A Date by Kate - Kate

A Date by Kate

Owner: Kate McNamara

Interview + Photography: Marianne Rothbauer, Rothbauer Studio


Tell us a bit about yourself?

I was born and raised in Smiths Falls, and moved to Ottawa when I was 17-years-old. I’ve put myself through school, always working at the same time, and am standing on my own two feet fairly well today. I have lofty goals, but don’t think about them often. I pull only immediate tasks to the forefront (usually on a sticky note affixed to the back of my phone) and “just keep swimming” towards little successes. I’m confident they will add up to something bigger one day! In three words, I’m zealous, creative, and organized (except with my own bookkeeping)...

What was the inspiration for starting 'A Date By Kate’?

My friends Courtney & Steve! I planned them a date as their wedding gift back in 2013, and the rest is history. Even before that though, I think they initially asked me because they knew I’d enjoy a creative project, and was fascinated with all things love related. 


So you help existing couples with dates and also help single find love?

Exactly. A Date by Kate is focused on couples; anything that can enhance their experience together. If it were my full-time job, it would be an amazing hub or resource to lean on for creativity and ideas. Only so many hours in a day right now, so I’m trying to focus on small public events that bring local businesses together and so 20-30 couples at a time can enjoy what I’ve planned.

For singles, I created a second brand called Circuit Dating. It’s a fun series of activity-based events to help spark more interesting conversation in a speed-dating environment. It’s on the back burner for the next little while though, because AD8BYK8 is really gaining momentum! 


You are a romantic at heart. How do you design creative romance on the days when, well you aren't feeling so romance friendly?

That’s a very good question. I like to think of myself as “the best third-wheel ever” for couples. It can become difficult when in my own personal life, talking to a four-legged Ridgeback gets old. But, it’s in these moments being single, with no commitments, that I will have the most time to dedicate to A Date by Kate. I don’t want to lose sight of how lucky I am to be able to move in the direction of this dream. I also look at a print from Buttercup Co. daily that says, “Single. Taken. Too busy being a badass.” Oh, and one that says, “Kick fear in the crotch.” 


What is the most satisfying part of doing what you do?

Definitely when couples I don’t even know message me. Often times they ask me to spruce up their relationship and add a little spark back into it. Although that part doesn’t come with a guarantee, I sure try my darn best. Their testimonials speak for themselves, that these days are really appreciated. Or, how a product like the ‘Date Can’ keeps them actively dating one another, just like when they first met. 

What is the average age of the people who get A Date By Kate and who is the oldest couple you have ever worked with?

The average age of people going on these adventures is 30 years-old, and the oldest couples have been in their 60’s. Love is love. 


When you aren't designing and thinking up amazing dates what do you do for fun?

I do all sorts of random things; from playing volleyball, to training Wesley, learning how to sew (which led to making dog bandanas), going to craft shows and events with friends. And I’ve got quite a large family to visit back home! 


What has been the biggest challenge of being in business for yourself?

It’s all a challenge. Every hour I spend chasing this dream, is an hour I could be working at a bar paying off my school debt rapidly. All I want is to go for it with A Date by Kate, so being held back financially is the ultimate frustration. I’m giving myself one year to pull off something big with this business. If not, I’ll call it a day and get a tattoo of my logo to remember this chapter. 

Why is important for couples to make sure they make time for dates?

Because falling out of love is far worse. 

If you could design a date for one celebrity who would that be and where would you send them?

Ellen and Portia. I would definitely design this day by getting top secret advise/involvement from the staff on the Ellen Show. Imagine if it could happen?

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Re4m - Heather

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