Slow fashion in fast times: in conversation with Katrina Stoneking

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Shopping local can sometimes feel easier said than done, if you’re looking for something extra special or unique.

Lucky for us, we have Bitsy Stoneking here on Palm Beach, who brings us distinctive product from owner Katrina’s travels around the globe.

Bitsy Stoneking is all about luxury slow fashion – carefully curated assortments of small runs of product that you simply won’t find elsewhere.

Having grown up around fashion and owned a boutique at a young age, Katrina took her lifelong passion and turned it into a career – as a female founder, no less!

We connected with her this past week to talk buying strategies, slow fashion and all things Palm Beach.


TSG: How would you describe the quintessential Palm Beach wardrobe, and how has it changed over the years?  

KS: Palm Beach is now a mixture of the old and the new, and that is especially true when it comes to fashion on the island. There are the classic silhouettes and pieces that are quintessential Palm Beach, while there are people that branch out and bring in flare from their global travel.That is what makes the island such a fun spot.  It has morphed, however Palm Beach is still very grounded in its roots.

TSG: What makes Palm Beach and The Kemble Shop a fit for Bitsy Stoneking?  

KS: The Kemble Shop, does just that; they bring a beautiful mixture of classic Palm Beach while branching out into new ventures.  You can see it in their different interiors across the globe and in their shop.  It is a perfect fit.

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TSG: With much of your curation historically done via travel, how has the pandemic changed your buying process?  

KS: That is the best part of travel, if done properly: the immersion into their culture and with the people you connect and establish relationships.  Everyone is adapting, global and regional fashion and trends are still seen if you are connecting with the right people and change makers in their area.

TSG: What are three key traits that draw you to a brand or product when buying for your store?

KS: Fabric – texture and quality, how the piece is made, and the story behind the collection or designer.  Not everything has to be bright to be beautiful, however I look for the richest tones and textures.  Especially when it comes to lighter palettes.

TSG: We’ve heard your business has a charitable angle- tell us a little bit about that.

KS: We give 10% of our profits back to SCAD Research Inc.  SCAD stands for spontaneous coronary artery dissection, and it what caused the four heart attacks I’ve had since 2017. There is a 20% reoccurrence rate and can be fatal. I am extremely lucky that the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota is studying this and have been there and continue to go. They are the reason I am alive and cannot say enough great things about the people that work there. It is the way health care should be. SCAD Research donates most of their money to Mayo for research and that is why we donate so we can help Mayo do more research.  Www.scadresearch.org for more info.

TSG: Why “slow fashion”?  

KS: Slow fashion or sustainability in fashion is an important component of Bitsy Stoneking.  We want to do as much as we can when designing and producing our pieces locally and we try and work with other designers that believe in the same. We are trying to reduce our footprint for the future generations and the impact that has on the ecosystem.  We want nothing to do with “fast fashion.”

TSG: Tell us about some pieces you’re excited to wear / offer to clients this fall/winter.

KS: We are really excited about our Bitsy Stoneking designed pieces that will be coming out for Fall/Winter.  These are Palm Beach inspired prints with classic and updated silhouettes.  These pieces are made to be worn day or night and to make the Bitsy woman feel confident and beautiful.  You can see in the latest edition of Scout Guide Palm Beach!

TSG: What’s one item in your closet you can’t live without?

KS: There are a lot of pieces I can’t live without!  Bright pink blazer (vintage), classic black blazer (Boss), long Pucci inspired dress (Miss June Paris), long gingham dress (Bitsy Stoneking), Slides from Greece (Elina Linardaki), Brocade dress (Bitsy Stoneking), Chanel loafers, Hermès scarf.

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TSG: Why is being a part of The Scout Guide important to you / your business? 

KS: It is important to connect with the community that is around you.  The Scout Guide and Stacey Leuliette are great partners for small businesses.  Having lived in 6 different cities over the last 17 years, establishing roots is important.  Or in my case, re-establishing roots. I am a South Floridian, being born and raised in Delray Beach – it’s nice to be home. 

Visit them online at https://bitsystonekingshop.com/ or in person at The Kemble Shop!

Written by TSG Contributing Editor, Kate Rowan