I think our culture is longing for something authentic and clean and real.Mrs. Katrina Holte
All images copyright of Katrina Holte. May not be reproduced.
We are delighted to debut our series on glamorous homemakers with celebrated vintage housewife, Mrs. Katrina Holte!
Mrs. Holte, welcome to our community. Thank you for chatting with us! How long have you been a homemaker? Did you always dream of this lifestyle or did this change come as a surprise to you? How did your friends and family react to your decision?
Homemaking is a real passion of mine and something that can be done in a very elegant and refined way. As a child, I always knew I wanted to be a vintage housewife – I literally wrote a cookbook by hand from the ages of 10-12 and spent hours each week poring over vintage memoirs.
I learned to knit, took professional sewing courses, and dreamed of the day I would run my own home. But then you grow up and you’re faced with life’s realities, and there were many years when I was working long hours at my job, developing my business Edelweiss Patterns, and waiting to meet the right guy.
I started as a homemaker “part time” when I first got married 4 1/2 years ago, and I was a little overwhelmed as a newlywed juggling three completely different things – career/business/home! Over time, I found tips and tricks that helped me get the housework done faster, but the more I took care of our home the more I fell in love again with the notion of being a housewife…
I found ways to bring elegance into every little task, to take pride in the shiny kitchen floors, the polished wood furniture, and the weekly meal plans neatly written on my “marble” dry erase board in the kitchen. On my days off work I went on serious cleaning sprees and wore myself out a bit, but thoroughly loved every minute of it! It’s been a little more than a year that I’ve been doing this full time, and it has been the best year of my life!
Homemaking is a real passion of mine and something that can be done in a very elegant and refined way.Mrs. Katrina Holte
Having the time to invest in my home makes things so peaceful and organized around our house, and I just love feeling on top of everything that relates to our household! Because I also run my business part time, all of our friends have been supportive. I think if I didn’t also have my website to run there may have been a few raised eyebrows.
We know you love the 1950’s – why this era in particular? What makes it so special in your eyes? What traits do you wish our society could adapt from that earlier time period?
Initially, I grew fascinated with the 1950’s over ten years ago because of the fashions – which I’ve worn ever since. But the more I studied books and publications written in the 50’s, not about the era, the more I’ve fallen in love with their “do unto others” outlook. I’ve spoken with so many people who were raising families in the 1950’s.
The thing I hear from all of them is that you could leave your doors unlocked, neighbors were friendly, and people looked out for each other. It’s a real time period in history and we need to be careful not to stereotype it – for instance, not everyone really attended sock hops and wore poodle skirts! These were very real people who had lived through WWII and still managed to establish a mainly successful, family-oriented society.
I try to look my best every night – high heels, glamorous dress, full-on makeup – because it makes me happy and him happy!Mrs. Katrina Holte
Unlike the “pin-up” photos that are popular on Instagram today, married women in the 50’s aimed to be classy, elegant, and respectable. Many of the tailored suits and fitted pencil dresses they wore were timeless and could still be classic wardrobe staples today. By and large, people were faithful to their marriages and invested in their families and communities. Parents tried their best to give the children a happy childhood, and community and church activities really drew everyone together.
The home was still the center of entertainment for most evenings. Dinner parties, living room dances for high schoolers, evenings around the fireplace with the whole family… These are the things I believe we need to bring back. No decade is perfect, but we can learn so much from looking to our grandparents’ generation. (And I’m also just a little bit enamored with the pink kitchens and retro appliances – we’re currently renovating our mid-century kitchen to be period correct and I’m having a blast!)
Unlike the “pin-up” photos that are popular on Instagram today, married women in the 50’s aimed to be classy, elegant, and respectable.Mrs. Katrina Holte
You’ve recently been interviewed by many international publications such as the Daily Mail and The New York Post. What was the response you received from these articles? Were like-minded women reaching out to you or did you feel judged? Why do you think your lifestyle is considered controversial by today’s society? Do you think those articles portrayed you in a good light or were some of your comments misconstrued?
Yes, it’s been unbelievable! My inbox has been flooded with emails from supportive people all over the world, as well as the occasional foul language comment. I didn’t anticipate my interview would go viral, but within a day or two of the first publication I was hearing from virtually all my friends and relatives who were seeing my face pop up on multiple news sites and their Facebook feeds. It was “everywhere.” At least thirty-five news publications I’m aware of reprinted the story.
The story of “Woman Quits Job to Become Vintage Housewife” was also mentioned on podcasts, radio shows, and a full-length video that Youtuber TimCast made on my story. There were some readers who were angry just from the headlines, some of which were dishonest. ‘The Sun’ in the UK wrote the worst title I’ve seen so far, so I chose not to read that publication. But the articles themselves were fairly close to my original interview from what I’ve seen.
Dinner parties, living room dances for high schoolers, evenings around the fireplace with the whole family… These are the things I believe we need to bring back.Mrs. Katrina Holte
The fact that this story about my life as a vintage housewife resonated with so many people is quite fascinating, and I have an idea as to the “why.” I feel like our modern society has gone as far from traditional family culture as we can, and to hear something that’s a bit like a call from the past is refreshing for people who are tired of the hatred and anger we have today.
I think our culture is longing for something authentic and real and clean – not trashy and divisive as so many news stories frequently are. For some people, my story was that “something” that brightened their day a bit. What’s not to like about a happy, smiling couple who are obviously in love and look like they just stepped out of a 1950’s movie?
Indeed! What advice would you give to women who are considering this lifestyle?
If you’re considering homemaking, you have to make sure this is something that will make you happy. I definitely wouldn’t recommend any woman quit her job if she doesn’t love being at home! We are all different and that’s okay. But if you are thinking about it seriously, chances are you already know you love taking care of your house.
You will need to mentally prepare yourself for not having co-workers to talk with – so plan to go out at least one day a week to run errands and meet up with friends. The most important work you’ll ever do will be in your home. Try to keep that in mind on the days when you are tired so you remember why you’re doing this. Keep studying any book you can find that might make your household run even more efficiently.
If you’re considering homemaking, you have to make sure this is something that will make you happy.Mrs. Katrina Holte
In what ways has this lifestyle changed or transformed your marriage?
My marriage has always been amazing and I’m very thankful for that! God has really blessed us with something quite special and we are true kindred spirits. But since I became a vintage housewife, I am definitely less stressed now than I used to be! So naturally I have more energy to make my husband feel (yes) spoiled! I think that’s one line from my interview that really made some people mad.
Honestly, though, the life of a vintage housewife makes for a very happy marriage – and husband! If a man works hard all day to provide for the house and his family, why can’t his wife make him feel like a king when he comes home? Serving dinner to my husband and preparing for his arrival is one of the biggest joys in life.
It seems so small, but it’s such an important ritual for our home and our marriage! I try to look my best every night – high heels, glamorous dress, full-on makeup – because it makes me happy and him happy! Life on earth is short, and I want to make him feel as loved and treasured as I possibly can, every single day.
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If you enjoyed our interview with Mrs. Katrina Holte, why don’t you join our tea party with Darling Academy Founder, Mrs. Alena Kate Pettitt?