Summer is almost here and Love is all around! Our founder Holy had the chance to chat with Colleen, founder of the like-minded brand Kanta Banko.
H: Can you please tell us more about Kanta Banko? (how did it start, what inspires you, what are the values behind the brand?)
C: Kata Banko Couture Bridal Accessories started in 2009. I didn’t have a plan to get into the accessory business, let alone bridal, it really just kind of happened. A friend of mine opened a bridal salon and brides were requesting custom accessories and veils, which was really not offered by current designers at the time, so she asked me if I could make a few pieces for clients and it just grew from there.
The next thing you know I had created a full collection, went to Bridal Market and it took off. At the time I was offering a full range of bridal belts and sashes, 3D floral veils and veils dripping with pearls and Swarovski, no one was offering pieces like this, so I was well received.
All of a sudden my designs were in bridal salons around the world, it seemed crazy to me! Then of course the reality of the industry kicked in the following year when my entire belt and sash collection was copied by an up and coming brand. That really pushed me to think outside of the box even more. Its daunting in our collective industries that copying is such a huge thing, but this really helped me decide how I wanted to grow my business. I like to keep it small and exclusive, I create each piece by hand, my hands, so everything has a very special heirloom quality to it. I am really inspired by music, how a sound feels and top that with nature and life, that’s all the inspiration I need. I do not follow trends, there is little passion in being trendy, and I’d rather be original any day. My goal with the brand was and is to try to be as mindful as possible. To create beautiful sustainable pieces that can be worn again and again. For that very reason I have made 2019 my last year that I will be offering Veils. That is a onetime deal, there is too much waste in the world as it is. I have been slowly converting my brand into lifestyle, bridal and beyond for years, it’s a tricky place to be, but the more I educate people on why it’s important, the more my brand flourishes.
H: Can you share with us your favorite piece and explain why it is so special for you?
C: This is a tough one, I have so many favorites! If I had to choose I would say it is my 10:37 vines. A few years ago, I created a different way to work with Crystals and Semi-Precious stones. Everywhere you see Quartz Crystal crowns, combs, jewelry, I have a whole range in my collections as well. I pioneered a new version of crushed sands for my collections, it’s softer, and lighter and the colors are insanely beautiful. At this time of creation my world was upside down, so in essence this form of creativity saved me.
H: What are your next big plans? (Collection, collaboration, how do you see the brand in the next 5-10 years)
C: There are a lot of things going on behind the scenes, that’s for sure. But to be completely honest, I really don’t plan so much, it keeps things interesting and unique. As far as future collections go, they will be smaller and more sustainable, that’s my goal. As designers we are expected to create at the very least two collections per year, buyers and fans want to see new and more and what’s next, that is a lot of waste, I will not be participating in that. We’ve got to slow down on producing fast fashion, it has been a crisis for years. I really don’t have a 5 or 10 year plan for my brand, I’m just an artist and this is one of many mediums I use to express myself. I have never mass produced my work, when I create a piece, it is an original, every piece, whether duplicated or not, has its own signature, its own distinct version. Honestly I have considered doing just one of a kind pieces. I also design for other brands which is something I may dabble in a bit more. Oh and then there is my pottery obsession on top of my food obsession (I’m secretly a food artist). I believe it’s okay to not have big future plans, life changes too much. I mean if your brand is going to be mass produced and you are looking to be the next big design house, then there is a need for solid growth plans, but I just want to create.
In terms of collaboration, there is so much happening there. I’m currently designing for a self-care cannabis brand, which is amazing. I’m a huge advocate for holistic medicine and nutrition. The self-care, well for me it’s really a big deal, I have neglected that in my own life for so long, so I am diving in head first!
I look forward to collaborating with brands that have an ethical and sustainable mindset, like The Noces, definitely on a different level, not so much bridal, more lifestyle. Fashion is a great way of expression but at what cost? We waste so much, we have too much and it’s a very disposable industry not to mention extremely unethical and not sustainable looking forward to working with brands who see the value in quality over quantity and who want to make the world a better place. You can’t eat money.
You can follow Kata Banko Couture Veiling and Accessories on social media:
Stay tuned for our special collaboration with Kata Banko to celebrate love in all its forms!