Meet NYC’s Cool Girl & Hot Boss, Kate Wasserbach Moore
Her brand baby, Abel Honor, is high-end but accessible, edgy but still glamorous. And fans include A$AP Rocky and Bella Hadid. We sat down with the boss bitch to get the deets on how she built her brand, tips for finding a supportive partner, and her cool-girl, Abel Honor guide to NYC.
How did you come up with the aesthetic and vision for Abel Honor?
I knew I eventually wanted to own a fashion and lifestyle label that was multi dimensional. I wanted to sell the idea of AHNY, rather than the product. When I started AHNY, I thought ‘Who is this guy/girl?’, ‘Where do they vacation/dine/dream?’, ‘What neighborhood in Manhattan do they live?’, ‘What is their perfect date night?’, etc. Having this vision and loyalty to ‘your person’ really helps you develop the idea and brand.
Building a brand from scratch the day after you left your previous role couldn’t have been easy. How did you stay dedicated and goal-driven, while still balancing everything else in your life and staying grounded?
It was not easy at all, but any entrepreneur can tell you that. Adjusting from only working in large corporations to working and committing to a business that was not even running yet was an extreme tribulation. But success does not come without challenge, this I knew. RFK once said, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” Goal-driven was not my problem when I first started, in fact, I was so committed to growing this business that I never looked up from my work. I had to relearn the work/life balance. It was very hard for me to juggle. My husband, friends, and family were there for me to help me renavigate my social life.
What is your advice for someone eager to take a leap of faith and start their own brand/follow their dreams, but may be hesitant to leave their normal 9-to-5 in pursuit of something unknown?
Ugh, I really do not think anyone can prep you for starting your own business and the risk factors that come with it. Taking a leap of faith and starting your own brand requires courage and belief in yourself. The days are long, but the years are short. Some advice I would give is to properly plan and prepare by researching and developing a clear vision for your venture. Surround yourself with a support system of mentors and loved ones who believe in your dreams. Even though you are on this road alone, it is so important to have your cheerleaders. Also, embrace failure as a valuable teacher and learn from setbacks. Practice perseverance and resilience, staying committed even in the face of adversity is so important. ALWAYS Remember that success takes time, but with dedication and unwavering belief in yourself, you can transform your dreams into reality. A great piece of advice that I will always remember, told to me from my friend Ella (owner of Stitchroom) is, “celebrate the small wins.” This helped me so much when building AHNY because a win is a win, big or small…stay humble and celebrate it. The small wins are the ones that keep you going. Before you know it, someday you’ll just look up and be like, “Wow, I did that…”
You and your husband look so cute together! Your film wedding photos are giving editorial spread! How did you two meet?
Thank you! Travis and I are high school sweethearts! We’ve had 14 years of cute-sie, gushy, and cliché imagery—so an editorial approach was the route we wanted to take. We had an unconventional approach in aesthetic, but I think it is because we were so secure in our story. In our eyes, two had already become one, so now it was just a time for celebration with friends and family who have been with us for the ride.
A lot of driven women complain about men being intimidated by their success or not being able to support their goals—how does your husband support yours and do you have any tips for other girl bosses out there looking for bae?
Ha! Well, I would tell anyone that if your partner doesn’t support your dreams and goals, then keep it moving. This is a non-negotiable for both Travis, and I—as we are both very passionate in our own ways. I am equally his number one fan in his profession as he is in mine.
When I met Travis in high school, I was actively on the path to where I am now. At 17 I was very busy taking the proper steps to get into Parsons, and kept very busy in my craft—so he didn’t really have a say in my career path and goals as I was already on the train. He would either have to hop on, or miss it! Perhaps that is what made him fall in love with me? He has supported me every step of the way, in fact, the running joke is how I refer to him as my ‘full time intern.’ I truly have been calling him this since 2009! He has a full time career in finance, but he also helps manage all of Abel Honor’s finances. He is very much a part of my day-to-day at work, and at home. My success is a product of Travis.
Girlfriends, find yourself a man who supports your dreams—and your realities! Because once you start pursuing your dreams, it becomes a reality REALLY quick. If your boyfriend is intimidated by your successes, that is a ‘them’ problem…not you. Putting you down to build themselves up is simply a HARD NO.
We love the new Swan Lake footwear collection, it’s giving us Black Swan vibes! What are some other things that are inspiring you lately?
Our next collection that debuted on June 26th, is called New Wave. New Wave is inspired by nostalgia, but of course with an edgy twist, in typical Abel Honor fashion. Inspiration is all around me, I look for it in people, places, and things…my team never knows what is going to come out of my mouth next as far as concept!!
Which of the shoes from the collection do you find yourself wearing the most?
I wear the Devants or the sneakers the most because they are more functional for the day to day run around. But my favorites are the Reverence Heel Boot, that was the passion project that started it all!
If Abel Honor had its own playlist, what are some songs or artists that would be on it?
Oh man, tough one! It would have a nice variety. Some headliners would be Biggie, Lupe Fiasco, Elvis Presley, Matisyahu, The Allman Brothers, Kid Cudi, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Bob Marley…Music is a huge part of me, and my inspiration—so, it truly is impossible to sick to one genre and artist!
Fans of your brand include A$AP Rocky and Bella Hadid. Is there anyone you’d love to see in Abel Honor that you haven’t had a chance to yet?
Whomever the first lady is at the time! That would be iconic.
If you were to curate a “Abel Honor guide to NYC,” what are some places that would be on the list?
Oh, this would be so fun. I have lived in almost every neighborhood south of 20th street from the East River to the Hudson! Frank for 2 am full course Italian post-going out (or pre!) always hits, Forgetmenot bar, 11th Street Café for coffee, Paul’s always has a good DJ—no EDM, Union Square at 9 pm on a Friday for people watching, Estancia 460 is a hidden gem for a Saturday brunch. I could go on and on, but I think that covers food, drink, and social!
What’s next for Abel Honor—or what’s on the agenda for you this summer?
Busy! We are scheduled to launch five drops from now until the New Year!