Creatively Cool 2015: Katie Boyts

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Katie Boyts. Photo: Kelvin Bulluck

Katie Boyts. Photo: Kelvin Bulluck

THE HUSTLER

“Hey, it was mediocre food, but the company was far from mediocre.”

We had just tagged along with self-titled ‘freelancer of the arts’ Katie Boyts for lunch at an undisclosed location in Downtown Baltimore. Writing her Not So Starving Artists food reviews for the award-winning arts site “BmoreArt” is just one of the many hats the 33-year-old wears.

Only an hour or so before going on her food adventure, Boyts was on stage at the Reginald F. Lewis museum hosting the month’s CreativeMornings Baltimore event, the city’s chapter she founded back in October 2013. And before clearing out of the venue, she was spotted chatting with video production company Shine Creative co-owner Jamie Campbell, where Boyts is a producer and deals with the company’s project development, about plans for the rest of the day.

The list of positions doesn’t end there, but it’s a bit of a different lifestyle from her previous, more steady position as the pastry chef at the Mount Vernon coffeehouse, Dooby’s, which she also had a hand in opening with owner Phil Han. “The pace itself is still a hustle. It’s just more on my own time now, like I don’t have to wake up at 3 a.m. I like the freedom, the sleep,” Boyts said.

But she did admit missing the daily routine and seeing everyday faces at the café. “They were a big part of my life, but my lifestyle now allows me to use more of my skills, not just one set,” she said.

And her set of skills still includes the native Texan’s love for baking, as she has now transitioned into freelancing for that, too. “Recently, I randomly got a food styling gig so I guess I do that now, too, which is awesome,” she said. “If you ever need a food stylist…”

With so much going on in Boyts’s world, you’d wonder if she’s actually doing any living. “FOCUS,” Boyts said, is key.

“People think I’m really busy, and I guess I am, in a way. But downtime is a big priority for me, so I try not to over-schedule, which can be tough because I’m definitely an extrovert.”

“I am, however, really focused. It takes a lot of discipline and we live in a very distracting culture. So, learning how to shut off the noise, be present with your task, conversation or project is crucial to making shit happen. It’s not about having a lot of appointments or something. It’s about having the focus and discipline to use your time wisely. Also, I invest in relationships that are meaningful and avoid chatter. I stay very present. I’ve figured out over the years what I need to do my best work to maintain sanity.”

And what exactly results from Boyts way of tackling multi-tasking? Things like building an ever-growing audience for CreativeMornings Baltimore, being a welcoming and familiar face for more successful client take-ins at Shine Creative, and even being known for those awesome fruity pebble cookies sold at Dooby’s.

She may be adamant that perfection is non-existent, but we’re pretty sure Boyts is a great example of someone who’s got it all figured out.

Creator & managing editor of Strangers With Style. Happiest when her work allows others to shine, too. Lover of collabs, social media, blogging, fashion, food & the color blue.