From the moment you step into Katie Lime’s home you feel like you already know her. The space is warm, inviting, and full of creative charm—just like the homeowner.
From Indianapolis to Chicago and back again, Katie has always carried with her a love for creating beautiful things. She honed her creative skills while studying metalsmithing and jewelry design in college and now owns and runs her own jewelry company, Moira K. Lime. When she’s not working away in her beautiful in-home studio, she is spending time with her fiancé and their dog, Macy, in the South Broad Ripple neighborhood of Indianapolis.
Read on to learn more about Katie’s experience as her own boss, buying her first house, and everything in between!
Name: Katie Lime
Current job/company: Owner of Moira K. Lime Jewelry
Education: Indiana University
What did you study as an undergraduate and what was your first job after graduation?
I went to college at Indiana University in Bloomington and double majored in Art History and Metalsmithing/Jewelry Design. After graduating from IU, I moved to Chicago and got a job as a design and production assistant with a jewelry designer in the city.
You now own your own business, Moira K. Lime Jewelry. What was the hardest part of going out on your own?
After working for another designer for a few years and learning the ropes of a small design business, I decided it was time to take the leap and go out on my own. I’d say the hardest part was getting up the courage to take that initial step and leave the security and benefits of my previous job.
Tell us about being your own boss! What does a typical day look like for you?
Being my own boss is pretty fantastic! My schedule is flexible and if I want to work in my pajamas until noon I can (although I try not to). It can also be very challenging at times. I wear all of the hats in my business so there’s lots to do all the time. More often than not I’m thinking about what emails need to be answered and orders that need to be filled—even on weekends, evenings, and days off.
My typical day: I’m usually up by 7 a.m. to have coffee with my guy and take care of my pup’s morning routine. I’ll go into my studio/office when Jeremy leaves for work to answer emails and take care of daily office work/book keeping. Then I like to take a break and give Macy a nice long walk around the neighborhood. Once she’s good and worn out it’s back to the studio to make jewelry and work on orders for the rest of the day. Jeremy gets home around 5 p.m. and we like to relax for a bit, take Macy on another walk, and cook dinner together. We usually read in bed with Macy snuggled up next to us and fall asleep happy, full, and content.
You clearly have a soft spot for dogs. How does your love for animals play a role in your work?
Yes! Macy is adorable and she could not be any sweeter or more camera shy. She really is a light in our lives and we love her goofy, silly face to pieces. She likes to keep me company in my studio while I work—I love it.
I’ve always loved animals, especially dogs, and I think it’s important to give back to your community in whatever way you can. That’s why my company donates a portion of its profits to Indianapolis and Chicago animal shelters and rescue groups each year.
After almost ten years in Chicago you moved back home to Indianapolis and purchased your first home. Tell us about the process and how you chose the neighborhood.
I grew up in Indianapolis and still have lots of family in the area. After almost 10 years of Chicago winters I decided I needed to change things up a bit. I also wanted to invest in the real estate market and knew I could get a lot more bang for my buck in Indy as opposed to Chicago.
I chose my neighborhood, South Broad Ripple (or “SoBro”) because it’s close to lots of great bars and restaurants in town and it’s also right near a great bike/pedestrian rail trail that takes you straight into downtown. It’s an up and coming neighborhood so there are lots of great deals to be had in real estate.
I purchased a home that needed some TLC so I could get a better deal when all was said and done. The whole home buying process was a little bumpy with hiccups during the inspection and counter offer but it all worked out in the end! I now have an adorable little bungalow that I put some sweat equity into that we use as a rental.
You live with your fiancé a few blocks from the home you purchased, which you rent out. Tell us a little about this decision. What is it like to be a landlord for another property?
My fiancé has owned the home we live in now for about three years but we like to call it our home. I moved in with him when we got engaged and we plan on tying the knot in a few months.
Being a landlord has been pretty smooth sailing so far because I got lucky and found a great renter. The one thing that has been a challenge is keeping up with the yard work for both houses. It’s been a rainy summer here so the grass has been growing fast and there’s a lot of mowing to be done!
Our house was built in 1920 and is a bungalow style with lots of great vintage features! Beautiful wide trim, original dark hardwood floors, an arch between the dining room and living room, original five panel doors with original crystal doorknobs, and a fabulous sun room with jalousie windows and French doors that open up into the living room. I absolutely love these original vintage features and all the history older homes have. I like to daydream about who used to live here and what their lives were like—how they had the place decorated and what the original lay out may have been.
What do you love most about your new home?
I love the front porch! Especially in the spring, summer, and fall when we have the screens in and the windows open. Jeremy and I like to eat dinner there and watch the neighborhood happenings. Macy also really enjoys the front porch. She loves to spend hours there basking in the sun and watching for squirrels and bunnies and other dog friends that pass by.
How would you describe your decorating style? How much influence did your fiancé have on the design?
My decorating style definitely mimics my personal style: eclectic, vintage inspired, fun, clean, and colorful.
It wasn’t much of a challenge to decorate the house with Jeremy. He has a great sense of style and he trusts my creative instinct so he generally let’s me take the lead on decorating and gives his opinion when needed or asked.
Did you decorate on a budget? Tell us a few of your favorite places to score affordable items.
I definitely decorated on a budget and I really enjoy being thrifty and hunting for vintage treasures that are unique. I especially love mid-century modern furniture so most of the big furniture pieces are items that I’ve collected over the years from my antiquing and thrift adventures.
I like to visit Ikea for a good staple piece on the cheap and don’t really mind the assembling part at home. A few of my favorite places to shop: Ikea, Etsy, Scoutmob, Target, The Indie Arts and Vintage Market Place (happens every few months), and I love to hit up flea markets and my local thrift stores on a regular basis. I have found some really great things over the years!
Are there specific items you splurged on?
I like to splurge on art and handmade items like the dog portraits scattered throughout the house. They’re all original paintings that I’ve collected over time.
I also like to splurge on a really lovely houseplant and planter every now and then. We splurged on our Tempurpedic mattress too—need a good night’s sleep!
Your home office is amazing! How did you create this space to work best for you? What are some of the challenges of working from home?
Thank you! My office is in the second level of our home and I got to take over the whole space and really make it my own. It’s small, cozy, and bright and I love working there.
There are days when it’s a definite challenge to work from home. I’m a very self-motivated person and I really love my job so most of the time I have my cup of coffee and start my day no problem. There are of course days when it’s rainy and icky outside and all I want to do is stay in bed with Macy and read a book. There’s also days when it’s gorgeous outside and all I want to do is get out in the sunshine and take Macy to the park. Those days are the real challenge too.
What advice would you give your 23-year old self?
You won’t succeed if you don’t try! Take chances and see what happens. It almost always works out for the best in the end.
Katie Lime is The Everygirl…
Large dark roast coffee with a splash of cream—I love getting locally roasted beans from Hubbard and Cravens.
Who would play you in a movie of your life?
Cate Blanchett. She’s classy and lovely and smart.
Any vacation is a dream!
If you could have lunch with one woman, who would it be and what would you order?
J.K. Rowling (I’m a big Harry Potter nerd) and I would order a Reuben—can’t go wrong with a classic.
1950’s Dinette Set, Thrifted
1950’s Kidney Coffee Table, passed down from my grandparents
Glass Pendant Light, Vintage
Throw pillows, Target
Grey floor poof, Target
Corner table and brass lamp, Vintage
Woven basket, Thrifted
Edward Hopper reproduction painting, Thrifted
Plycraft Leather Chairm, Vintage
Coat Rack, Six Finger Studios
Area Rugs, Target
Blue Upholstered Chairs, Vintage
Red Cone Fireplace, Vintage
Dog portraits, Antique
Four canvases, Original photographs
Table and chairs, Antique (I re-upholstered the cushions)
Area Rug, Urban Outfitters
Metal Bookshelves, Ikea
Black Expedit Shelf, Ikea
Wire Milk Crates, Thrifted
Chandelier, Hang Out Lighting
6 pane window, Vintage (painted with chalk board paint)
Four Chicago prints, Original photographs
Gemstone Prints, Owlie Design
Inspire Print, Etsy
Work Bench, Ikea
Metal Shelves and Metal Cupboard, Vintage
Expedit Shelves, Ikea
All Lamps, Vintage
Wicker Chair, Vintage
White Metal Drawers, Ikea
Yellow Rolling Chair, Vintage
Glass Display Boxes, West Elm