Hi! I'm Kate VanAsten, owner of Wulfka. I'm an amateur gardener, long-distance cyclist, and lifelong tomboy. Oh, and I make clothes!
I grew up in a small Wisconsin town where fashion was utilitarian. I think that's why I prefer my clothing designs to be practical, minimalist, and easy. Fashion should be effortless. Fabrics should be washable. Clothes should just look good so that you can move on to more important things!
I always loved sewing. I loved creating functional, tangible things with my hands. In high school I became interested in how things are produced globally. A curiosity of labor rights sparked a love of economics and an awareness of the impact that our spending habits have around the world. Now as a business owner, I'm passionate about all things made locally. I love creating jobs, treating workers well, and giving back to the community. I'm super proud that all Wulfka garments are produced in Chicago.
I studied fashion design at FIT in New York. After graduating, I moved to Chicago and launched Wulfka in 2013 from an extra room in my apartment where I designed and sewed every piece. I live in Chicago's Avondale neighborhood with my husband Zak, our coonhound Musubi Burger King, and our three turtles: Nacho Man, Vegetable, and Optimus Slime.
A few years ago I started a side project--"Im-Peach-Mint Candles"-- to raise money for the ACLU. With the help of my business contacts and my awesome customers, I've been able to raise over $17,000 to defend human rights! Click here for more info.