in partnership
Catherine Lowe and Megan Smallery, owner of Scarlet & Gold. (Image: Joshua Lewis / Seattle Refined)

A night with Catherine Lowe

Catherine Lowe may have made her debut into the spotlight through her public search for love on The Bachelor (and finding it with her now-husband Sean!), but now she's attempting something that gives people a whole different kind of butterlies: a start-up line.

Lowe has partnered with online print shop Scarlet & Gold to launch C.Lowe by S&G, a line of products ranging form notecards, notebooks, placemats and tops. We sat down with Lowe before last night's Seattle launch party at the Fred Wildlife Refuge to chat about the inspiration behind C.Lowe.

Tell me a little bit about C. Lowe by S&G.

I have never had a mind for business, but I've been in advertising for many years, and I love design. I also love having a voice, and wit, and I've always appreciated art and beautiful things so much. I'm someone who finds joy in the little things. Now that I'm in this and looking back, it makes total sense that I'd get into business with Megan [Smalley, owner of S&G], and be going down this road.

Has this been your dream, something you've always wanted to do?

It kind of all fell into place when I met Megan at an event, and she runs such a great business and cares so much about quality control, and has that business mind that I don't! She also has a great, visual website - which is really important to me from a design background. We originally worked on something together for my wedding, and afterwards we were just talking about a way we could translate the spotlight that Sean and I had found ourselves in, into something more, and cool. I have always loved paper products, and paper stores - and the idea of Lowe Notes just kind of happened!

You've said before that Lowe Notes are the inspiration, of C. Lowe - and that the whole idea came from the show when you and Sean would pass little notes back and forth to each other. Are any of the Lowe Notes actual notes people can buy now?

One of the things I've always loved about writing little notes and cards is personalizing them to whoever you're writing to. If I were to write one to Megan, it would probably be goofy and an inside joke. So the notes I wrote Sean on the show were very much targeted to him, and our relationships and things that we had experienced together.

Some of the notes are so silly and hilarious! Like "Imma Smack You - Right In The Kisser" and "I Miss You - Come Sit In My Pocket, MMK?" What was it like trying to think some of those things up?

Thank you! I remember, it was right after my wedding, and Sean was watching TV and I was just on the bed laughing and saying "this is so awesome" to myself. I was just so jazzed when this all started happening! Thanks to my advertising background, I'm always thinking about our target audience - who are silly, goofy, fun women from college-age to married. And I never want to be generic, so I hope people find that Lowe Notes give people that. Choosing all the phrases and designs to go with it happened in one night!

What do you see the future of C.Lowe to be?

I love the shop Fireworks - and how it has so many little gifty things in it, and you go in and come out with tons of stuff. I want C. Lowe to be kind of like that, were you can find something for anyone, kind of like a one-off store for women of any age - college to married. There are about ten of us girls involved, and we're all at different stages of our lives, and C.Lowe reflects that. I think the next step will probably be weddings, since they're so fun and so have many different niches we can cater to.

You hosted a launch party in Birmingham a couple months ago, how was that? How is Seattle going to be different?

It was so much fun. That's where Megan is from and where her business is, so we wanted to keep the first one close to home. There were people who came from out of town for it, so we really want to try and make each launch as unique to the city as possible. Seattle is going to be unique because of the venue (Fred Wildlife Refuge), the music and the food (sushi!).

When you come back home to Seattle, what are the three things you have to do/see? What do you miss most about the city?

My Mom. She is the greatest Mom, and has always been so supportive. She was never really a 'baking cookies' Mom, but she has always been my number one cheerleader. With food here it's funny - last time I lived in Seattle I was vegan for the entire six years after college. So when I think about good home comfort food, I think of my favorite vegan spots - like Wayward Vegan Café. The third thing is probably the live music - Capitol Hill Block Party is this weekend and I used to go every year!