Today we’d like to introduce you to Erin Fremder.
Erin, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I’ve always been someone who is drawn to working creatively with my hands and expressing myself visually. As a kid, I was always crafting, sewing, drawing, collaging, etc. In undergrad, I majored in studio art with a focus on textile sculpture. I also studied media, communications, and sociology.
Fashion and personal style have played an important role in my life. I think this began with my mom – she has an amazing eye and a really fun wardrobe. She always let me dress myself however I wanted. She also passed down to me her love of all things fantasy, renaissance, medieval, baroque, rococo, etc, which I think heavily influenced my visual interests.
In elementary school, I went to sewing camp. I was always going to some sort of art camp or program. I started experimenting with my own personal style – making my own clothes, getting inspired by what I saw in magazines and on TV. I began to use dressing as a creative, personal, and emotional outlet and that since has always been really important and powerful for me.
In high school, I started thrifting and frequenting local vintage stores. I also went to a lot of DIY, under 18 music shows and started collecting merch. I remember some bands would have handmade totes, skirt or dresses made from sewn together screen-printed tees. I thought this was really special.
After college, I starting working as a buyer at a vintage and second-hand clothing store. The “hunt” was really exciting for me. I loved the process of selection, and the thrill of finding coveted and unique, one of a kind pieces. This buying experience ended up heavily influencing my current creative process, from curating the store’s inventory to working on my own personal visual practice.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I am the owner and curator of Kathleen, an independent boutique on York Blvd in Highland Park that features independent artists and designers, vintage, and records. We also host small creative events and workshops.
I always had this idea that I would eventually end up with my own creative space in one form or another.
While working various retail jobs, I was always sort of “curating” in my head – collecting lists of designers and artists I’d seen on Instagram, at pop-ups, and on friends, that inspired me. Theses were independent artists, people creating one-offs, people up-cycling, brands pushing boundaries of aesthetic identity. Some standout themes among these artists were ingenuity, unconventionality, a strong sense of social consciousness, and playfulness.
I wanted to be able to bring these artists and designers together in one space. It was exciting and satisfying for me to see out a creative vision as well as give these artists a physical platform. I wanted to create a place where people could support independent artists and their unique processes and ethos.
At Kathleen, I want people to be able to not only shop for pieces that are visually distinct from what they usually see in retail spaces, but also feel like they are taking home a piece of art that reflects the unique vision and hard work behind each artist.
What do you know now that you wished you had learned earlier?
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. It can be really scary and a little awkward but 99% of the time people are really receptive and open to sharing a vision.
Sometimes, you just have to jump in, even if you feel like you’re not ready. Usually, the things you’re hesitant about or unsure of have a way of working themselves out.
Things don’t have to be rigid or perfect. Your process can look many different ways. Your final result may be different than what you expected, but there is beauty in letting things develop organically. The things you learn and the product you achieve may be better than what you had planned.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
Kathleen is located at 5151 York Blvd Los Angeles, CA. We are open Thursday through Sunday, 1-7 and also by appointment. It’s best to reach out to us through Instagram DM or email to schedule a time to come in during non-store hours.
We also have a website. Visit us at shopkathleen.net to shop online. In addition, we always respond to shopping inquiries through our direct messages on Instagram.
We love when people reach out to collaborate. If you are interested in being featured in our shop, hosting a workshop or a pop-up, or just want to connect, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
- Address: 5151 York Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90042
- Website: shopkathleen.net
- Phone: 2133733367
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: shop.kathleen
personal photo: portrait by Tom’s One Hour Photo in Koreatown, Los Angeles. Wearing earrings by Ebonny Munro and dress by *Paid Actor
image 1: Refigural Magazine
image 2: Soft sculpture by Nhozagri, photographed by Matthew Genecov
image 3: Hoodie by Claire Barrow
image 4: Shell earrings by Soft Blonde, angel earrings by Emma Pryde, keychain by Sasha Fishman
image 5: Bag by Slush Bags, image courtesy of designer
image 6: Top by Mila Sullivan, image courtesy of designer
image 7: Earrings by 3_3_4_7, image courtesy of designer
image 8: Bracelet by Delicate Porcelain