’ – as everyone claimed to be doing. For me success had everything to do with longevity and with impact. I knew what I wanted business to look like, what I wanted it to feel like, and how I wanted it to impact the world. Even in more challenging seasons, resolutely holding on to that vision is the reason for our success. It is why our brand Reverielane is still here and thriving seven plus years after I started the business. And how we were able to have my husband Jon come in full time over a year ago as a co-owner. As a branding business we have always put the emphasis on outcome rather than deliverables. We never separated purpose from profit. We set and kept our own pace, and that attracted the right clients to us. Running a business with purpose is contagious – in the most positive way. Having that mindset from my freelance days ten years ago, laid a healthy foundation for my personal success as for our brand’s success. We’re still building upon that very foundation today!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Finding what I wanted to do in life was not a straight path for me. I had always known I was creative but I always knew I was strategic. On the other end, creativity was presented to me simply as artistic and had to be innate or not real. Consequently, growing up I was not aware of the potential to have a career which would combine both skills. So I went a different route with education. I started my university journey back in France with the goal to become a United Nations interpreter. I loved the International dimension being biracial. I am and will forever be a linguist at heart, and I wanted to be part of having impact on the world’s decisions – even if in a small way. It felt purposeful and I felt aligned with that. I went on to study Applied Modern Languages for my Bachelor’s and International Cultural Project Management for my Master’s degree. I am obviously not a U.N. interpreter today nor a project manager. However, the awareness I gained about career options, about what I truly wanted to do, and the skills I acquired during those learning years were invaluable. They led me to discover that I wanted and could work with creativity and strategy, to communicate impactful messages with purpose. And that is exactly what branding is. Stumbling upon the world of branding while learning about project management was a true blessing. It gave me the answers I did not know I was still searching for. It set me on the path of personal and professional success. Moving to The U.S. ten years ago right after school was the beginning of that journey. It was not easy to forfeit in a way my degrees and to take some risks. The challenges were obvious. I had to learn a new discipline on my own (graphic design), freshly immigrated to America, with the goal of self-employment. Although it certainly looked foolish to some people (my poor parents), it was of course absolutely worth the leap of faith! It took me three years to get to a point where I felt confident in my skills, knowledge, and abilities to serve my own clients effectively. That is when I started my business and brand Reverielane. As the name implies, I will always believe, model, and champion pursuing big dreams! They are worth looking foolish and putting in the work.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I am new to San Diego but I am already in love! Balboa strolls, Holy Matcha stops, biking along the beach in Carlsbad, grabbing some ice cream at Handels in Del Mar, hiking down to the beach at Torrey Pines, some churros and root beer float in Old Town, but also authentic Mexican food at Casa Guadalajara, Coronado beach for sunsets…. a few of my favorite things so far.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would love to shout out to all the people who have knowingly or not deposited treasures in my life and business, and for God to have aligned out paths. In this particular season Jonathan Schmitz, Reina Pomeroy, Lindsey Eryn Clark, Brittany Good, Allie Casazza.
Photography by Kamice Janita Mestre Creative