Founder to Founder: Chatting with Kate Westad, inventor of Palette By Pak

Palette by Oak

I fell in love with this tiny but mighty product the first time I saw it. I remember I was preparing to shoot our Pink Power Suit & needed a product to fit into our inside blazer pocket. I could've used something simple like a phone, lipgloss, tampon, but I thought to myself - wouldn't it be great to cross-promote another female-founded product that was sustainable & functional?

Pink Suit

Call it kismet or algorithm alchemy, but I somehow stumbled upon the Palette™️ while scrolling through Instagram one day. I absolutely loved the concept & story behind The Original High Fiver & instantly became friends with the Founder, Kate Wested. 

Kate Westad

Kate is a personal-injury lawyer, momma of four & one of the most determined, passionate & hard-working entrepreneurs I know. I'm so proud of how much she has accomplished in a short amount of time & I look forward to seeing her business grow!

 1. How did you come up with the idea for your business?

 

I am the founder of Palette by pak and I invented the Palette™️ The Original High Fiver. It’s what I humbly like to call the travel + beauty tool of your dreams!

I could see the high fiver so clearly in my mind. From the design, to the material, to the colors, to the name. I think the biggest part of this journey was staying true to my vision and going with my intuition, no matter what.

As an inventor, I have sketchbooks and lists upon lists of ideas. And as an attorney, I knew my first step would be about protecting my ideas. So I took my idea to an attorney friend of mine and he said he could help. It really just snowballed from there. One person would introduce me to one person and to another. It was a long process, well over two years to launch. My biggest challenge was manufacturing in the USA, but it was so important to me. As a sustainably minded company, I just had to have it made domestically with as tight of a footprint as possible.

2. "Palette™️" is such a awesome name - is there a story behind it?

 

When I could see the invention in my mind, I could also see the Palette™️ brand name. It is one of things you just can’t explain. It was just meant to be.

3. How long have you had this business? What were you doing before Palette?

Palette™️ launched in August 2019 and I am having the time of my life. I am a litigation attorney and I have spent over 16 years practicing law. While that has been a huge part of my life journey, and I really loved helping people, I always felt like I had this creative force within me that I was not expressing. Since I was a little kid I have thought of different inventions and had a love of design. It probably was not until I was older that I realized that this was something that I needed to act on, that you have these ideas for a reason.

4. What lights you up about your business?

I think one of the greatest things that I have experienced is just how much women help women. The private law sector and in particular civil litigation is not in step with the corporate world with regard to gender equality and parity. Launching into the beauty space, I’ve been able to work with so many more women. I meet brilliant and fascinating women everyday working on Palette™️, it is truly so exciting. I also find women really lift each other up - it’s been really fun to see.

5. What task(s) do you absolutely hate doing in your business?

So I honestly cannot say I hate anything, I look at each step and area as a problem to solve. It’s one of the amazing things about being a solo founder, you get to touch every single part of your business. I think a huge skill however is also recognizing your needs, the holes you need to fill around your talent and experience. For me, I recognize how much I would love to have experienced and strategic business advice as we look to move into high production and to scale. So for me it’s understanding what you’re best at, what you need and then finding a way to fill that gap

6. What does your morning routine look like?

I love to get up very early around 4 or 5 a.m. and knock out some of my easiest, most fun tasks right away. I also spend my early morning hours pushing out tasks that I want to have done, organizing my day and making lists verses responding to people. That way I know what I want to accomplish and by the start of the business day I can go into response mode. I can then also address tasks that are more brain intensive.

7. Are you a morning bird or night owl? When do your creative juices kick in?

I definitely am more productive in the mornings and early afternoon. Although I will pick up tasks at night if needed. Let’s be real, running your business is 24/7. You really have to love it. And sometimes those creative juices just kick in at random times and I always have my phone notes full of running thoughts and ideas.

8. How do you unwind?

I really think meditation and spending time by myself when I can. As a mom and with all the noise in the world, sometimes you just have to quiet your mind, look inward and take those precious moments to recharge. I also love to travel and go on adventures and explore. I feel like there’s something about the novelty and the unknown that really puts you in a creative mode.

9. If you could do a photoshoot with Palette anywhere in the world, where would it be & why?
I really think the Maldives are quite extraordinary. The ocean there is like glass and it is just one of the more incredible places I have been. A fully styled travel photoshoot there would be absolutely amazing.

 

10. What advice would you give to other young women starting businesses? What are some things you would've liked to have know n before stating your business?

It really is true that you just have to start and the path will appear. One thing will lead to another and so on and so forth. I really think my biggest piece of advice is just to start. Having an idea is great, but once you’ve started you have something tangible and you have momentum for those doors to open.
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Thank you for sharing your story and advice Kate!  For more information about Kate, follow the following links: 

Website: palette.com

Instagram: @palettebypak

Linkedin: Kate Westad

 

 

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