BMMF: How did KM2 come to be?
Megan: It has always been a dream to have a family business in fashion, but we just left it as a great idea on the back burner. We were taken up by our acting career anyway and then we were in a UCLA business class and our teacher found out about our background being in a shoe family and re-sparked that dream. It was awesome to have someone credible and outside friends and family that said,”Hey you really have a great shot at this, and I know you will be successful if you try.” So we went for it! And here we are having to trust God all the way. He has opened a lot of doors for us, and it has been a toil free company!
Katelyn: It really was such a faith project when all is said and done. We had an idea, we had people tell us it couldn’t be done, and we had a few people tell us "Why not?" So we took the latter encouragement and stepped out. It's been such a wild ride, and we are having so much fun!
Mattison: My sisters called me from LA one day and said, “Hey want to start our own shoe company?” Next thing I know we own our own shoe company!
BMMF: Tell us about the design process of your shoes?
Megan: We come up with our classic base designs and send them to Brazil to be made. When they come back we start an entirely new design process and create styles out of those constructions. That part is entirely handmade, and that is why we are able to customize to what our customers want. We mess around with materials for hours on the shoe until we come up with something we love. It's great because we don’t have to rely on a factory to interpret our crazy design drawings. We can do that part ourselves to create something wonderful. We have been mentored by an extremely talented and patient shoe cobbler, and it's been such a blessing.
Mattison: Since they each are customized by hand you feel like you are wearing something so unique and different compared to the average shoe everyone else has. I call it art work for your feet!
BMMF: Where do you find the adornments for your shoes?
Megan: Anywhere and everywhere! From an 80 yr old woman who had lace stocked away from the 20’s that we bought, to traveling around the country and hunting down the best vintage ornaments we can find from antique dealers, jewelry lovers, etc.
Katelyn: Let's just say we are expert shoppers. There are untold, endless treasures everywhere if you are willing to look.
BMMF: Besides your website where can your shoes be purchased?
Megan: [shoes] Em & Co on 3rd/Fairfax and accessories at Sonya Ooten on Larchmont. (Both in Los Angeles - BM)
Katelyn: Susan Lynn’s boutique in St Louis (http://www.susanlynns.com/) and Splash in St Louis (http://www.gotosplash.com/) Chesterfield and Galleria Malls.
BMMF: What process did you have to go through in order to have your shoes sold by a retail outlet?
Megan: We just made relationships by walking in and the shoes sold themselves.
Katelyn: And lately, as we begin to grow, our absolutely wonderful sales representative, Julie, sets up appointments with boutiques to show them the collection. Within in the next two weeks our boutique list will have expanded immensely. We’ll keep you posted.
Mattison: They are amazing shoes. Who wouldn’t want them in their store!
BMMF: What inspired you to get involved with the effort to stop human trafficking?
Megan: It's always been a cause that God put in our hearts. But, really, when our Nana passed away in May 2009 we found in her journal that she wanted to start a home to house women from bad relationships or just unwed mothers and we wanted to also honor her by giving to that. Her name was Mary Jo and that’s where the “Mary Jo Cuff “ came in. She never left the house without a sparkle in a few different places.
Katelyn: Totally. She brightened up life and helped people continually. She was never once jaded by life and its problems. If she saw a need she helped where she could and also brought extra joy and a smile to every situation. Her heart was to help these girls in horrible situations. Basically, we want to be like her.
Mattison: Human Trafficking is something that I don’t think many people realize is such a problem. It's definitely something that more people need to be aware of, and the Mary Jo cuff is a great symbol for people to identify it with.
BMMF: Tell us a little about the charity you support – Dream Center.
Megan: The dream center has been amazing because they have so many outlets to volunteer at - from feeding thousands of people each week to taking in families that have been affected by poverty. We frequently go to their 'Adopt a Block' program where we bring food to the families in the projects every Saturday, or go down to skid row and feed the homeless. There is also a young Hollywood group in the Dream Center called Red Eye that has a lot of young people like us in all different industries that find ways to give back every week. That’s how we got hooked in. (for more info visit http://www.dreamcenter.org/)
Katelyn: Red Eye helps link both worlds together.
Megan: Our KM2 company gives to their rescue project which houses girls that have been rescued from sex trafficking. It partners with CAST and keeps them and helps them transform their lives until they are confident to live on their own again.
Katelyn: It's astounding to me what a difference you can make by being consistent and by continually helping people that are around you every day. That’s what the Dream Center does. They are bringing a direct social change.
BMMF: Have you met any of the girls that you helped save?
Megan: We haven’t met them. We have just received their stories and heard about them. We hope to meet them soon. We want to offer jobs to these girls who have a passion for fashion.
Katelyn: The Rescue Project actually saved the girls. We are just so honored to be able to give to a project here in the US where we can see tangible results. We can hardly wait to start meeting the girls that come in.
BMMF: What role does each of you play within the company?
Megan: I'm the Creative Director. I design and work with factories and suppliers. Katelyn handles Operations. She is the brains behind the whole company and holds us all together with every operation you can imagine. Mattison takes care of Sales and Marketing. She links us to everyone buying shoes and makes the final call on any marketing ideas.
Katelyn: Oh gosh, my sisters are amazing. Megan, um creative genius – stick her in a room of nothing and she can always make something glorious come out of it. I would like to step inside her brain sometimes. And Matti…she is a fireball. We call her the edgiest sister. She has a knack for selling and seeing things in business for what they are, which is amazing since she is only 18. Her instincts on what works and doesn’t work are priceless. I love my sisters.
Mattison: We all have different roles in the company, like my sisters said, but we really do all work together. My sisters are amazing and have done so much. I think without all three of us working as a team we wouldn’t be able to run this company.
BMMF: What has being a designer taught you?
Megan: That getting it wrong a few times just means that you are almost there to getting it right.
Katelyn: I love that quote Meg! I may copy it and put it on my Facebook under favorite quotes.
BMMF: In addition to your current offerings do you plan to add any other products to your line in the future?
Megan: Absolutely!! We want to expand to men's shoes and kid's shoes and eventually do clothing.
Katelyn: Heck yeah this is only the beginning of KM2.
Mattison: Of course, the best is yet to come!
BMMF: What is your must have fashion accessory?
Megan: Hmmm…Obviously shoes. We have grown up with building an outfit around the shoes. We work from the ground up. My dad always told us that if you have a great bag and great shoes then you can pull off any look. Accessories change everything!
Katelyn: I agree. I probably could just have a closet full of jeans and white t shirts and then AMAZING SHOES! Oh wait, that is sort of how my closet is. I also like rings a lot.
BMMF: What piece of clothing do you think every girl should have in her closet?
Megan: The perfect leather jacket. I wore mine to the Grammys and the Emmys over my gowns and I wear it when I'm running out to the grocery store.
Katelyn: Jeans that make your butt look hot. Seriously…a must for every girl. Mix that with a great pair of shoes and life is great!
Mattison: Definitely a simple white fitted t-shirt. You can’t go wrong when it comes to white, and you can wear it casually or dress it up. I can honestly say I have like 5 of the same white shirts in my closet that I basically live in.
BMMF: Megan & Katelyn are you still pursuing acting? If so, will we see you in anything soon?
Megan: Oh definitely! We will keep you updated. I'm not sure if we are allowed to confirm what we are working on right now, but as soon as we can we will let you know.
Katelyn: Yes acting is always something we absolutely love and will continue to do. I was so happy to come to the realization that, “Hey, I can do both!”
BMMF: What are some of your favorite places to shop in L.A.?
Megan: Let's see…every Sunday Melrose Trading Post. Em & Co, Barney’s, Shareen Vintage in Downtown (Secret Spot).
Katelyn: Meg always yells at me but I love the $1 vintage sale Sundays on LA Brea. Maybe it’s the bargain shopper in me, or the fact that I love to find treasures! I have found some amazing things there. They just need to be washed a hundred times and maybe sewn a few places. I also love American Rag and Barney's, obviously.
Mattison: I definitely am a Rodeo Drive kind of girl. I can’t handle Melrose like my sisters. I could spend my whole day just walking up and down the road stopping in at every store.
BMMF: Are there any other designers out there that our readers should know about?
Katelyn: Can I plug my favorites that I know?
BMMF: Of course. That's why I asked.
Katelyn: Cathy Sherman Jewelry. This woman is amazing. She goes to India and finds all these precious stones and makes the most beautiful bracelets and pendants! Without fail, every time I wear a piece of her jewelry I have people oohhing and ahhhing. Check out cathysherman.com. It's all handmade. I also have some friends—two brothers Branden and Jared—that make t- shirts. They are not your average graphic t-shirts. These are so inspirational, and they come straight from the heart of these guys. I want to pair a few of them with our feather shoes for our more relaxed customer. They are really awesome. You can get them at enlightencloth.com.
Mattison: Resa Designs has amazing baby clothes that can be seen on her website resadesigns.com. I love her styles! Lately everyone has been having babies, and she is our one stop shop. Also, the Jewerly line Homegrown is really amazing. She makes some amazing designs out of things you would never think of. I'm totally inspired all the time.
Interview by Nikki Neil, photos by J.