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Rising Stars: Meet Katie Howerton

Today we’d like to introduce you to Katie Howerton.

Katie, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
Growing up as a pilot’s daughter, I’ve always had a passion for travel, and with my skills in design and organization, I always have wanted to go above and beyond in planning the best vacations. When I visited Walt Disney World for the first time in years as a new mom, I found myself completely smitten with the parks but frustrated at the chaos of day-to-day. I hadn’t been involved in much of the planning process and came home still researching how we could have made our trip more successful and streamlined. I wasn’t particularly interested in becoming a Disney travel agent but couldn’t scratch the itch, so I started a Disney tips website and have been building a business for the past two years. COVID brought about challenges but also an opportunity to reevaluate how to make my business lucrative and a quick encouragement to make some free parks-inspired coloring sheets turned into a full-fledged online shop. I also realized I thrived best partnering with a travel agent (Siera Duiser at Destinations in Florida) instead of getting myself certified so I could focus my efforts into the creative process and writing content while raising a two-year-old.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
I have yet to make a real dollar with Souvenear, which I understand is typical when starting a business, but the bigger struggle has been finding my focus. It’s hard to stand out amongst the thousands of Disney bloggers and make your agent the go-to for your followers, but I started my site with one goal in mind: “Advice for the Disney novice, by a Disney novice.” As my business has evolved, so has my content, but I still strive to be a friend to those who are completely removed from the Disney space, focusing less on news and fandom and more on the bare bones REAL people need to know when traveling to the parks. I’m also passionate about working on a budget as someone living on a moderate income and want to change the cliches surrounding the parks as being places only the elite can afford to enjoy.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I have a general graphic design and drawing background, and I’ve found digital illustration to be my favorite practice as of late. I spent five years as Editor-in-Chief and Designer of a magazine and am still eager to use my love for print design in my business, despite the world being more invested in digital work. Typography is my favorite area of design, so it has been so fun to find ways to incorporate the details do the Disney parks into letterforms for my shirt designs. I’m excited to break the stigma of unoriginal group t-shirts for vacations and create something much more sleek, subtle, and nostalgic.

What does success mean to you?
I think I’ll eventually define success as lucrative income, but for now I define it as contentment and drive. I quit my job one year ago to give my full heart to Souvenear and other travel planning (with no concept of a pandemic on the horizon), and while I should feel defeated for the hit the travel industry has felt as well as my lack of income, I don’t regret my decision for a second. This still matters greatly to me, and that’s a big deal.

Pricing:

  • Free travel planning via Siera Duiser
  • All adult apparel starts at $24

Contact Info:

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