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AuH2O Designs

Setting up AuH2O Williamsburg

October 4, 2013 | Filed Under Business, DIY, Williamsburg Store

Since I got the keys to the new store Tuesday, the past few days have been action packed. My friends and I opened the store up for the first time that night:

opening the shop for the first time

…and took some measurements. Here are a few “before” shots of what the store looked like when we got in:

BEFORE front


I know, you hate that magenta wall in the back, and what the fudge is with that carpet? Don’t worry about that. But otherwise it’s HUGE! And the ceilings are so highhhhhhh. The former tenant left her racks/pipes for me, which was really nice, but they were double decker, and I don’t want my customers to have to ask for help to take a skirt down from the top shelf. Too much work. So we went to Home Depot to get pipes the size I wanted, along with shelves, paint, and supplies:

Home Depot

Then we went to Garin’s shop, Hewn Bros, to make a dressing room wall. That, along with the lighting, is probably the best thing about this new store.

Making the dressing room wall

Tuesday night was a big one and a late one, so Wednesday we took it easy a little. We painted a layer of primer over the magenta wall and started removing the current pipes. Then, last night we really got down to business. Garin lit the store up like a stadium, Keelan stripped a wall, and they measured, leveled and started drilling in the pipes.


putting in the pipes

Matt and Claire stopped by with dinner and lent a hand with the pipes:

round one

Erika may have had the worst job of the night, pulling off the former tenant’s decal:

scraping the former decal

Joe showed up in a suit straight from his friend’s wedding. But that didn’t stop him:

Joe showed up in his suit

Nate and Katy brought pizza and a sunny disposition:

these two

Nate and Garin took some measurements for the shelves #goodfriends #CLOSEfriends

friends helping friends out

Nate and Keelan put in the shelves while Garin built the dressing room:

doing the shelves

Katy and I painted a few layers of a nice, soft eggshell over the primer:

painting the dressing room

And this is where we are now. Please take note that we ripped out that awful carpet, and today I’m painting the linoleum gold.

making serious progress

We worked til 2am last night because my friends are really just the absolute best. And it shows. The walls are painted, all of the pipes are in, the dressing room is up (I just have to sew a curtain), the lights are the jam, and the store is looking like a store. I still need some essential furniture like a desk and chair, and I need a little bit more stock to fill the place, but we will be open soon - maybe even this Sunday. We’ll have a soft opening week while we nail out the kinks and the official opening will be Saturday the 12th. Come by from 3-5pm for a big opening sale, treats, and Goldwater wine (that’s a real thing, and it’s delicious.) And you may have guessed it, but my mom will also be there.

Save the Date for the Opening Party October 12th! 421 Graham Ave. off Withers. 3-5pm. Hope to see you then!


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To Celebrate AuH2O’s Seven Year Anniversary…

October 1, 2013 | Filed Under Business, Williamsburg Store

I’m opening up a second store! AuH2O is expanding!

I’m really, REALLY excited. I feel like that dog that wants to run around the yard as fast as he can and jump in all the leaves. I cannot run in enough circles about this, I cannot really even type about this, I’m way, way, way too excited. I just signed the lease and got the keys and own a second store as of TODAY!

keys to the new store

The second AuH2O will be in Williamsburg, obviously, because we are very hip #jk #lololololololololololololol. The address is 421 Graham Ave. off of Withers, four blocks down from the Graham L stop.

There’s deargodsomuch to do and it’ll take some time to paint, do renovations, install the pipes, build the dressing room, configure all the lighting, etc, but I’m thinking we’ll be good to go by October 12th. Save the date for the second AuH2O’s opening party! More details and photos to come as we set up the place.

Happy Anniversary to AuH2O and HBD to AuH2O2!


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Gallatin Fashion Show: MusiCouture

April 12, 2013 | Filed Under Fashion Show

For the THIRD time now, Gallatin put on an incredible fashion show this year, this one with the theme “MusiCouture.” Past years included “Eco-ture” and then “Sexposed” - check those posts for photos. Participating in these Gallatin fashion shows is so fun and exciting, and it makes me jealous we didn’t have them when I was in school. Oh well, at least I still get to enjoy it now!

This year’s theme was the intersection of music and fashion, so I chose to make my line about the ways music and fashion recycle one another. Always with the recycling. Here was my artist statement for my line Evolve/Revolve:

We always hear that fashion repeats itself. Designers use vintage inspiration to create new looks, trends go out and come back in, fashion is cyclical, etc. Music follows a similar pattern. Musicians are influenced by other musicians, artists build upon older rhythms, and DJs mash-up classic hits with top 40 tunes.

Because music and fashion are so intertwined in pop culture, this line explores how they both recycle the sounds and style of each other. Modern artists borrow beats from their predecessors, like Madonna’s ‘Express Yourself’ to Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’; themes, such as Bruce Springstein’s ‘Born in the USA’ to Miley Cyrus’ ‘Party in the USA’; and iconic clothing, i.e. Kesha dressing like an 80s hair band. Though it isn’t only artists mimicking former artists, there are also the fashion movements that go along with them. What was the patchwork, suede and flowing floral hippy-dippy look at Woodstock is now updated and more polished at the indie interpretation, Coachella.

Lastly, the mash-up is a fantastic form of recycling music, and fashion on the side. Take MC Hammer’s ‘2 Legit 2 Quit’ with Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’: did DJs put these songs together because Psy was wearing drop-crotch hammer pants?

To complete the theme, all of the looks are made from recycled materials as well, old clothes turned into new.Musicfashion, and vintage clothing all evolving and revolving around one another.
And here are some photos from the Look Book, thanks to the unbearably talented Rebecca Yale:

Rebecca Yale Photography

Rebecca Yale Photography

Rebecca Yale Photography

Rebecca Yale Photography

Rebecca Yale Photography

And me introducing the line on the runway:

Kate Goldwater

Followed by a few of the looks, photos by Dani Grant:

Photo by Dani Grant

Photo by Dani Grant

Photo by Dani Grant

Huge thanks to Rebecca Yale and Dani Grant for photos, and Rachel Plutzer, Theresa Anderson, and Dhara Vyas for putting on such a professional and awesome fashion show! Can’t wait to see what the theme for next year’s show will be!


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Feminism and Fashion

February 21, 2013 | Filed Under Feminism, Shopping

My two favorite things! Well, and soccer. Two out of three.

Anyway, my friend and all-time favorite writer, Jill Filipovic, wrote a piece for the Guardian giving a feminist case for Fashion Week that is AMAZING. Run and read it now if you haven’t already (I obsessively tweeted and facebooked about it when it was first published) and then let’s talk about the best parts:

“It’s New York fashion week, and there’s a lot to hate about it. The crash diets. The extremely skinny, disturbingly young runway models who are held up as “ideal”, and all the ways they’re exploited. Then there’s the extravagant cost of the clothing, where a shopper may drop in one trip what many Americans make in a month.”

Very true! I hate all of these things. I hate them so much that I avoid them at all costs through AuH2O. But let’s acknowledge that not all stores can be secondhand shops (and thanks Jill for saying such nice things about me):

“There are of course some extremely talented women who excel at perusing the aisles of thrift stores and second-hand shops, and who balance loving fashion with a dedication to social justice (no sweatshop labor) and the environment (recycled clothing). My friend Kate Goldwater, the owner of New York’s AuH2O boutique, is one of them. But stores like hers aren’t nearly as ubiquitous as designer shops, and women who work in places that demand business wear usually can’t get away with only rocking vintage and thrifted finds. And unlike men, women can’t recycle through the same three high-end suits and be considered ‘well-dressed’.”

I admit, we don’t carry much in the way of work-wear. In fact, when I’m stocking and come across office attire, I skip over it. BO-RING.

I don’t judge women who need or want to shop retail, and I do it myself occasionally - and always love it - it’s fun! While the industry itself is fucked up and needs to change in many ways (sweatshop labor, excessive waste, body image, etc), the consumers aren’t at fault for enjoying clothing and shopping. But we always hear that woman who like fashion are shallow, vapid, stupid or silly:

“Displays of pure consumption to signal social and economic status are not exactly progressive, but it’s hypocritical to single out women for being shallow in their wardrobe spending. Men spend money on things that are just as unnecessary and just as intended to signal class and social tribe. For men, items like bespoke suits, fancy cars or innumerable electronics somehow signal a James Bond image, not a shallow one.”

YES! Go on:

“There’s nothing that makes an afternoon of shopping any sillier than an afternoon watching football; there’s nothing inherently less useful about a handbag than a new video game. But because fashion and clothes are stereotypically feminine pursuits and sports are stereotypically masculine, fashion is frivolous and sports are awesome. Women who spend money on themselves are self-involved. Men who do are either dapper or early adapters of the gadget du jour or just “that guy with the boat”.

Men, in fact, spend more money on consumer products than women. They spend $11 a day more on average, and they’re less likely to be the kind of smart shopper who compares prices and returns items they don’t like. But men aren’t considered frivolous spenders, because the connotations of the very word “frivolity” are feminine.”

Preach, Jill. I loved the shit out of this. Next can you write a piece that includes soccer? Just kidding, unless…


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Hurricane Sandy Benefit Mondays

December 5, 2012 | Filed Under Business, Shopping, hurricane sandy

Over the past month, most everyone I know has asked if I or the store was hit during Hurricane Sandy. I’m so fortunate to answer that no, neither my apartment nor the store had any flooding or damage at all. Our biggest loss was that the East Village had no power for a week and since we didn’t want to try to sell clothing by candle light, we had to close up shop. Of course it hurt to miss a week of sales, but ultimately, it’s not that much to complain about. And now that a month has gone by and we’re back on our feet, we’d like to help those who aren’t.

For the rest of December, each Monday will be a Hurricane Sandy Benefit Monday. We’ll be donating 15% of sales to All Hands Disaster Relief, and we’ll also be having a 15% off sale - everyone wins! 15% off for customers, and 15% of total sales to charity.

All Hands is an organization where my friends and I volunteered a few weeks ago. It’s a non-profit that provides hands-on immediate assistance to communities affected by natural disasters. We went to two homes in Staten Island that were completely flooded and helped gut and clean them out. First, since the superstorm washed in tons of sand and garbage to this basement, we had to shovel, bag, and wheelbarrow the muck out:

Cleaning out the sand/trash

Our crew shoveling and bagging:

Our volunteer crew

After all the sand and trash was cleared, we had to tear out all the drywall (it’s called “dry”wall not “wet”wall for a reason). This is our All Hands team leader Cliff leading the team:

Smashing drywall

Lunch break! Keelan and I taking five:

Taking a lunch break

And back to gutting


The final result!

The final result

All in one morning! It was amazing what a group of ten average New Yorkers hyper-competitive coed soccer teammates can get done. Having had All-Hands-on experience, I’m confident it’s a worthy organization to donate to.

Swing by any Monday this December, hope to see you!


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VOTE like Lena Dunham

October 30, 2012 | Filed Under Barack Obama

The election is ONE WEEK away! I know you’re like, “Where’s all the Obama fashion?” And the answer is that it turns out I don’t have as much energy as I did when I was 24, and I can’t stay up til 4am 3 nights/week painting Obama’s face on shirts and dresses and then sleeping at the store and then hosting Obama fashion shows back to back. But I’ve donated twice what I did in 2008, which I think makes up for it, right? Especially when Obama’s running against a Republican millionaire who only pays 13% in taxes who has millionaire friends who also only pay 13% in taxes and donate the rest to Super PACs to elect other millionaires so they can all keep paying 13% in taxes. While they continue to fuck up the lives of women, gays, immigrants, union workers and the environment.

Point is, I’m still just as passionate about Barack Obama winning this election as I was 4 years ago. So let’s all do as Lena Dunham says!


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Friendship Bracelets 2.0

September 11, 2012 | Filed Under DIY

Last summer, I got really into friendship bracelets. I read about them on the Man Repeller, promptly acquired a ton of embroidery floss, dug up my old friendship bracelet book, and went to town. See the results of last summer’s friendship bracelet obsession HERE.

So this summer I picked it up again, only this year things got crazier. I’d been reading some crafty blogs, and man oh man there are a LOT of friendship bracelet ideas and tutorials out there. The blog Honestly WTF’s DIY section is my new jam, I stumbled on this DIY embellished friendship bracelet post and knew I had to do it myself.

First, I bought some friendship bracelets on etsy here. I know, I took the easy way out, but I decided my labor was going into accessorizing the accessories. Then, I gathered a bunch of broken vintage earrings, rhinestones, buttons, beads, chain, pliers, glue, and a needle and thread:

gathering friendship bracelet making supplies

I started with what looked like the coolest, yet maybe most time consuming project: sewing gold chain onto the side of a friendship bracelet. I did both sides, so it took a long, long time. I suppose I now understand how Dannijo gets away with selling theirs for $80!

sewing chain

And the finished product looked awesome! Then I really went wild (as will happen when crafting) and just embellished the shit out of my friendship bracelets:

handmade embellished friendship braceletes

Fun looking, right? I wore them stacked together in what the Man Repeller would call an arm party, mixed in with vintage bracelets:

fleur de lis friendship bracelet arm party

Now I don’t want to brag, but I ALSO made the neon lanyard bracelet below, another friendship bracelet I used to make growing up. When I saw them on Noir’s website for $45, I wanted to give it another shot, and I found this I SPY DIY tutorial for a quick refresher.

Neon and rhinestone bracelets

And finally, because I couldn’t help myself with all these crafting blogs, I also made this rope-wrapped-chain bracelet from I SPY DIY, on the bottom of my wrist below:

embellished friendship bracelet arm party

If you’re into this kind of thing, check out these blogs (Honestly WTF and I SPY DIY), they have the best ideas and tutorials! Their projects require minimal materials, are easy to follow, and it’s so rewarding to do it yourself. There are still two more projects I want to try, the DIY wrap bracelet and the DIY macrame bracelet, but summer’s already over! Not that it matters as I plan to wear these year round anyway, emoticon smiley face.


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Feminists for Choice Happy Hour

September 5, 2012 | Filed Under Feminism

As a feminist, proponent of choice, and happy hour enthusiastic, I’m excited for AuH2O to be a part of the Feminists for Choice Happy Hour this Friday! After being part of the Feminist Guide to NYC, Janice Formichella asked if AuH2O would like to contribute to a happy hour to benefit the New York Abortion Access Fund. Duh! So we donated a $25 gift card that will be raffled off, or maybe just given out, as part of a gift bag. Super unfortunately I’ll be out of town this weekend (but I’m excited to be going camping!) so I won’t be able to attend, but if you’re around and in the East Village Friday, swing by Solas on 9th Street between 2nd and 3rd. Info below:

What: Cocktails, networking, and fundraising for the New York Abortion Access Fund
When: Friday, September 7th, 6-9pm
Where: Solas, 232 E. 9th St. b/t 2nd and 3rd
Why: It’s going to be a fun evening—a great opportunity to network with NYC feminists, learn about Feminists for Choice—all to benefit the New York Abortion Access Fund
Party perks: Solas will be offering great drink specials for the group all night, and
Feminists for Choice will be giving away an awesome gift bag (including $25 gift card to AuH2O Thriftique) for a lucky partier
RSVP here:
More info: email Janice Formichella at
Learn more about Feminists for Choice:
Learn more about the New York Abortion Access Fund:

Swing by Friday! Support Choice!


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Soccer Jersey Quilts

July 13, 2012 | Filed Under DIY, Eco-Fashion, soccer

I play a LOT of recreational, coed soccer. And my boyfriend plays a lot of soccer, and all of our friends play a lot of soccer. Each league that we play in insists on giving us new jerseys each season, so with three nights/week of soccer, and like so many friends (jk, lol) our closets all pile up with different color T-shirts with soccer balls on them. It’s a pretty massive waste, but I had an idea to reuse these jerseys - after all, that IS kind of the point of me. It was my boyfriend’s birthday and friend Nate’s birthday two weeks ago, so I collected all of our friends unwanted NY Coed Soccer jerseys to sew into giant quilts. Here’s the one I made for Nate:

Soccer jersey quilt front

And a view of the back, jerseys have to have numbers!

Soccer jersey quilt back

This wasn’t my first rodeo, though. I’ve made soccer t-shirt quilts in the past, starting with my tournament shirts from high school, and this quilt made from MLS jerseys:

MLS quilt

They look like throwback jerseys now, but these were the real deal in the early 2000s. The “MetroStars” haha. Before they were the Red Bulls!

MLS quilt up close

It turns out the quilts hold up! My friend still has this MLS quilt from nearly ten years ago, and it’s actually fitting, he now writes a blog for the Red Bulls, check it out, soccer fans: Once A Metro.

My friend Erika thinks I should start a side business, “Jersey Quilts by Kate Goldwater,” but I don’t think I have the time. I still have to make one for my boyfriend’s birthday two weeks ago…

Happy Friday! Have a good weekend!


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Memorial Day dress!

May 29, 2012 | Filed Under outfit

Happy Memorial Day! Here’s the dress I made and wore - the old red white and blue, stars and stripes. I love dressing in a theme for any reason, and I’ve kind of got a lot of USA pride lately.

Memorial Day dress

I’m sorry to say that this isn’t eco-friendly, I actually bought this spandex in the garment district, but I think it’s worth the $8 in material and hopefully the environmental harm (though that sounds terrible…) in that I got to wear it not only for Memorial Day, but also I’ll be rocking this July 4th, and MOST IMPORTANTLY: THE OLYMPICS! Can you even wait for the Olympics and to cheer for the US? I honestly can’t.

Anyway, hope everyone had a good holiday!


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