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Brooklyn Coats ’08

Thursday, September 1, 2016

When did you come to Waterford and why did you choose Waterford as your school?
I came to Waterford in 8th grade after moving from Southern California. My parents had looked at a few different schools but after meeting some students and touring the campus, my brothers and I felt like Waterford was the best fit for us — and it was!

What has been the most meaningful impact that Waterford has had on you?
Definitely the people. The relationships I built during my time at Waterford with both the students and faculty are extremely valuable to me.

What passions did you find at Waterford that you may not have discovered elsewhere (photo, theater, dance, robotics, birding, Shakespeare, ceramics, tennis, outdoor, lacrosse, etc. )?
The Waterford art program really refined my passion for art and taught me to think about problems creatively. I loved the tennis program! Before my freshman year I had never picked up a tennis racquet, but I knew I wanted to play, so I worked really hard and played all of high school.

Did you have a favorite teacher or more than one? Why?
I loved so many! I think the teachers that I feel really challenged me to push myself were Mr. Florence, Mr. Wade and Mr. Stewart.

Did Waterford prepare you well for college and life beyond?
Absolutely. Waterford taught me to recognize and have confidence in my talents and to work hard to develop new skills.

Where did you go to college?
I studied Studio Art at BYU.

What was your first job after college?
One month after I graduated I moved to New York City (without a job) to work in design. I worked for Kate Spade on their merchandising team.

What culminating experience(s) helped you select a career?
My experiences aren’t very traditional in the sense that I studied studio art with the intention of never becoming a studio artist. I didn’t have a specific career plan, ultimately I knew I wanted to start a business, and that I wanted to bridge the gap between art and business. At BYU I learned design principles, color theory and how to solve problems visually and I knew those things were valuable, I just wasn’t sure how I was going to use them, so I tried a lot of things until I figured out what I was really passionate about.

How has your career evolved?
It has come a long way. I am currently working for an enterprise technology growth accelerator but I am launching a children’s clothing line that I am super excited about. The prints are painted by me and will be limited edition — like mini wearable art pieces for adventurers.

Where do you live now?
I live in New York City with my husband, Patrick, who I met on the Waterford quad!

Words to live by?
“Creativity takes courage… [and] work cures everything” -Henri Matisse