Katrina Stoneking is a visionary when it comes to styling women. Her long-standing history in the fashion industry, coupled with her love for travel, make for a whimsical style that closet dreams are made of. Operating as a personal shopper for many of her loyal following, Katrina helps her clients stay stylish in the new normal with consultations via Zoom, FaceTime, and other social distancing means. You can shop her latest looks online, or schedule a call to discuss your individual style needs. We caught up with Katrina last week to get the scoop on Bitsy Stoneking. Here’s everything you need to know about this local fashion powerhouse.
PBSD: Bitsy Stoneking is such a great resource for high-end, affordable clothing! What can you tell us about the brands you carry?
BS: The brands we carry are sourced from around the globe. Often our brands are found from the country we last traveled and the stores we had visited and done research and talked to the designers and manufacturers. Our latest collection is designed and made in Greece. We enjoy carrying amazing high end brands that you won’t find everywhere.
PBSD: Some of us are returning to our normal lives outside the home, while others are staying in. Can you tell us about some of your favorite looks for those in either camp?
BS: Our favorite looks for either staying in or going out are an easy dress to throw on. Either our Jones dress from Paris, the Katharine Mini Kaftan or Anastacia Kaftan from Greece. All are lightweight, chic, and comfortable.
PBSD: Women can buy your clothing in a number of ways: through your website, at trunk shows, and through personal shopping. Not everyone is ready to venture out, and some of us simply can’t. Are you offering digital solutions for those clients who need them?
BS: We are offering one on one digital consultations – either live via Zoom, FaceTime, etc. or through filling out a survey and then sending choices via email with additional pictures. We also offer curbside pickup or drop off within Palm Beach County.
PBSD: You’ve had such an interesting life, living all over the country. Tell us a bit about that!
BS: I grew up in Delray Beach in Lake Ida, went to college for business and retail at the University of South Carolina where I wound up double majoring in management and marketing and double minoring in Fashion Merchandising and Retail (with an emphasis on global retail), was offered an internship with Miller Brewing Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and then was offered a full time job after graduation. After 3 more years in Milwaukee I took a promotion to Bentonville, Arkansas to call on Walmart – spent 2 1/2 years there, and then moved to Los Angeles for 4 years where I worked for Red Bull in Distribution Strategy, the Directed the Analytics and Insights teams at Pabst Brewing and then later Bacardi. My husband and I moved back East to start a family and wound up in Charlotte, where we spent 4 years and I transferred to a Wine and Champagne company. We moved back home to South Florida about 2 1/2 years ago.
PBSD: Where did your passion for style and fashion come from?
BS: I grew up in the fashion industry from a different perspective, my mother worked for Saks Fifth Avenue before going into Interior Design. I grew up picking pins off the floor, folding shirts, walking in the children’s runway shows, I was always around high fashion and loved it. My mother and step mother taught me how to sew.
PBSD: How did you get into the fashion industry?
BS: I followed fashion into college and backed it up with business. In college I would sew dresses as well. When I moved to LA I started a children’s and collegiate apparel shop. After moving back to Charlotte, I used the contacts I had built in LA to start in women’s apparel and accessories.
PBSD: Stoneking is your last name, but where did the name Bitsy come from?
BS: Bitsy came from wanting to name our daughter with that name. My husband and I then fell in love with another name for our daughter and you can see her actual name in the boutique from time to time, when she has seen a dress and really liked it.
PBSD: We absolutely love that you donate 10% of all profits to SCAD. Tell us why this is so important to you, and why you chose this organization.
BS: SCAD stands for Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection – a rare condition. I had 3 heart attacks due to stress and baseline hormones in 2017 and have spent the last 3 year refocusing my priorities and my life while recovering. My recovery process really turned around a year and a half ago because of the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, where they are the lead researchers in SCAD. My cardiology team thankfully got me into a clinical trial with stem cells, it was a rough process but an amazing result. (If people are curious they can look up CD34+ stem cell research through the Mayo Clinic site) 90% of the money that SCAD Research raises goes back to research into the Mayo Clinic. That is why I donate 10% back, I wouldn’t be alive without the amazing cardiology team at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
PBSD: How frequently do you get new looks? How often should we be checking back in for the latest trends at Bitsy Stoneking?
BS: We add new things to the site at least once a month! Sign up for our newsletter to see when the latest collections come in! Our next imports will be from Spain, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, and Haiti.
For more information on Bitsy Stoneking, visit www.bitsystonekingshop.com.