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Kate Boyer of Anatomie: “Don’t go to bed mad”

My Hungarian grandmother always said, “Don’t go to bed mad.” I think about her almost every day, no matter what the day brings. It can be very hard sometimes, but it’s healthy to end the day with something that makes you happy! I try to always make sure I can find that moment. Sometimes it […]

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My Hungarian grandmother always said, “Don’t go to bed mad.” I think about her almost every day, no matter what the day brings. It can be very hard sometimes, but it’s healthy to end the day with something that makes you happy! I try to always make sure I can find that moment. Sometimes it will be reading with my daughter or kissing my husband and my dog. My grandmother also said that colorful food will keep you happy, and my salads are never just green!


As part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kate Boyer, Co-Founder and CEO of Anatomie — a luxury, women’s clothing brand specifically designed to outfit the global traveler in the most comfortable and stylish performance apparel. Made from the finest European fabrics, Anatomie apparel is super-lightweight, wrinkle-free, moisture-wicking, quick-drying, highly-durable, and specifically designed with the versatility and flexibility to accommodate an active travel lifestyle. For years Anatomie has partnered with major brands such as PGA, Inspirato, and Net Jets and in 2019 and 2020, Anatomie was named the “Official Luxury Travel Clothing Brand” of Forbes Travel Guide. Her company is now in the top 50 % of Inc. 5000, and in the top ten out of the 250 most disruptive brands by IAB.

Born in Budapest, Kate got a MBA in International Trade in France, while working as a girls’ gymnastics coach and dressing the team in outfits she designed herself. From there, as a self-taught designer, Kate developed private label collections for many exclusive resorts in St. Barth and held private shopping events throughout the upscale Caribbean. She later met her husband Shawn in Miami, where he was designing customized clothing for hard-to-fit athletic men. The two joined forces to design sportswear for brands such as Elite Models, Cigarette Boats, and Lamborghini. With Kate as CEO and Shawn as Creative Director, they launched Anatomie in 2006, a name that speaks to the impeccable fit and sleek tailoring of the brand’s designs. After four years and over 600 private events, their omni-channel presence is strong on their dot.com, wholesale and VIP direct sales platforms. Kate, Shawn and their 6 year-old daughter Charlee maintain a base in Miami with their bulldog Luna. They regularly travel the world together, with Kate having been to over 35 countries and Charlee having already been to 7 countries by the age of 5.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

Although life led me to founding a fashion brand, everything in my journey was born from a practical perspective. As a former gymnast from Hungary, I went to the south of France to pursue my MBA. After I began coaching kids and training them for competitions, I started making long lasting, comfortable outfits for them to travel, train and compete in. It all turned into a business at the wholesale and retail level, until I finally ended up in St Barth’s and ultimately Miami to work, design and sell clothing. I met my husband in 2006 and we created Anatomie together. He comes from a background of custom-made athletic menswear, so we made a good team from day one. He is creative and I’m all about the numbers! Our unique backgrounds and knowledge of stretch fabrics was taken to the next level by the audience we chased down with (hundreds of) private events around the country.

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

Here at Anatomie, we’re operating a true omni channel business and created a unique luxury ecosystem of brands and partnerships. We keep every connection very personal and go beyond expectations at every touchpoint with the customer, with the important core value that speed matters.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I have a couple! In the beginning, we accepted private label projects and said yes to a huge order from Bacardi for polo shirts, which we had no experience in making. We ended up ordering them from different factories but every shipment looked different — the fabrics, the fit, the logos. It was all a mess. We shipped them and received no complaints as the brand was facing a tough deadline that no one else could deliver upon. As a result, different parts of the country received different shirts. The lesson learned was that you should stick to your intuition and say no if you have to. It’s very hard, but important!

There was also a time when we jumped into making burnout tees from India with, again, no experience. We had no time to test the shirts as the shipment was for Bloomingdale’s. We later started getting calls that the black fabric was bleeding and staining everything in sight: customers’ nails, car seats, boxes and furniture. It was horrible. We tested them at home and I even had to buy a new washing machine! This situation was hard to fix and we ended up having to recreate and ship the shirts. In the end, it was the same lesson as previously mentioned!

We now stick to our core values and use only high-end performance fabrics. Any co-branding has to be done within the DNA checklist of the company. Everything and everyone must be aligned and our core values have to be maintained.

We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

Larry O’Brien, a Canadian investor and entrepreneur, came into our lives in 2015 through our partnership with NetJets. He quickly stepped in and helped us fix several bad “startup” habits with accounting and investor relations. I owe him a lot of my early stage CEO lessons. A few years later, Joe Abrams also invested in the company and I now don’t make any major decision without him. He taught me that I should never write a negative email (which I used to do and it always backfired on me). Getting smarter is one thing, but doing so by being able to run things by your mentors without hitting the tree in the first place is an amazing opportunity.

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?

Back in the ’90s, Macy’s was one of the first brands to run a short sale event. They ended up regularly doing these events, and the rest of the market started following. Now, Macy’s Friends & Family initiative is overused and has less of an impact for customers who are trained to wait for sales. That’s an example of a bad disruption.

When Uniqlo makes a nice ski puffer for 100 dollars (based on an expensive Moncler), that’s tough as well. Some disruptors like Amazon or Uber end up monopolizing entire industries. Those are the structures that stand the test of time because they kill everyone else.

Disruption based on niche segmenting, exceptionally innovative products, unique customer experiences, and artistic and intrinsic values are positive disruptions because they set a new standard and are hard to copy. This is what Anatomie does well. You can copy my jacket, but you can’t read my mind!

Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

  • Don’t write negatively in emails. If I could only tell you the amount of times my original emails were forwarded and seen by eyes that they were not meant to be seen by.
  • You can out think your competitors, but you cannot outspend them. This is especially true when you are self-funded and growing organically.
  • Go where they aren’t and find your niche.
  • My personal favorite and a very important one: make sure you set yourself up to never run out of money!

We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?

Anatomie is going global by creating a unique travel retail experience, a one-of-a-kind mail order system, hundreds of pop-ups, an elevated yet casual men’s capsule and providing an elite team of world class, VIP stylists.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by ‘women disruptors’ that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?

Finding (enough) funding is very hard. Even with a very compelling story, solid product, great people and processes in place, many will still doubt you and give only enough for the next step. I would like to get the aggressive funding that some of my male counterparts had a chance to receive.

Do you have a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us?

Larry O’Brien’s book Ethical Entrepreneurship deeply impacted me in the beginning and provided a checklist on how to decide when to say yes or no. As I mentioned previously, I had some deep lessons about the concept.

Bruce Turkel wrote All About Them, which focuses on keeping the customer’s mind first. When he first came to our office, I was so excited to show him around and put him in a pair of our pants that I kept talking. He said, “Kate, you are like a bad date. You are telling me everything about you right away. I only stayed because you said these pants make my butt look good.”

The book Outliers is also a favorite of mine that I can personally relate to. Additionally, Atlas Shrugged was one of the first impactful novels that came to mind because it influenced a powerful Kate that would later change the game.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would educate every little girl around the world. I would make sure they have healthy food to eat, love, and support to help them finish school and find their mission so that they can stand strong for the next generations as mothers, partners and wives. This will make the world a better place.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

My Hungarian grandmother always said, “Don’t go to bed mad.” I think about her almost every day, no matter what the day brings. It can be very hard sometimes, but it’s healthy to end the day with something that makes you happy! I try to always make sure I can find that moment. Sometimes it will be reading with my daughter or kissing my husband and my dog. My grandmother also said that colorful food will keep you happy, and my salads are never just green!

How can our readers follow you online?

Readers can shop Anatomie at www.anatomie.com and search for Kate Boyer on LinkedIn. #anatomiestyle

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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