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Q&A with Kathryn McCoy

Mable Yiu

By Emily Allen

Where did your inspiration for this unique design style come from?

My inspiration comes from a combination of nature itself and high-fashion design; mixing and intertwining two elements into one. Conceptually, my desire is to take a hard surface and give it fluid and motion; as a result, the two elements of hardness and fluidity work together as one in a finished product. For example, when I am designing a new lamp or piece of furniture, I want the piece to feel organic as if it came from nature itself, while at the same time, I want the design to look like a piece of art that can be utilized in the space for which it was intended to be seen.

Who were/are your design influences? 

As an Artist/Designer, I am influenced by many different aspects in the art/design world; looking at the rock sculptures done previously by artists like Picasso or looking at the construction of a jacket designed by Christian LaCroix can have a profound influence on how I build a base in which to apply my natural stones. For example, looking at a beautiful waterfall or a modern structural building has also influenced my design concepts when I create products.

Was your crystal concept your original vision, or did this aesthetic develop over time?

The original concept and vision was offered to me (and, my former business partner), when we were challenged to create a gift item made out of Brazilian Quartz stone for one of the high-end luxury retail chains; hence, the "original" quartz votive was created and made as a result over 20 years ago.

You make your commitment to excellence and client satisfaction very evident. What does this commitment to excellence and satisfaction mean to you?

As a business owner, I am well aware of the importance of doing and honoring what your agreement is with every customer that purchases one of our products. We follow through on doing what we say we are going to do - no excuses. We stand by our commitment to excellence at KATHRYN MCCOY and we do our best not let any products ship out to our wonderful customers without first passing our quality control criteria test.  

Can you tell us what each of your four essential words - natural, beautiful, pure, and seductive - mean to you and your work?

When trying to conjure up a way to express the feeling, the emotion, if you will, to best describe my products, I felt that these four "essential words" fit what we were trying to express. Our products are called "natural," because they truly come from nature and we do not alter or change the natural stones in any way. If the stone does not have a natural point, we do not create one. Our products are called "beautiful," because they areGod's gift of beauty to the earth; the colors of the stones are unique and one of a kind. Our products are called "pure," because the rock crystals are simply taken from the earth -- you can't get more pure than that. Our products are "seductive," because they mesmerize you and tease you with their beauty.  They help to create a sexy, seductive environment.

What is it about the crystals that most appeals to buyers? 

The fact that they are so natural and beautiful.  Many buyers are drawn to their seemingly healing powers and others just love the way they bring natural energy into an environment.

Is each piece one of a kind? If so, how does this impact your design and production process?

Each piece is one of a kind in the sense that no two stones are alike, so it makes each piece unique and special. In the production process, the bases are all the same size and shape, but when the stones are attached, each piece becomes unique because of the stone angles and the way light dances across the stones do make each piece unique. 

Where do the materials for the crystals come from? Do their places of origin differ depending on the type of crystal?

The stones that I purchase come from all over the world. For example, my clear quartz, amethyst, rose quartz, and Citrine come from Brazil.  My rubies and garnets come from India, my calcites come from Mexico, and my golden pyrite comes from Peru. My selenite, Aragonite, and desert rose comes from Morocco. Some of my stones come from Madagascar, Turkey,  Africa, and the like. Essentially, where I can purchase beautiful stones, I purchase them.

How do you keep the balance between nature and art?

My balance comes from designing my stones around a base that allows for the organic stones to flow as if nature itself created the base or the structure; the "art" is a part of that combination of base and stone together forming the shape.

The beauty of your pieces lies in their versatility, but is there a quintessential room or space that the KATHRYN MCCOY piece lives?

Versatility is the key; the KATHRYN MCCOY pieces have been placed as chandeliers in Hotels like the Mandarin, walls of stone adorning office lobby's and foyers, furniture placed in traditional homes, as well as, modern spaces, lamps, votives, bookends, jewelry boxes and the like placed randomly and purposefully in bedrooms, bathrooms, dining rooms, show-houses and the like. Any piece that I design can be translated and inducted into any location depending on the vision of my buyer. 

Where can we buy KATHRYN MCCOY pieces now? Where will see them in the future?

KATHRYN MCCOY pieces are sold to over 500 retail stores and high-end interior designers worldwide. To name a few, one can view our pieces at Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Between the Sheets, William Eubanks in Palm Beach, Richard Mishaan in New York City, Urban Flower Grange Hall in Dallas, Wynns Home Store in Las Vagas, and countless other stores through out the United States including France, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Dubai and Saudi Arabia.

Are there any other projects or ventures on the horizon for KATHRYN MCCOY design? 

Currently, I am working on beautiful furniture for the dining room, bedroom and living room area. I am also designing reception desks for high-end hotels and display tables for hi-end specialty stores. Along with wall panels in various stone choices for industrial and living space locations. At KATHRYN MCCOY, we are very excited about our growth and development as we move forward into 2016!


Photos by York Wilson for KATHRYN MCCOY.