We recently caught up with Kat Barrow-Horth ‘97. She shared with us a little bit about what she’s up to now, her proudest moment, and her favorite memories from her time at Gulliver, and more!
What are you up to these days?
The ARTS! My husband and I are fine art dealers and the owners of Robin Rile Fine Art, and we are also the founders of a Miami-based nonprofit called Comic Kids which helps disadvantaged youth learn art through comics, cartoons, and books. I’m also currently having to re-learn my multiplication tables while teaching my precocious eight-year-old son.
What do you like about the work you are doing now? Describe your career path.
I love my work! My career path was somewhat haphazard and certainly non-linear, but has always been in a creative field. I majored in Spanish and psychology and minored in art at Tulane University, going back to school for an interior design degree. I worked in hospitality design for several years before my husband and I opened our online fine art sales company in 2008. Then, in 2018 we founded Comic Kids. It certainly hasn’t been a direct path to get where I am now, but I love being an entrepreneur in the arts. This allows me opportunities to try new things, expand ideas, and live a fluid, unconventional life. Sometimes we decide to pack it up and move to other countries on a whim! I didn’t grow up in an entrepreneurial home and most of my family is in healthcare so the process of learning to create businesses has been challenging but really, really rewarding.
Is there anything you learned during your time at Gulliver Prep that you feel was helpful in your life after Gulliver?
I am a Gulliver “lifer” so I spent a lot of time rollerskating the halls and ramps of the Academy and being a real rascal in my poor freshman math teacher’s class (sorry Mr. B!). Having so much time at Gulliver gave me deep-rooted friendships, most of which I still have today. I would say that sense of connectedness to my classmates has been helpful on a personal and now professional level as well. I am constantly inspired by the incredible things my classmates have accomplished, everything from saving lives, to starting companies, to becoming famous authors. I can’t emphasize enough how important the company you keep is. Gulliver opened a lot of doors for all of us and I love seeing who we have all become.
Are there any Gulliver teachers or coaches you credit as having positively influenced you?
We’re going way back here but I absolutely adored my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Greenberg, at the Academy. She was fun, high-energy, and had the most wonderful, bubbly personality for teaching kids. Our nonprofit, Comic Kids, is very much based on that style of teaching. Art is supposed to be FUN, after all! Teachers and coaches can have incredible influence on kids and as a teacher myself I’ll say, it is a privilege to serve the little ones in that role.
What is one of your favorite memories from your time at Gulliver Prep?
There are far too many to name, and far too many people who deserve credit for bringing me joy at Gulliver, but I always loved any opportunity to dress up in costume that the school provided. Honestly, I had fun everywhere at the school which is perhaps why I landed myself in detention so much. Looking back on it now, I also really enjoyed how fast my metabolism was back then and eating bagels and bacon every day during break!
What has been one of your proudest moments?
This year, my husband and I were featured on The Kelly Clarkson Show on a segment called “Rad Humans” for our work in the Miami community teaching art to kids in need. To have a spotlight of that magnitude for our little nonprofit was incredible. It has afforded us the opportunity to springboard new ideas which we’ll be launching within the next few months. We’re so excited about growing this program and impacting more kids! Ultimately, I’m so grateful to have a career in the arts and have the potential to impact so many little ones who may otherwise not have the exposure to art at all. Our goal is to make a quality art education accessible to all kids, regardless of their circumstances. P.S. I now refer to her as “my best friend Kelly Clarkson”… though I’m not certain she knows that. Let’s keep that between us.
As a Gulliver Prep alum, what advice would you give to current students?
The second you graduate from Gulliver you are an adult and are in charge of your own destiny. I recommend reading the book Atomic Habits now and start implementing the concepts and creating consistent, small, attainable goals for yourself. You are truly only limited by your own belief systems but if you’re not careful, they can be crippling. Our habits, in many ways, define us. I mentally limited myself for a while, having a “fear of failure” and other pesky self-limiting beliefs. It wasn’t until I did the mental work (self-help books are great!) that I could start to take the steps into tailoring my life into the one I wanted. At this point I’ve known too many people who watch life pass them by, afraid to be bold, or fail, to take a risk, or take a good, hard look in the mirror and hold themselves accountable. It’s on YOU to do that for yourself. YOU are the best investment you’ll ever make.
Raider Rapid Fire!
A quote that motivates you: “I will forever be a work in progress.”
Last movie you watched and loved: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. Underrated, ridiculous movie with Will Ferrel donning silver lipstick and white spandex.
A song that you’ll never get tired of hearing: “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang. What do you expect? I was born in the year of disco!
A food, restaurant, or meal that you’re always in the mood for: I am always in the mood for cheese fries. Unfortunately they are not always in the mood for me.
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