This site has limited support for your browser. We recommend switching to Edge, Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.

Everything on our site ships FREE within the U.S.

Tastemaker interview: Kate Stewart

Today on the blog I'm featuring my friend Kate Stewart, Founder of Bauble Stockings. Kate and I met at The Southern C Summit this past February when we were in the same mentor group, but we had been admiring each other for years on Instagram! Now we can say we are "real-life" friends, and one of the best things about Kate is how willing she is to help and support other entrepreneurs. 
So when I asked Kate to take part in my blog, she gave me a resounding "YES," and I couldn't be more grateful!! In 2018, Kate took a special family tradition of gifting small stockings that hang on the Christmas Tree and usually hide a "clue" to another, larger gift, and turned this concept into a wildly successful company. What's more, the company works hard to provide fair wages to those in need. All Bauble Stockings are hand-stitched needlepoint made for fair trade in Jacmel, Haiti. Bauble's manufacturing partner is BCorp certified. And since launching in 2018, Bauble has donated over $95,000 to organizations making the world a better place.
Kate is not only building a thriving company, she is as smart, kind and ambitious as they come. I loved learning from her during our time together, and I know you'll love hearing more about her in this article.

Kate Stewart
1. Where did you grow up and what did you want to be when you were older?

I grew up in Atlanta and wanted to be a horse trainer until I realized my own horse trainer woke up at 4AM every morning and did his last barn check at 11PM. 

Kate Stewart

2. Where did you go to college and what did you do right after graduating? 

Florida State University in Tallahassee. I went around the world for six months by myself, visiting 17 countries from New Zealand to Portugal.

Kate Stewart

3. Have you had any mentors in your life? 

I’ve never had a formal mentor, but I’ve learned a lot from people further along than me. Colleen Waguespeck of Fig and Dove is about two years ahead of me in launching her company and she is an open book who let me on everything she’d learned so far literally six months before I even launched Bauble Stockings when I accidentally launched my Instagram page and her team happened to find me. 

Kate Stewart

4. I love that Bauble Stockings is based around tradition and draws inspiration from your childhood memories - why is tradition so important you?

Growing up, our Bauble Stocking in our home was only for my mom, and my dad and brothers and I would go shopping for this special gift for her each year. During this trip, my dad would talk to us about why Mom was so special. For me, it was so fun to watch my mom open this gift we’d all worked on together, but in addition, it was the special brainstorming and shopping trip with my dad and brothers every year. 

Kate Stewart

5. Tell me about the genesis Bauble Stocking - what was your “aha moment?”

My husband Peter and I got engaged early in the Christmas season, and he proposed with an engraved ornament while we were decorating the tree! Later in the season, I asked him when I would get my Bauble Stocking. I’d been wondering, was a Bauble Stocking something you got when you were engaged, or did you have to wait to be married? He was very confused! I started asking my friends, didn’t their mom have a Bauble Stocking and they received the final gift of Christmas? Stumped and unable to find it on Google, I finally called my parents, only to find out it was our own family’s tradition and they had invented it years ago.

Kate Stewart 6. Aside from the tradition of “Bauble Stockings,” what are other traditions you recall from your childhood that you have passed on to your family today?

Bauble Stockings are by far my favorite for Christmas! For Valentine’s Day, we always wake up to a few small presents at our breakfast table spot. For Easter, I love that we spend it at my grandparents’ lakehouse and have an annual hunt that we were never too old for until my kids were old enough to hunt. The Thanksgiving meal is served at 3PM, which is still the weirdest time of day but that’s when it will stay. And for Christmas, my mom still gets the most gifts because she still makes it the most special holiday for all of us (and she’s the most fun to shop for!) 

Kate Stewart

7. What is one “fail” you’ve had and the lesson you’ve learned from it since starting Bauble?

Oh gosh. December of 2021, Haiti could not get our product out of the country due to everything happening there (a little background, their president was assassinated in July, followed by a major earthquake in August, and then gangs took over most of the country, including the roads that lead to Port au Prince). For us, it was debilitating, as I’d pre-sold thousands of stockings and we couldn’t get them (pre-selling is when you sell them before you have them in hand to ship). One day, I had to write to over one thousand people and stores and tell them I couldn’t deliver due to the gang violence in Haiti, where Bauble Stockings are made for fair trade. It was perhaps the hardest email I have ever written. And you know what? People were kind. (Some people were not, but 99% of people were kind!) Anyone who wanted a refund or to cancel, I was able to redirect to my stores who had their exact order. Most people took exchanges for what I had in stock. Many people were willing to wait, even though they wouldn’t make it before Christmas. We figured it all out. It took A LOT of work and brainpower and responsiveness and grace (from my customers and from myself) but we made it work. I’m forever grateful for the customers that year. 

I learned two lessons that day (1) always communicate, even if it is to one thousand people (!!) which seems insurmountable. It was doable. (2) I no longer pre-sell products with less than six months until Christmas!

Kate Stewart

8. Is there anyone on your bucket list that you’d like to collaborate with?


Kate Stewart

9. What is next for Bauble Stockings?

Full Size launch with Dogwood Hill and Holly Hollon, four amazing Guest Artists this year, some special hush hush surprises along the way!

Kate Stewart

10. What do you like to do outside of work? 

I run. I just got a NordicTrack treadmill (in my Bauble Stocking, no less!) which is awesome because you pick a run anywhere in the world and then it sets the speeds and hills throughout the course. You can either watch the screen which is following a world class athlete who is coaching you through some of the coolest places ever, or like me, mute the screen and watch an iPad you set on top of it. I’m currently re-watching Gilmore Girls from the beginning while I run from 7:30-8:15 every morning and it’s glorious.

Kate Stewart

11. Beach or Mountains?

A lake in the mountains

12. Color or Neutrals?


Kate Stewart

13. Traditional or Modern?


14. Tequila or Wine?


15. Homebody or Social Butterfly?