the lively show: minimalism, design, & mental health with kate arends (wit & delight)


Yesterday I got back from Nashville after speaking at the AH Inspired retreat. I had a fantastic time with some amazing women.

But, today I’m back in action with a new Lively Show episode for you!

This one is good, guys.

Really good.

I’m talking with designer Kate Arends, of the well known design blog, Wit & Delightand one of the newest Target collections!

Kate is smart, honest, vulnerable, and takes her craft seriously.

In this episode, we cover a gamut of topics including: how minimalism has evolved away from its original intent, her personal journey to learn to love and accept herself, and her relationship with mental health issues.

This episode is perfect for anyone who wants to learn more about minimalism, authenticity, thriving with mental health issues, or designing for Target.







  • How homeownership is going for Kate and her husband – and the journey they took to find the home they recently purchased.
  • Kate’s thoughts on how minimalism been warped in the design world.
  • Why Kate has devoted herself to “optimal-izing” her struggles with perfectionism and control.
  • The evolution of Kate’s design aesthetic as she creates her new home, and the pressures she can feel from creating a space given she has a new home line out for Target.
  • The challenges Kate faced with working within the constraints of a launch with Target for Wit and Delight and how she navigated those challenges to create her collection.
  • How the Target collection has changed Kate personally and in her career.
  • How Kate stays grounded during such an upswing in her career.
  • The struggles Kate has had with mental health issues including anxiety, depression, and ADHD and her wish for others with other mental health issues.
  • Kate shares her (brilliant and easy to understand) take on being authentic.
  • What Kate would tell someone just starting out on this journey.




Design Sponge

Oh Joy

Wit & Delight Target collection

Life With Intention Online

Kate’s post on minimalism post

Kristoffer Carter Lively Show episode about perfectionism and uncertainty

Chipper Things

The Lively Show with Erin Gates about optimalizing perfectionism






Want more? Check out more Lively Show episodes here.


PS – Life With Intention Online is currently open!

Join more than 150 students learning to become more peaceful, powerful, and present in their approach to possessions, personal habits, realtionships, and career. Register today.


PPS – If you liked this episode, you may also like:






This Post Has 32 Comments

  1. Kelly Jo

    Favorite episode yet. I love Wit & Delight and I’m really enjoying the direction Kate has taken the blog. Her words on minimalism and authenticity left me feeling so inspired. And sharing her experience with mental health has been such a comfort to me. The shame and the guilt can be so darkening and it’s easy to feel like it’s your fault when these issues arise. Just hearing that I’m not alone in those feeilngs lifted a huge weight. Thank you Kate for putting this topic out there because it has the power to help so many people.

    1. Jess Lively

      That’s great to hear, Kelly Jo!

      I’m so glad you resonated with Kate’s story and thoughts and that you feel less alone. That is wonderful. : )

  2. Heather

    This definition of authenticity is sooo good! I’ve been really bummed about how much this word is used lately and have been increasingly turned off when I hear it because it just feel like a sales tactic or something. But this definition is awesome and feels true. Thanks to Kate for being so articulate. And thanks, Jess, for doing what you’re doing.

    1. Jess Lively

      I agree! I think you said it so well, it can feel like a sales tactic sometimes. : )

      Kate helps us bring it back to truth.

  3. Mai

    great interview. definitely up there in my favorites.
    also very cool that you know becky murphy! i recently met & got to hear her amazing talk at a design conference.

    1. Jess Lively

      Yay! I heard her talk was incredible! I’m a little jealous you got to see it live.

  4. mom_interrupted

    This is my favorite podcast yet! I am a fan of both of you, so hearing your cohesive dialogue was so satisfying. Great work, Jess! I sent Kate a note as well.

  5. Modupe

    This connected with me on so so many levels!


    She’s right. These podcasts are a goldmine! I’m on my 4th one today. Keep them coming! <3

  7. Holly Johnson

    Thank you so much for this incredible interview! It is so good to hear about how even the most successful people have/do struggle with depression & anxiety! Very inspiring—gave me a lift today!

  8. Jess Lively

    That’s a great point! If I have Kate back on the show I’ll keep this question in mind!

    Thanks. : )

  9. Anna Rossinoff

    So, I’m waaaay behind. I don’t know where I have been for the last two years but I just recently found the Lively Show and it’s been one of the best things to happen to me this year. I just LOVE it! It is so rare to find a forum that discusses personal development and real life struggles in a way that is so uplifting and fun to listen to. This interview with Kate has been favorite thus far (although I know I’m so far behind, I have like 100 more episodes to go!) I listened to it twice in a row! Anyway, I would be so grateful to ask Kate more specifics about some the things she said in this episode. Can I contact her directly to ask her some follow-up questions? Has the train left the station since this was recorded two years ago?!? Thank you so much for the Lively Show! I can’t wait for all that is to come in my listening 🙂

Leave a Reply