LaReeca Rucker, features reporter for The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss., interviewed Katie about her handbags, passions and Ole Miss. Here’s an exerpt from the article:
University of Mississippi art graduate Katie Kalsi, 34, is making a name for herself as a handbag designer. The Memphis native launched a line of 23 hobo-style handbags in 2003 with hand-painted, interchangeable straps. Since then, Kalsi said the bags have gotten attention from Taylor Swift and Priscilla Presley, and Belk began carrying them. We caught up with Kalsi to ask her about her life and design work.
Rucker: Tell me about your childhood. What are some of your earliest memories of growing up in Memphis?
Katie: I have always been creative and spent a lot of my childhood drawing, painting, sewing and crafting. My mother and father always encouraged and praised my ideas and creativity. My best memories are at my parents’ home in Shelby County. When you think of Memphis, you may not think of immediately lakes, barns and greenery, but I saw all of that right outside my window. I loved being outside. I was always able to find something to do and something that inspired my creativity.
Rucker: Tell me some of your memories of your college years at Ole Miss? What was your major? What did you plan to do with it?
Katie: I transferred to Ole Miss after taking care of my core classes at the University of Memphis. After growing up in Memphis and living there my whole life, I wanted a change of scenery and a new adventure. I majored in art and minored in pharmacy. There’s no place like Ole Miss, for sure. One of the best parts of my time in Oxford was definitely The Grove and football season. I mean, all Mississippians know how awesome fall is at Ole Miss, right? My family and I spent a lot of time there this fall. I always jump at the chance to go back, watch football, see friends and shop a little on The Square. Hotty Toddy!
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Don’t forget you can now purchase Katie Kalsi handbags at www.katiekalsi.com and www.belk.com!
– The Katie Kalsi Team