Today we’d like to introduce you to Katherine Muñoz and Xio Greif.
Katherine and Xio, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
We grew up in a creative family that encouraged us to explore our interests. We both pursued careers in design (fashion and architecture). We often talked about creating products and having a shop. After a backpacking trip to Europe, we got inspired to form a collaborative studio on the side, with the aim to create products that we seeked for ourselves. Xiokat started with one of a kind clothing and handmade jewelry. We would sell our designs at local craft shows and through Etsy. Just getting started allowed us to explore and hone in on our style which eventually evolved into our current aesthetic – minimal and feminine with an emphasis on comfort. We draw our inspiration from our travels, modern design, and the creative people we meet along the way.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Every journey has its highs and lows. We’ve been lucky to have a supportive family and to be part of such an inspiring community. When we started, we didn’t know a lot about running a small business, especially a fashion brand, but we jumped in, asked people, made mistakes and figured it out along the way. And we are still figuring it out!
One of our struggles has been sourcing fabrics, particularly sustainable and ecofriendly options in our preferred color palette and at the price point we want to be at. Over the years, the market has grown and we are seeing more companies reevaluate their processes and offer options that are better for the environment, but many require high quantity orders.
Another challenge is time management. We both work full time at the same design firm which, being a creative job, requires a lot of our energy and time. We both love what we do in our careers but also have a lot of heart for this brand, so creating time outside of work hours can be hard but we do our best to make the time, however minimal.
Sometimes we do need to take breaks, and while before we felt the pressure of pushing through, we now like to call it a pause. Hitting pause allows us to make space to rest and explore other curiosities that end up inspiring us to continue down the path we have chosen. This year we took a pretty long pause but felt it was necessary for our souls. It helped us realign with our vision and define how we want to build our brand, that doesn’t necessarily need to follow the standard model. We’re excited to share these ideas and the new collection in the coming months.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Xiokat story. Tell us more about the business.
We design clothing and accessories that are modern and comfortable; minimal silhouettes with unique details to set it apart. Our aim is to use ecofriendly fabrics with minimal waste. Our first few collections were made from fabric scraps and repurposed pieces from thrift shops. As we learned more about the fashion industry and the shift that took American made to fast fashion overseas, we really wanted to return to sourcing and working with local vendors. We feel this is one of our core values and are proud to not sway from this no matter what the industry trends may be.
What we thinks sets us apart is our own unique story and experiences that we infuse into the design of our products. We are also okay with taking our time with the process, which may mean that we do not follow the typical seasonal collection model, but focus on essential pieces that come out when we feel the time is right.
Our big dream would be create or work with other local designers to build a South Florida garment district, revive the craft and create opportunities for local skilled workers.
- Website: www.xiokat.com
- Instagram: @xiokat
- Facebook: xiokat
Kayla Mendez (photographer for photoshoot images)