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From the Desk of Dixie

Faces of Dixie: Operations Director Kate King

Our Faces of Dixie series continues today with Dixie's Operations Director, Kate King! Kate's role is very similar to an air traffic controller... she keeps all of the various team members of Dixie on schedule and en route. 

Born in Louisiana, raised in Texas, college in South Carolina, and currently residing in Alabama, Kate considers herself truly a daughter of the South!  She is a type A personality from a family of very creative people. Kate has always seen the art of a handwritten note on beautiful stationery as her creative outlet. Dixie allows her to carry out her type A tendencies while watching beautiful art made into beautiful paper. Kate moved to Birmingham in 2013, where she lives with her husband, Stephen, their 2 young boys, and their dog. When she is not chasing her toddlers around, she loves reading, enjoying good food with friends, and getting back to Charleston any chance she can.

We cannot wait for you to read more about this important member of our Dixie family!

Our Q&A with Kate:

Hometown?

I was born in Alexandria, Louisiana, but we moved to Tyler, Texas, when I as 18 months old. So, I consider Tyler to be home. 

Alma Mater?

College of Charleston. I truly don’t think there is a better college experience than living in Downtown Charleston. I decided to apply to the College of Charleston after a vacation there. My mom and I both commented how much we loved the city and my mom said, “Well, let’s see if there’s a college, you could live here for 4 years!” I’m still just as enchanted with the city now as I was then!

What was your very first job out of school? 

My husband and I worked for a college ministry at the College of Charleston called Campus Outreach and I taught pre-school.

Favorite Dixie Product?

There are so many that I love. But I do have 4 of our notepads around the house and they definitely keep my life straight! I have been a compulsive list maker since high school, so I love to have one close at hand. I would say that my next go-to would be our thank you cards. Handwritten notes are my favorite, and if you don’t already send them, thank you notes are a great way to start incorporating them in your day-to-day life.



Favorite date night spot in Birmingham?

Our go to is Joe’s Italian in Alabaster, we love their tomato basil soup. It’s incredible! We recently went to The Essential for our 8th anniversary and it became a new favorite. The food is great, and for us the brick street felt like a tiny escape back to Charleston in the middle of downtown Birmingham. 

Favorite Birmingham spot to hang out with your boys?

We love Wildflower Park in Hoover, it’s a great shaded park where we have spent many hours! We also got a membership to the McWane Science Center last Christmas (*gift idea if you need one*) and it has been amazing! 

Favorite music to get you in the mood to work?

So, I really don’t have one thing I listen to. I bounce a little bit all over the place and I have several playlists on Spotify that I jump between depending on my mood. I do throw on Netflix in the background a lot. I like to put on shows that I’ve seen many times so that I don't have to fully pay attention and still know what’s going on. So that usually means Gilmore Girls, The Office, Parks and Recreation, Criminal Minds or NCIS.



What does a day in life as Kate look like? 

Oh man…that’s a loaded question. So, since I have a 3.5 year old and an almost 2 year old, my day starts pretty early. My Dixie Day gets started once my husband leaves and takes the boys to daycare. After I pour a LARGE cup of coffee, I jump on email and making sure there’s nothing pressing. I field LOADS of emails and texts from Jennifer, Buddy for wholesale things, Kim (our customer service guru), the designers, our uploaders, and Casey for social media things. I even can be found helping ship things out. Most of the time I’m checking in with people and my trusty spreadsheets to make sure we are staying on track with all our deadlines from designs to orders. I always end my day checking orders and assigning them out to designers, so that they all have things to work on the next day when they sit down to work. 

Since we all work at different times throughout the day, I do try to be available for emergencies or questions throughout the day as needed. Honestly, most of my day could be summed up by making sure everything is moving smoothly, and everyone has the information, and tools to focus on their tasks and do their jobs well. The way I see it, if I’m doing my job correctly, then everyone else is able to do their job better and more efficiently.

Favorite Instagram account (or accounts) to follow for inspiration?

I’m not going to lie; my favorite accounts are just those of my closest friends. Having moved from Texas to South Carolina and now to Alabama, it’s the best way to stay up to date on their lives. I’m someone who has always valued deep relationships, so moving has always been hard on me. So, I love getting to see pictures of how their lives are and connecting through it.

But as far as official accounts, my favorites right now are super practical or relatable ones, I think. (As a working mom with 2 toddlers, I need all the practicality and relatability I can get!) I love Things.I.Bought.And.Liked for product recommendations, she’s so real and honest. Naptime Kitchen has great recipes, my favorites are her daily green drink, her spaghetti sauce, and her honey ginger lemon water (I have been drinking it daily this winter). K8Smallthings has great beauty/hair tips but her stories are so funny and relatable, I really love her. And lastly HolyCityChic has great style and gives me the glimpses of Charleston that I miss.

If you could spend your perfect day anywhere in the world, where would you be and what would you do?

That’s so easy! Except it wouldn’t be a day, it would have to be like a month, to roam Italy, from Rome to Milan to Venice, but I would need extra time to sit and sip wine and soak in the beauty of the Italian Countryside.

Describe Dixie Design in three words or less:

Quality, fun, classy. That goes for our products and our team! ;)

Faces of Dixie: Buddy Hunt

We are excited to continue our Faces of Dixie blog series this week with Dixie's Wholesale Director, Buddy Hunt! Buddy joined his wife, Jennifer, at the helm of Dixie’s Wholesale Division in the fall of 2018. After spending two decades in the financial industry, honing his sales and relationship-building skills in Minneapolis, Dallas and then back home in Birmingham, he connects Dixie with retail shops around the country and maintains valuable relationships with each new and existing Dixie account. His free time is spent with Jennifer and their two young boys, coaching soccer and basketball, watching Alabama and San Francisco 49ers football, traveling and spending time with family and friends.

Read on to learn more about Buddy's role at Dixie, how he and Jennifer met, and the history of his 49ers fandom.

Hometown 

Birmingham, Alabama

Alma Mater 

University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa

How did you and Jennifer meet/how long have you been married?

A friend of mine suggested we meet, so he called and invited her to my fraternity initiation party on February 11th, 1995. I learned later she also had a friend who wanted to introduce us, so I guess it was obvious we would make a good match. That night at the party, it took me about 2 hours to say hello. I was nervous. She still makes me nervous and we have been married 14 years. Feels like yesterday.  

Career Path leading up to Dixie

I served and still serve in the Financial Services industry. I spent 20 years in the Investments Wholesale industry and now have the daily opportunity to serve a select group of individual clients.  

Describe a day in the life of Dixie’s Wholesale Director

I simply try to do my job which is to put our stationery product in front of retailers across the country. Most of my efforts center around the use of phone calls, emails and handwritten notes. This gives me an opportunity to stay in touch with retailers who are considering or are already carrying our products.  

What is it like working side by side with Jennifer

For many people, it can be a big challenge to work with one’s spouse. For me it is a blessing. One of the reasons we get along is because we are both so focused on our daily Dixie activities. She focuses on the retail side of the business while I focus on the wholesale side of Dixie. We are accessible to each other but because we have very different skillsets and roles, we rarely talk during the work day. 

Favorite way to spend a weekend out in Birmingham

We like food, so we love great restaurants and Birmingham has plenty of them. I also have the opportunity to coach my sons (9 and 6 years of age) in soccer which is such a great outlet for me. I love watching them learn, play and mature from season to season. I will also be coaching basketball this fall. So many evenings are either filled with practices or games.  

The most meaningful father/son(s) time is spent when we... 

Get the opportunity to talk about the day in retrospect. I like to ask our sons if they learned anything throughout the day. I always ask them what they liked most and what they liked least about the day. They usually like anything educational the least and they love P.E., recess, and sports the most.  

Favorite travel destination 

That’s a hard one. I think my most challenging, memorable and enjoyable trips have been explorative in nature. I’m a homebody, but Jennifer makes me get out and do challenging things. So our most memorable and exciting trips have been a four-day hike along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru, an exploration of Mayan ruins and other adventure activities in the Mexican jungle near the Belize border, and a three-day self-driven boat tour in the Burgundy, France region. But I must say that I probably loved the Mexico trip the most. 

Your Crimson Tide fandom is self-explanatory as an alumnus, but why the 49ers? 

There is nothing like the history of the San Francisco 49ers. The legendary players like Jerry Rice (pictured below) and Joe Montana and so many others. The Joe Montana interaction in the huddle talking about and pointing to John Candy in the stands before the winning Super Bowl drive. I also grew up a big L.A. Lakers fan. The best players were playing for San Fransisco and for the Lakers during my childhood, and I watched a bunch of those games with my Dad. Jennifer surprised me a couple of years ago with a trip to Levi's Stadium for a 49ers game with sideline passes. I got to meet Jerry Rice, see Joe Montana and slap hands with some Bama boys who play for the 49ers. It's a really fun memory. On top of all that, Jennifer and I got engaged in San Francisco, so it's a special place for a lot of reasons. 

Favorite read

When I get the chance to sit and read (which is rare – I am not the most committed reader for pleasure, to say the most) I have found that I love historical fiction.  Otherwise, I am looking at a stock chart or reading about the economy and stock market. 

Retailers can shop these wholesale products as well as more beautiful options on our website here.