FREDA Girl: Cat Chen
Please tell us who you are and what you do?
My name is Cat Chen and I wear a lot of hats over at Amber Interiors. I’m officially the Marketing Director for our three brands — Amber Interiors (design firm), Shoppe Amber Interiors (retail), and All Sorts Of (editorial) — but I also oversee Brand Partnerships, Licensing, Social Media, PR, Events, and am the Editor for All Sorts Of.
Describe your personal style. Do you have a certain look that is your go-to?
After moving back to California following a few years in New York City, all I want to be and feel is comfortable and cozy. My go-to is a dress (because no pants) under a cozy sweater with a pair of comfy shoes. And when I want to dress up my look, I always, always throw on my Ace Boots. And of course, mix in an oversized vintage Japanese dress here and there and I’m set.
What are you reading right now?
I am really trying to do less screen time these days, so I’m reading actual books, which has been a game-changer. As of today, I’m reading Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow, and next on the list is American Dirt or Becoming by Michelle Obama.
When I am on a screen, I consume a lot of news or I’m looking up recipes. The New York Times news and cooking apps are my favorite and I’m a little addicted.
What are you listening to right now?
My number one most played playlist at the moment is ‘Nancy Meyers’ Kitchen’ — it makes me so, so happy and I sing and dance to it in the kitchen. Then, I switch between The Obamas’ Summer Favorites and a playlist from my therapists’ office. That’s right, it’s so calming and amazing. I also listen to The Daily podcast from The New York Times every time I get on the spin bike. However long that episode is, is how long my workout is! I’ll have CNN playing in the background a lot too — I’m obsessed with the news.
Did you already have an at-home workspace or did you create one recently? What’s your set up?
Not at all. My boyfriend and I are sharing the dining room table, which is crowded, to say the least. We have a sweet (ugly, but useful) transportable standing desk, which I use most of the day. We’re in the process of clearing out our backhouse and turning it into an official office space / gym!
Do you have any WFH tips?
I will preface this by saying, I don’t have kids and I commend all of you parents out there right now. I’ve always been a To-Do List person, and it’s necessary for me now more than ever. As I wear a lot of hats for my job, I try to break my day up into accomplishing tasks in each bucket hour by hour. There’s a lot of multitasking, but I’d be pretty bored if it wasn’t that way! I also make it a priority to take breaks during the day to make and eat lunch away from my computer, go on a daily walk, and take calls in the yard to breathe some fresh air. I feel very, very lucky to be able to do all of these things.
Where do you find inspiration and how do you stay inspired?
One of the reasons I love my job so much is because I am constantly surrounded by beautiful things. I’ve learned over the years that you have to love what you do to stay inspired, too.
And of course, for me, travel. It’s always been my biggest passion and the way I find inspiration and stay inspired. There’s nothing I love more than seeing how other communities and cultures approach everything from design, architecture, and hospitality. I love going to a different country and watch how other people interact, listen to new languages, see different wildlife, and eat and drink everything. I genuinely feel so content when I get on a plane and land in a different country. It’s my favorite feeling.
In exciting news! Amber Lewis just released her first book, Made for Living and it's available for preorder now! Order here. We can't wait to get ours!