Get to Know Team MR: Kate Barnett, President

Where were you before this?

I left L2 Think Tank to work on a business idea with a friend of mine about a year before I started working with Leandra. At L2 I was doing research and writing their Digital IQ Reports while consulting for luxury brands on their digital strategy.

What did you go to school for?

I concentrated in Government, but I should have gone with History of Science. If anyone reading this is about to pick a major, unless you’re a in specific trade, I don’t think it actually matters that much.

How did you find/get started at Man Repeller?

My business partner at the time, Michael Harper, designed and developed both Into The Gloss and Man Repeller. He went in-house as a co-founder at Into The Gloss and introduced me to Leandra. She and I started working together on digital strategy and brand collaborations shortly thereafter.

Favorite part of your job?

Being challenged both creatively and analytically, seeing a concept come to life, and the element of newness that’s inherent in growing a company. That, and the team we’ve built. Working with kind, intelligent, thoughtful weirdos who make me laugh — that’s a joy.

Least favorite part of your job?

The parts that feel the worst often end up being the most rewarding to figure out, so when I look back at them it’s usually with a mixed sense of “that was a shitshow,” and “wow, this team is amazing.”

What’s one thing that surprised you in your path up until now?

My goals shifted with each opportunity, so I don’t think anything surprised me, but nothing was predictable.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Veterinary herbalist? Well-rested? Working at Man Repeller? Yep, working at Man Repeller.

What’s one piece of advice you can offer to anyone who wants a job similar to yours?

Tell your boss what you want to do so you can map a path. A good manager is invested in seeing you succeed, and will help you get there. Also, trust yourself and take chances when it feels right.

Advice for those who have no clue what they want to do?

Just get started. Try out different roles and industries, find the elements of each role that you enjoy and you’ll start to figure it out. Chances are you’ll be working your ass off — particularly if you’re at a start up — but if you can find those pieces that drive you and gain an understanding of how you work, everything will start to come together.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Being inspired and fulfilled in your work is a luxury — most people don’t get that opportunity. So even if finding that path is stressful and confusing, recognize how fortunate you are to have choices and try to be honest with yourself about what you want.

Tell me something weird about yourself.

I am exceptionally good at picking perfectly ripe fruit and applying drugstore glue-on nails. I’m also pretty sure I have webbed feet, but no one who has seen my feet agrees.

Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis.


Get more Pop Culture ?
  • Amelia Diamond

    K8 IS GR8!

    • Yvonne Dunlevie

      Fun fact everyone: K8 also knows everything!!

      • Kate Barnett

        …amelia’s comment felt nice. yours felt like you’ve seen me intensely inspecting a squishy olive pit with a look of wonder.

        • Krista Anna Lewis

          This is how I’m going to describe you to friends and family from now on.

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    • Kate Barnett

      thanks, ma!

    • Kate Barnett

      thanks, ma!

  • Hi Kate 🙂 I take it you are also responsible for MR Twitter presence? I am new to Twitterverse and enjoy MR tweets a lot. I often know which posts they are referring to and still want to go there and reread them …
    I was also reminded how easily we forget or how often we do not realize loving our job really IS precious … 😉

    • Kate Barnett

      oooh, credit for that goes to harling and yvonne, who you’ll be meeting very soon! the branded partnerships that i build out include social, and I’ll get involved in strategy here and there, but for the most part I don’t create content. probably a better explanation of what i do is that I focus on making money for Man Repeller.

  • Dear Kate,

    Thank you for producing Oh Boy. It’s awesome.


  • Pamela

    Hey Kate I love Oh Boy, have listened to every episode, thank you!! I would love it if we could get new episodes faster 🙂 🙂 🙂 pleaseeeeeee…

    • Kate Barnett

      Hey Pamela! Love love love hearing that! We hope to ramp back up to once a week again, soon. It’s really nice to create something that has a different rhythm and falls more in the category of long form, slow media, but that also takes a bit more time to pull together and right now it’s just Jay and me working on them. Keep an eye out for next Tuesday’s episode, though — it’s soooooo good!

      • Kate Barnett

        oh! also if anyone wants to sponsor the show, that would help too! email!

      • Pamela

        Yeah that’s what I figured, the content and the interviews are so good that is better not to rush it, I rather wait 🙂 I love listening to all these women talking about their careers and how they get where they are, it is very inspiring for someone starting out like me. Jay does an amazing job with his interviews. btw in your interview you are talking about building sales and marketing teams, I might be a good fit, will send my resume (blushed smiley face).

        • Kate Barnett

          do it!!!!! send it to careers at manrepeller dot com (writing it out to dodge bots).