Meet Kat Harlton:
artist, dream catcher, genius,
positive force in the world at large.
Photo credit: Patrick Hodgson Photography
Once you meet Kat Harlton, you want her to be part of your world forever because she makes everything better. She is wise and witty, silly and steadfast, innovative and brave, supportive and nurturing; just what is needed to create a formidable empire, which is what she is forming. From the source, The mission of The Harlton Empire is to promote creative works by independent artists in the arts/entertainment industry.
And now an excerpt from this very interview that exemplifies to me the solid embrace that is knowing Kat Harlton. You’ll read it again down below so don’t get confused and think you’re deja tripping. I just think it bears repeating and I’m the boss of this blog, so enjoy. “My greatest sense of accomplishment always comes from being able to stand back and watch as others accomplish their goals and dreams because I supported them. I know how important that support is, so when I see how hard they’re working, and how much it means to them, it makes me want to work harder myself. It makes me proud and I don’t take for granted that they’ve allowed me to be part of their journey.” Right? I know now you just want to hear from Kat herself, so I’ll just shut up and let her answer…
What is your career?
My career is a mixture of all of my favourite things.
Monday to Friday I work at SoCast SRM doing Client Support. SoCast is the leading digital marketing platform for radio and we work with many large clients including Corus Entertainment.
All the rest of my free time goes to The Harlton Empire, Lithium Magazine and Rebel Rebel Music Magazine (UK) all of which I use as platforms to promote music, film and art. I write reviews of albums and shows, cover live events and exhibitions, host events, do interviews with numerous kinds of artists and in general try to encourage and promote a positive, healthy, and vibrant community spirit within the arts scene.
What are the greatest challenges and greatest rewards of your career? What is your advice to others embarking on similar career?
Like all careers, when starting out my biggest challenges were knowledge and experience. Both of which came with time and trial and error. I strive to do my best always, and if there’s something I don’t know, I’ll take it upon myself to figure it out. I was taught from a young age to never be afraid to ask questions or to ask for help, it’s the only way to learn.
The greatest rewards of my career have been by far the relationships I’ve made. Most of what I’ve done and continue to do wouldn’t be possible without the help and support of numerous people. People who took a chance on me, and believed in me when I said I wanted to do all these things I’d never done before and knew nothing about.
My greatest sense of accomplishment always comes from being able to stand back and watch as others accomplish their goals and dreams because I supported them. I know how important that support is, so when I see how hard they’re working, and how much it means to them, it makes me want to work harder myself. It makes me proud and I don’t take for granted that they’ve allowed me to be part of their journey.
5 years ago, did you expect to be where you are today? Why, why not?
Well, 5 years ago is about when I created The Harlton Empire, and my only goals were to help as many independent artists as possible however I could and to give back to the community when I was able. For the most part this continues to be my goal, I’m not after a specific title or occupation, I like to just consider myself a goodwill ambassador of sorts.
That said, I’ve been given a lot of opportunities that I never expected to have, from interviewing celebrities to booking sold out shows and to going on tours. I wouldn’t have anticipated any of that 5 years ago.
Where will you be in 5 years?
To be honest I have no idea, and that thought makes me happy. So far, I plan on continuing what I’ve been doing, I really enjoy exploring new options and connecting with new people and you never know where that can lead you. I’ve done a lot in the past 5 years, so If I manage to do even half of that again in the next 5 I’ll be having one hell of a life. Haha.
What would you say to your 8-year-old self?
Keep on, keep’n on. Don’t change a thing. It’s not always going to be easy, but it’s going to be worth it. P.S: Your future 30 year old self is one happy woman.
What would you say to your 80-year-old self?
Jesus Christ! You’re still alive?!… haha kidding.
I guess this would depend a lot on what I do between now and being 80, but for the most part, I work hard to live without regrets, so it’d probably be somewhere along the lines of “You did good kid”.
How lucky are you and why?
I get conflicted every time I’m asked this question. In one sense I consider myself to be a very lucky woman. I’m blessed with a life that many others will never experience, and I don’t take any of it for granted, which I think has come from a combination of hard work and taking opportunities when they’ve been presented. On the other hand, I don’t believe in coincidence. There have been a few occasions in my life when I’m certain the universe has given me a hand. I believe some things are meant to happen, and that certain people are meant to come into our lives, whether it’s pre-destined or designed by ourselves.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
Hmmm, I guess it depends on who you ask. In general I consider myself a pretty open book. I actively work on being vulnerable and pushing my personal boundaries as I’ve found that reaps the biggest rewards.
Some people might be surprised to know I grew up in rural Southern Ontario, in between two small towns, surrounded by fields of crops and cattle for about the first 18 years of my life. My first job was working as a hired hand on my neighbours dairy farm. Probably not the first thing you’d expect when meeting me. Ha.
What makes you laugh? What is fun for you?
What makes me laugh? My boyfriend, Brandon. He’s always sending me funny memes from shows we watch, or jokes he makes up, or links to ridiculous stuff he found on the internet. He’s not afraid to be goofy or silly which is awesome.
As for what I can consider fun? Meeting new people, going to shows, collaborating, coming up with new ideas, experiencing new things, travelling. I’m an explorer at heart, and I’m always searching for something unique-something that fosters connection. That said, I’m also quite content to just chill in a park all day, or explore the city. I’m easy to please.
What is your favourite quote?
‘Aut Viam Inveniam Aut Faciam’ it’s a Latin phrase, which roughly translates to ‘I will either find a way or make one’. I consider this my personal mantra, so much so that I have it tattooed on my body. It’s how I govern my life, if I can’t find a way to do something, or I can’t do what I want through existing channels, then I’ll make my own way.
What inspires you?
It’s constantly changing. Though I frequently find myself drawn to the work of Patti Smith. There’s something about how raw and real she is in everything she does that inspires me to continue to search and create. I’ve read her autobiography ‘Just Kids’ numerous times and it’s something I find myself returning to over and over again.
For more and more, please enter the empire and connect with Kat in any forum below!
If you haven’t already, I hope you are lucky enough to meet her in person one day too! 🙂
As always, have a groovy day, everybuddy!