Ekaterina Butko, otherwise known as Kate, is bright and brainy, ravishing and Russian. Her creativity takes many forms— creative director of her a concept store in Moscow, as well as a retail shoe chain; writing for her Russian style blog (thekatemind.ru); consulting brands in SMM and keeping her followers up to date on Instagram (Instagram @katebutko) and preparing her new project Instarguide.com. Oh, and somehow managing to have a life as well. We asked her (with considerable envy) how she manages to squeeze it all in.
I discovered Swarovski when I was a child, and it’s always been a fairytale world for me.
Tell us about your background. Did you study fashion or work in a related area?
I started work as a fashion stylist at the age of eighteen. My friend and I were working professionally on photoshoots, and I was responsible for styling.
What motivated you to start blogging about fashion and style?
I was helping my friend create content for a fashion-related platform. At some point I enjoyed it so much that I realized I wanted to share my personal vision in my own blog. So I created my blog in 2010. After a while, instagram@katebutko became my main social channel.
What strengths are helpful to a blogger?
For me, the main rule is to never get jealous of other bloggers—look for inspiration in what they do, but never ever compare yourself with anyone else. Everyone is unique and has their own style and vision. What’s more, blogging is proper work, so you need to put a content plan together and think about strategy.
Do you think bloggers have the power and influence to actually drive trends? Does this feel like a big responsibility?
When a blogger is really big, then yes, this is possible. I think it’s fun, because bloggers are as important as editors and designers these days.
Is there a danger of spending your whole life looking for things to blog about? Or do you manage to switch off?
It’s a big issue, because sometimes I forget to enjoy the moment. But I try hard to “internet detox” for one or two days every once in a while. The thing is, once you start blogging your mind is always scouting for interesting content. It’s impossible to stop.
The life of a blogger can seem airbrushed. Do you try to achieve a balance in the way you portray your lifestyle by adding dose of reality to the magic?
That’s true, because in the first instance it’s always about the pretty picture. But I think the reason why I connect with my followers is that I’m really sincere about my life on my other channels, Periscope and YouTube. People see me as a real person with real problems. I sometimes even meet my followers to get to know them and thank them.
Do you have professional help with the technical aspects of your blog?
I manage to do almost everything myself—and I really enjoy editing pictures. But the pictures of me are taken by my boyfriend, my friends, or professional photographers.
Name a style icon that inspires you.
Actually, I don’t like referring to anyone as an “icon”. I get inspiration from the people around me, from music, art, books, and even the weather and nature.
How would you describe your personal style? Does being a fashion blogger mean that you worry about what to wear every time you go out?
Right now, fashion is like a game with no rules, and I enjoy playing it. I like to try different styles and mix and match them. One thing is for sure: I’m not into sporty style at all. I don’t think I spend that much time planning and worrying about what to wear. Anyway, the best looks are the ones that come naturally.
You’re also the creative director of Porta 9—describe a Russian concept store. We hear that you also own a vintage store, right? Your life must be crazy busy.
Yes, my team and I created a shoe concept store, Porta 9, and a chain of shoe stores called Portal. Before that, I had two businesses: a fashion watch store and a vintage store. I was reselling vintage pieces that I find all over the world. Right now, my best friend Polina and I are working on a project about social media called Instarguide. We’re going to reveal the secrets of how to how to create professional content and become famous on Instagram!
When did you discover Swarovski crystals? Is it fun to work with Swarovski?
I discovered Swarovski when I was a child, and it’s always been a fairytale world for me. I was so happy to be invited to join the Swarovski team. The best thing is how much I respect the brand, and now I’m actually part of it! After visiting Innsbruck and familiarizing myself with Swarovski history, I feel so inspired. It’s great!
Did you enjoy modeling for the Swarovski photoshoot?
I’ve been modeling a lot lately, and although that was a long photoshoot, I didn’t feel tired—even after fourteen hours’ work. I was just really happy, and enjoyed all the shiny pieces I got to wear! Thank you so much, my Swarovski family, for such a wonderful time!
Photographer: Georg Schönwiese