When I first heard there was a new YouTube reality show starring a “Mr. Kate,” I thought, I’m there! After all, more YouTube reality shows starring trans people is exactly what we need. There simply aren’t enough of those to even whet my appetite right now. The desire is insatiable, folks.
But then it turned out that “Mr. Kate” wasn’t trans at all, and I learned that Mr. Kate was Kate Albrecht, a sort of do-it-all designer/stylist/DIY guru/tastemaker. Her Mr. Kate blog has attracted millions of eyeballs and includes faithful celebrity followers like Zooey Deschanel, Vanessa Hudgens, Miranda Cosgrove and Reese Witherspoon, among others. So in essence, Kate is basically like me, and Mr. Kate is like NMR, except that Vanessa Hudgens has hated us ever since the lingerie/Zac Efron incident that took place at that one after-party — that b*tch.
Anyhow, Kate is starring in “OMG We Bought a House,” a new YouTube reality show on her Mr. Kate YouTube channel in which she shares the spotlight with her husband, Joey Zehr, who also happens to be the COO of her Mr. Kate empire. In the show, Kate and Joey customize and decorate their new L.A. pad with viewer suggestions and comments in mind — yes, it’s an interactive series, and we desperately want a Hello Kitty fabric wall 4chan moment (see interview below). Prospective viewers can expect to learn a lot about house transformation and decorating through the how-to bent of the show. Finally, the show is brought to you by top YouTube women’s network Kin Community.
Kate and Joey were kind enough to provide answers to a few of my questions, all of which you can enjoy below.
How did you two guys meet? What’s the love story there?
Kate: We met filming an ultra-cheesy teenybopper movie in which Joey played the heartthrob and I played the b*tchy head cheerleader.
If Kate is “Mr. Kate,” does that make Joey “Mrs. Kate”?
Joey: If by “Mrs.” you mean is really tall and manly and strong and cunning, then yes.
So you guys just bought a house … and this is your real house you’ll be renovating and decorating with suggestions from viewers? What if viewers demanded red fabric Hello Kitty walls?
Kate: It is definitely our real house and we are taking suggestions from viewers. We thankfully have a lot of amazing and creative fans so the decorating recommendations coming in via comments on our YouTube and blog are very inspiring to us. I’m sure our two giant cats would love a Hello Kitty fabric wall in their poo poo palace (yes, they have their own room to do their business in privacy, because #whynot).
How did the idea for this show come up? Did you always know when buying the house that you would make a series of it?
Kate: Everything about our brand revolves around the Mr. Kate lifestyle, and buying a house is such a big step in anyone’s life, it only made sense to take our audience on our journey. We love reality design shows on TV and we wanted to do something that hasn’t been done before by creating a more interactive series in that style online. When we proposed the idea to Kin Community they understood our vision and immediately supported our efforts. We decided to shoot the episodes in real time to allow viewers to participate in the process.
What part of the house are you most looking forward to personalizing, and why?
Kate: For me, I’m looking forward to re-doing the master closet so all of my precious shoes can have a cozy and organized home. Joey is really excited to tackle turning the garage into the ultimate drum studio/hang out space.
Joey, are you honestly as excited as Kate to decorate the house?
Joey: Meeting Kate was one of the greatest things ever, because I realized there’s other couch options besides futons. I’m excited that there are opportunities to do larger scale renovations. I tend to leave most of the decorating choices to Kate, as long as she keeps her addiction to chandeliers in check.
If you guys have completely opposite visions for a room — who ends up winning out?
Kate: I enjoy the challenge of making a room work from many different design perspectives. Joey’s vision gives me fun parameters to work within to find the compromise in our styles … but of course I always win!
Kate, one can kind of see your evolution into a DIY maven by looking at your YouTube channel. Did you always think you’d be doing what you’re now doing?
Kate: No, it has been an organic revelation that I’m most happy when expressing my creativity, and I feel excited to be building a business that allows me to do that every day. I’m constantly learning new techniques and getting inspired by the internet community. New media is the new frontier, and I like being a cowgirl with a glue gun.
Who is your biggest inspiration in what you do?
Kate: Honestly the readers and viewers that participate in our community every day are the peeps that inspire me most. I love seeing how people interpret the creative projects or wear my designs in their own lives. I couldn’t do what I do without the constant exchange of creative energy.
Thanks so much for these great questions; it’s very flattering NewMediaRockstars is interested in what we’re doing! Make sure you tune in to our blog and YouTube for more fun content, and here’s to creating outside the box in 2014!