Who are your favorite designers?
To be honest, the one guy who has truly inspired me since Day has been Johnny Cupcakes. Met him in 2007, outside his store and he spoke to me for probably an hour about branding and what a brand means to people. The way he has been able to create fun designs around cupcakes is amazing, and the collaborations he has done recently with the Simpsons and Ninja Turtles franchise has been amazing to watch. I view design differently. I think it matters, but I also think the overall brand concept and feeling it creates in your mind is JUST as important.
How did you choose the name Katalyst?
I was beginning to speak to many schools, businesses, organizations, and I had many pepole reaching out, telling me my story helped them get theirs started. I love to do public speaking and still do it for Katalyst with the Katalyst school program. So, when it came time to pick that name, I obviously used the K for my name Kyle. And I think it encompasses what we do. Everyone is a catalyst for some sort of a change, so be it.
How would you describe New England fashion?
Authentic. I find it funny that now the things we have worn for years here is now “fashion.” Growing up, I saw so many people wearing bean boots, flannels and outerwear, just to get by and now it’s something people flock to stores to get. I think people in Maine have fantastic fashion, and I also think people here love buying local, so many brands that come form this place show what Maine is all about. And Mainers love that.
How did you get started in the industry?
It started for me as a senior flagship class at Husson U. The assignment was to build a business plan for a fake business, except I did it for real. I spent some time in NY/NJ after college in NYC, essentially trying to figure it out and failing many times along the way. Along the way, I just saw what worked, what I liked, and what people wanted.
You design for schools and teams, correct? How did you get started with that?
It started by someone asking me from my hometown High School to make a shirt for them to sell as a fundraiser. When I went, I spoke and told my story, and then the kids sold the shirts to fundraise. I thought I had something with this. Last year we did 10 schools in a few months, and it was incredible. It’s a fun way to get kids involved and excited about something they can relate to, while also hearing a motivational story of working your way into something like I did. Same goes for teams.
How would you describe Katalyst?
Katalyst is a lifestyle brand that allows fans to brand themselves however they see fit, while inspiring them to reach their highest potential.
What is your favorite piece of Katalyst clothing?
Maine Music Hoodie Series, because of the involvement from so many people and the response it gets from people statewide.
Can you tell us about the Maine Music Hoodie?
It started with Dave Gutter from Rustic Overtones/PSC and WIll Mallett from Mallett Brothers and Spose. I picked them in 2012. I wanted to then allow bands to be nominated and then have their fans vote them on for the three spots on the sleeve. In 2013, we had 100 bands and 1200 votes, and this year in 2014, we had 145 bands and 2400 votes, showing that the interest and like for this has grown. We release it for 2 weeks to order and whatever we sell, we make, and it’s limited.
We also do annual big concert at the State Theatre Called “state of the state. Attached is the info and commercial for it. Click here for info