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NASE Member Profile: Accentuate The Positive

Friday, March 05, 2010
Kat Powers has been an NASE Member for about two years. She owns The House of Kat, a home furnishings collection and home decorating business in Scarborough, Maine. Her Web site is www.thehouseofkat.com.

Tell us about your business.
The House of Kat encompasses my home design services and do-it-yourself instruction and advice. The House of Kat Collection offers home furnishings inspired by nature, as well as some of my own designs.

I am a Maine girl, born and raised. I’ve always had an appreciation for the beauty of my natural surroundings: the rugged rocky coast, the tranquil evenings at the beach or the treasures found on a hike in the woods.

I’ve been self-employed in the home decorating industry for 20 years. I launched the House of Kat Collection in late 2008. The Web site went live in March 2009. I started my business because I was so excited to find home furnishings that represented nature. In this ever-changing, got-to-have-it society, my motto is that nature never goes out of style—it’s timeless.

What’s the pay-it-forward program you developed for your business?
It was designed to help me help others. I thought if everyone freely gave a little, then it would not take a lot. So I decided that 5 percent of all sales would go into a fund to make a difference for others. Last year I assisted a family that been attacked in their home.

Being a self-employed single mother of two, I’ve had my share of trials and tribulations. At the age of 35, I experienced the tragic loss of a stepdaughter who was a victim of domestic violence. I was widowed at age 37 and divorced at age 45, with a 2- and 5-year-old. I know all too well that life can change on a dime at any time.

But I know there is always someone else who is having a worse day than me.

When I am worrying about finances or how I’m going to provide for my boys, that’s the time that I find doing a random act of kindness not only changes someone else’s day, it changes mine as well. When you give of yourself, you forget about your own lack and you realize the abundance in your own life.

How has the NASE helped you?
It has helped me feel a part of something, a part of others who share the love of entrepreneurship. It has also given me the ability to afford and obtain health insurance. It’s nice to have options!

What do you enjoy most about being self-employed?
First and foremost, a flexible schedule that allows me more time with my two boys. I’m delighted that I can spend school vacations and storm days with them.

The other thing I enjoy is that there are no limits! No limits on my time, ability, ideas, success. I also love wearing so many hats—marketing director, buyer, designer, personnel director, shipper, janitor (well maybe not that one!). It’s all there!

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