To Top

Check Out Kate Tipton’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kate Tipton. 

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
Passion, talent, and purpose – the backbone of my story. Let’s start from the beginning… Since I was a child, I have always been drawn to three things – creativity, the ocean, and entrepreneurship. Born and raised in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains, the arts have always been my go-to creative outlet. Although I didn’t grow up near the ocean, I had multiple beach-themed birthday parties and at age 10, I asked for a “big L-shaped glass desk” so that I could feel like a business owner. 

A few years later, I visited Charleston, SC for the very first time and I fell in love with the art, culture, and architecture. My heart belonged and still belongs, to that city. I longed for it, planning the next trip before I even left the current one. I even got the point that I started going 4 times per year. Right after turning 22, I started a corporate job that I loved, but I heard a voice say, “Be careful, you’re going to want to stay here.” As a natural planner but also a dreamer, that was a little scary. God didn’t want me to let go of my dream, my purpose, His plan. Turns out, that voice was right. It was the most stable and enjoyable corporate job I’ve ever had. But… I still felt like something was missing so I made a promise to myself a year later to let go of my plans and walk by faith. 

At age 25, I discovered my love for watercolor painting and after some doubts and “what if” conversations, I decided to leave that desk job I actually enjoyed to follow my dream of living at the beach in Charleston with my husband and yorkie – To chase the dream of owning my own creative business under the palm trees. I even already had my business name chosen, Purpose Under Palms. I would be living my artistic purpose in the place I love most. Picturing myself sitting in all of my favorite spots, painting the scenery, and enjoying the salty breeze. My heart was so full the very first time I painted the harbor at the Joe Riley Waterfront Park downtown. Although living near the ocean is an absolute dream, the chase wasn’t always smooth sailing. 

Shortly after starting my new desk job in Charleston, I heard a loud voice say, “Quit your job.” …What? Why? Quit the job I just started in my dream city when I’m already pre-approved for a house and ready to plant roots? As we all do, I quieted the voice because it left me confused. After months of house hunting and nothing we loved enough to make an offer on, my husband was presented with an opportunity that required us to leave our Charleston dream and move back to the Appalachian Mountains. Even though part of me felt like I was giving up on a dream, I felt peace – and that’s how I knew it was God’s plan all along. This opportunity gave me the chance to focus on starting an artistic business full time – which was the goal from the beginning. 

You see, I never would have left that first corporate desk job if I hadn’t made that promise to let go of my plans and walk by faith because I was living in a comfort zone. This experience was a stepping stone to a plan greater than my own. God knew I needed the push and the growth of uprooting my life and moving to a new city before I was ready to chase His plan and my dream with full force. That is how Purpose Under Palms finally became an official business. I have been building this business, website, and fulfilling commissioned orders full time for the past couple months, right here from my “big L-shaped desk” that my 10-year-old self knew would be put to good use. Charleston wasn’t a “no”, just a “not yet.” I still have some very special clients in Charleston that I am working with and I feel it in my heart that we will be back very, very soon! 

So, what does passion, talent, and purpose have to do with my life and entrepreneurial story? I believe our passions and talents are our God-given gifts that lead us to our purpose to serve others. Purpose Under Palms is not something being built just for me. It’s for the ones sacrificing to chase their dreams, following their passions, and believing in their purpose – to let you know that I am right there with you, encouraging you through the ups and downs of fulfilling a dream bigger than yourself. 

Thank you to all of my clients so far and my wonderful husband for your support. You are the reason I am able to follow my passion full time. I will continue offering commissioned artwork, along with stationery and other gifts for purchase on my website, Launching Spring 2022! 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The biggest struggle for me personally, was forcing myself to let go of plans, taking more risks, and leaving my comfort zone. As a natural-born planner, it’s easy to get caught up in wanting to know what happens before it happens so that you are always prepared, but that’s just not life. There will always be challenges and obstacles with things that are worth having, and we have to be willing to let go to chase after something bigger than ourselves. Of course, I wish I could have stayed in my dream location in Charleston while I chase this dream, but it’s all about faith – not understanding the “why” and doing it anyway, trusting that there is something greater for you that you could not have planned for yourself. 

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Creatively, I do a little bit of everything between watercolor paintings, acrylic paintings, refinished furniture, and anything crafty. Watercolor is my specialty, but I actually didn’t find my passion for it until about a year ago. From there, I have had an increase in watercolor commissioned artwork and some acrylic in between. I am most proud of the pieces that bring people joy – the ones requested for loved ones as a gift for celebrating milestones. I get to be part of their special day by living my purpose of serving others and using my artistic talents. There are so many amazing artists all around the world, but there is only one me, so I feel the thing that sets me apart from others is my confidence in myself and my passion for watercolor. We’ve all heard it before, but we can do anything we set our minds to. Have confidence in yourself and do it with passion! 

What matters most to you?
Faith matters most. Faith in God’s plan for my life, faith in myself, and faith that even when things are tough, there is a purpose for it all. There is such an empowering and reassuring feeling that comes with stepping out in faith and not worrying about the “what ifs.” It’s a feeling you only get to experience when you actually do it yourself – it can’t be learned from someone else. Having faith doesn’t mean you don’t have fear, it just means you push through and do it anyway. 

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Rhonda Rock
Tia Jenkins

Suggest a Story: SouthCarolinaVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Local Stories