14 Fun Facts You Should Know About Mr. Kate
Did you know Kate was an actress and Joey was a member of The Click Five when they met eleven years ago?
In case you haven’t heard, there’s a new HGTV special airing this Saturday, Feb. 9 at 2 p.m. called Help My House! and you guys, it’s going to be amazing. Why? Well, first of all, as Kate Albrecht would say, because why not? But second of all, the stars of the special are Kate and her husband Joey Zehr, aka the creative weirdos behind the insanely popular YouTube channel, Mr. Kate.
If you're not familiar, don’t worry because HGTV had the chance to catch up with Kate and Joey to get the low-down on all things Mr. Kate. Here are some fun facts you should know about the latest duo to make their way to HGTV:
1. Mr. Kate started out as a blog in 2009 and is now a massive lifestyle brand with 3.2 million YouTube subscribers.
Kate: “Joey built me my first blog as a birthday present. I wanted to embed my videos within my blog posts, so for convenience I started uploading them to YouTube. Much to my surprise, I started getting way more comments on YouTube than I was getting on my blog and that's when I realized, whoa there’s a real audience there! After I had been doing Mr. Kate on the side for a couple years, it became obvious that there was a real business to build there and that’s when Joey and I joined forces to grow that brand together full time. 3.2 million subscribers and 280 million views later, here we are! If you’re new to us, you can catch up on all that we do by checking out our YouTube channel. We have hundreds of surprise makeover and DIY videos to catch you up to speed and hopefully inspire you and your inner Creative Weirdo!”
2. They first got into the renovation business with their own home and chronicled their process on YouTube.
Joey: “When we were looking for our first home, we stumbled upon an old 1920s English Storybook house. It was small and needed a lot of loving care, but we decided to roll the dice and put an offer on it and we got it! We filmed the entire process of renovating, decorating and making this little quaint house our home and oasis. From there, we started getting tons of requests from friends and viewers to help with their homes. We took on more and more projects and continued to film them for our audience. Quickly we realized that in the ocean of 'lifestyle' content, home renovation and design was really our niche!”
3. The Help My House! special features Joey’s favorite renovation of all time.
J: “This special really showcases our passion for taking a family’s personal style and celebrating it in their interior space. It was the first time we were able to do an entire house for a family. The Williamses have lived in their house for six years, but never took the time to renovate and decorate because they’ve been busy with work and their three amazing daughters. We actually surprised them with a new living and dining room design because they thought we were only doing the bedrooms and master bathroom. We were really aware of saving money in this home as well. I especially like the dresser turned vanity, which we found at a thrift store for $6.50!”
4. “Creative Weirdo” is an important Mr. Kate philosophy.
K: “I was always called a ‘weirdo’ growing up. At first that label stung, but I learned to embrace it as my power. Everyone has an inner creative weirdo, whether they admit it openly or not. It’s that part of you that makes you, YOU! I love celebrating that and inspiring people to trust their creative instincts. There is no wrong way to be creative and that’s the beauty of self-expression. Our audience has become known as the Creative Weirdos and is a thriving community of people who unapologetically express themselves through their creativity!”
5. And as for the name ‘Mr. Kate’, it was Kate's way of switching things up a bit!
K: “The name Mr. Kate was me wanting to create something that flipped convention on its head. The juxtaposition of the ‘Mr.’ in front of a female name just felt like a fun way to have people immediately know that my goal was to help people think outside of the box!”
6. Kate and Joey met eleven years ago when she was an actress and he was in a popular boy band.
K: “I was cast in a movie that shot in Salt Lake City about teens who kidnap their favorite boy band and Joey’s band — The Click Five — happened to be cast. Everyone lived in the same hotel for a couple of months while we filmed and it was kind of like a grown up camp. And what’s camp without crushes?! Joey and I fell in love and that was 11 years ago!”
7. Random, but Joey is a whole foot taller than Kate!
K: “We refer to me as ‘schmall’ because I’m 5’ and Joey is 6’ tall, so the height difference is funny and something that I think a lot of couples identify with. So now our audience also comments ‘schmaaaaalll’ a lot, especially when I can’t reach things on shelves.”
8. Working together is a dream come true for Kate and Joey.
J: “Working together as a couple is one of the greatest things that’s ever happened to us. We used to sit around in our apartment dreaming of the day where we could spend more time together and not have to answer to anyone but each other. Most people we meet are like, 'I have no idea how you work with your significant other!' Truth is, there’s a certain magic we have together.”
9. And they each bring something different to the table.
J: “Kate is really the creative genius and I just sort of keep the boat from springing leaks and somehow we’ve managed to keep this ship strong and afloat!”
K: “Awwww, that’s sweet but Joey is also incredibly talented and creative too! I come up with the wild ideas and he helps us figure out how to execute them. I’m lucky that he’s learned to trust my weirdness and really we are so much stronger as a unit.”
10. Kate and Joey recently announced they’re expecting a baby boy!
K: “Pregnancy is going really well! I feel good and excited right now. I’m still in my second trimester so who knows if my tune will change when I’m a roly-poly. I’ve been craving vegetables: I eat carrots, celery and ranch dressing every day and that was not something I used to do. I’m glad I’m craving veggies and not something more unhealthy though.”
11. Naturally, they’ve got big plans for the nursery, including a hand-painted birch forest on the walls.
K: “We live in a 2-bedroom house, so our nursery still needs a guestroom option. We’re going with a pull-out sofa and found one of the most comfortable ones so that when’s Joey’s tall parents visit they don’t leave limping. Overall, the nursery design is going to be happening on the walls because I’m going to hand-paint a birch forest theme and Joey’s going to install some custom wainscoting.”
12. Maybe this will change when the nursery comes to life, but for now their favorite room in their house is the living room.
K: “We recently re-designed it a little: Joey took our old dining table, cut down the legs and turned it into a giant coffee table. That was really a choice of letting our lifestyle dictate design because we often sit on Moroccan poufs at the coffee table while working or eating, so it made more sense to have a giant coffee table than a dining table!”
13. Kate doesn’t believe in trends, but lets what’s going on in the world influence her.
K: “As a rule, I don’t like to feel like I have to fit in with trends because I’m all about helping our clients embrace their personal taste, regardless of whether it’s current or not. That said, I love getting inspiration from what’s going on in the world. I love that the '70s are making a comeback and you can find some awesome rattan pieces and peacock chairs. Another thing I’m obsessed with is peel and stick wallpaper because it gives renters the option to spruce up their walls with a beautiful pattern!”
14. And finally, Kate and Joey christen a new space with an adorable tradition they call rug cuddling.
J: “Part of being a digital creator is you have an audience constantly interacting with you and so we’ll say things in episodes that for whatever reason really strike a chord with the audience and it becomes an inside joke that people then start talking about in the comments. At some point we randomly decided to cuddle on a rug after we put it down in a room and it instantly became a thing where everyone wanted us to grace a new space by cuddling on the rug! It’s a way of breaking in a space and setting a positive intention… and getting off our feet for a couple minutes.”
Tune in to Help My House! this Saturday, Feb. 9 at 2|1c to watch Kate and Joey have the best time renovating the Williams' home!