On Building A Sustainable Brand: Kati Bennett of Lavender Lion

this fall, our theme is: flourish.

flourish (n.): to grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly favorable environment.

When we make work under our best conditions, we do more than survive—we thrive.

And what grow toward (or say no) to has a lot do with it. Whether you’re a small business owner, independent artist or side hustling creative, your career pathway will take resilience and strategic decision-making. Where do you choose to go? What makes something a yes? Which environments are best for your growth?

Those answers are nuanced, and for the most part they vary. So, as we prepare for craftHER Market Fall ‘19, we’re interviewing some of this market’s featured makers to learn more about their businesses and the ways they create favorable environments for their work. Read on for a peek into their process.


Photo of: Kati Designer & Founder of Lavendar Lion

Photo of: Kati Designer & Founder of Lavendar Lion

about today’s featured maker: kati bennett from lavender lion

“I am Kati, the Founder and Designer behind Lavender Lion. My goal is to show a love for wildlife and sustainability through one-of-a-kind bags and accessories. All pieces are created from recycled faux leather, vinyl wallpaper, and upholstery scraps sourced from local thrift and reuse shops.

At 19 I began working with animals of all sizes as a Veterinary Technician, and later transitioned into working at rehabilitation and rescue facilities. After the birth of my daughter, Delilah, I was looking for a new path that would allow me to honor my love of animals while working from home. I had always loved all things artsy and started experimenting with one-of-a-kind designs created from unique and upcycled materials. My goal, with all Lavender Lion designs, is to showcase the beauty of wildlife in a fun and creative way.”


How would you describe who you are and what you do?

I am Kati, the Founder and Designer behind Lavender Lion. My goal is to show a love for wildlife and sustainability through one-of-a-kind bags and accessories. All pieces are created from recycled faux leather, vinyl wallpaper, and upholstery scraps sourced from local thrift and reuse shops.


Our theme for this Fall’s craftHER is flourish. How are you looking to grow your business at the moment? 

One of the most important parts of my brand is the Snouts for Sanctuaries campaign. This is a project I created to bring awareness and additional resources to farm animal rescues. I would love to grow and get more eyes on this campaign.


What are some of the biggest growth moments you’ve experienced as a creative and/or business owner over the last year? What can others learn from your experience?

Some of my biggest growth moments this year have come from collaborating with bloggers and fellow creatives. It has grown my business, friendships, and overall aesthetic. I would encourage all creatives to reach out to other businesses you admire and try to collaborate on a fun project! You never know what will come of it!


How do you handle criticism and feedback?

I’m definitely a type A personality and, honestly, criticism can be extremely difficult for me to handle. That being said, the more feedback I get does help me to better gauge my audience and what people would like to see from me as I grow my brand.


What is your approach to working with others and/or working in community?

Reach out! Try to connect with other creatives you admire or that you feel align with your own values. Collaborating and connecting with others can help bring you new ideas!


Sustaining a creative business is tough. What are some money mindsets you’ve had to learn as an artist / entrepreneur?

All of my pieces are created from recycled faux leather, vinyl wallpaper, and upholstery scraps sourced from local thrift and reuse shops. This allows me to keep material costs down, while maintaining a sustainable brand.


How do you hold yourself accountable to the goals you set? How do you bounce back when something doesn’t go as planned?

I try not to set too many expectations/goals for myself. As an artist it is easy to get waves of creative block or become overwhelmed by not meeting your own quotas. I try to focus more on quality control, making sure that everything I create is to the highest standard


Would you like to meet Kati in-person? Come out to craftHER Market Fall ‘19 on October 12 and 13, 2019 at Fair Market and stop by her booth. Click here to learn more.

Jane Claire HerveyComment