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Interview: Kate Hersch of August Morgan

hello my tribe,

I met Kate 10 years ago through a philanthropic project I was running. I was immediately impressed with her as a mother, as her toddler’s birthday party involved a volunteering component. Who said you can’t start teaching these values at a young age?

Since then, Kate has launched August Morgan, a fashion brand inspired by her own passions. What started as an obsession with vintage needle point pillows has evolved into a budding enterprise for this mother of two. August Morgan is a purveyor of embroidered linens, vintage pillows, other home accessories, and now a clothing line.

Kate has been married for 17 years to her husband Robert and they raise their two children Lily (15) and Gus (12) in Austin, TX.

Enjoy!

xoxo, alex

Tell us a bit about your life before becoming a mother.

Before I was married I lived in New York and worked for Sotheby’s in client services. It was a fun, fun, fun time! Robert and I want to move back to NYC when the children leave the nest, but of course, we would keep a place in Austin!

What surprised you most about motherhood?

That I actually wanted children! I really had no desire to procreate…until one day I just did. And I am so glad and lucky to have two incredible children.

What has been the biggest challenge you have faced with motherhood?

Letting go is very hard. My son and his friends like to roam the neighborhood. My daughter and her friends get dropped off places. I worry like crazy but I have to let them grow and be independent.

What are your secrets to balancing your personal life, motherhood, and work?

My husband travels a lot, and my kids are very active in school and sports. I have very special woman who has worked for me since Gus was born who helps me with driving the kids and helps around the home. I do go to every game, but I’d rather cook them dinner than cart them around to practice.

What does self-care look like for you?

I am a huge believer in weekend naps!

What inspired you to start August Morgan?

August Morgan initially started as a pillow company. I love to needlepoint, and when I would go to thrift stores I would see needlepoint pillows. I knew how much time went into making them. So I decided to rescue them and have them remade with a new backing and down insert.

Tell us a bit about your journey with your company.

After years of producing pillows, I decided to branch out into cocktail napkins. I started with four designs and now we have over 40.I traveled to Vietnam and chose one manufacturer, and hired an wonderful woman who runs a clean and amazing factory. My latest business venture is a line of clothing. The response has been great and I am already designing the next line!

What has been a favorite milestone with Austin Morgan?

Selling my pillows at Barneys New York and Selling my napkins and glassware at Neiman Marcus.

How do you teach your children about girl power?

I have always raised both of my children to believe that they both can accomplish their dreams with hard work, and they are both hard workers. They also know that women should be treated equally and are worth as much as men, both intellectually and financially. My husband reinforces this by his behavior as a father and professionally.

How is your daughter involved in your business?

Lily is very involved in my business.  I have taken her to the Dallas Market to sell my cocktail napkins and to New York for model fittings for my dresses.  I often ask her for her advice on my designs.

What would your one piece of advice to a woman wanting to start her own business be?

Not to give a care what anyone else thinks. Also to charge enough and to value your opinion.

If you could give new moms one piece of advice, what would it be?

Not to worry so much. I was a manic worrier; googling all sorts of syndromes, imagining the worst for my babies. I would literally watch them sleep I was so scared of SIDS. I was crazy. I am much better now…but I still check in on them in the middle of the night.

If you could have lunch with any person living or dead, who would it be and why?

Jack Nicholson. I’ve always thought we was rather sexy.

Favorite fashion/lifestyle brand you’re watching?

Love Sertodo Copper. They are an Austin brand and very talented.

Alex has a love for branding, building partnerships, developing strategy, and creating community. At 21, Alex Founded Citizen Generation, a nonprofit dedicated to creating the habit of giving in new and young donors. After five years and raising over $4M for other nonprofits, Alex became a mother and decided to channel her talents into building programming and community for other moms. Alex founded Hello My Tribe in 2016 to bring community and wellness back to motherhood.

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