The Love that Goes Into Your Butch Wardrobe

Here’s the deal: Some people asked me, “Who’s the face behind Hautebutch?” So I asked the owner/creator if she’d be willing to do an interview and let the family get to know her. What did she say, you ask?
Well, friends, this week I have the great honor of presenting to you Hautebutch’s very own mastermind: Karen Roberts.
See, Karen had a need, just like the rest of us. She needed clothes that fit her hot butch style. We all do, right?
Karen searched high and low for clothes that she could not find – because sleek lines were just not out there for the female shape. Sound familiar?
What options were there? Blousey shirts, rounded collars, buttons on the other side. Or men’s shirts that didn’t fit. No, no,
Instead of settling and complaining about lack of good butch clothing options (like I used to do), Karen stepped up. Big time. Easy? Not so much.
I didn’t know what I was doing,” she confessed. “I had no idea as to how to do this.”
I asked Karen how she got started, and she told me that “it was a leap of faith, and I just kept that faith in front the entire time.”
Starting with an idea and a sketch, Karen took the leap from full-time California Realtor to owner/creator of Hautebutch clothing company.
I found a seamstress online,” she said, laughing as she told me the tale of HB’s beginnings. The seamstress she contacted (the talented Sara Rothan) listened closely to Karen’s description of what she was looking for – even though Karen herself wasn’t really sure.
Sara didn’t judge; she just listened.” Together, they worked up that first shirt pattern.
It was on. Karen threw herself into high gear, reading, studying, and searching online using “How to start a fashion line” as her keywords.

I made a vision board,” she told me, “of what I would wear to work.” She used that visual tool to help her explain how she wanted the clothes to look and fit.
Karen’s wife Michelle took her to the fabric store, which felt “so girly.” Luckily for all of us, Michelle was not afraid of the fabric store and helped Karen pick out fabric that fit her vision.
On to manufacturing and more questions, like, “How much seam allowance do you want?” Seam what?
Karen once again upped her game, enrolling in a sewing course at Santa Rosa JC, where she learned how to sew a men’s shirt.
Fun? Nope. Suzy Homemaker was not me,” Karen laughs.
Putting her foot down on the sewing machine pedal was a nerve-wracking experience, but she earned a solid A in the course and came out equipped with a strong knowledge of the terms she needed to explain her vision to the seamstress and manufacturers. She was ready to move on.
It was exciting and scary,” she admits. “It’s scary.” No doubt.
Creating each new Hautebutch product is an intricate process. Take the Kairo shirt, for instance. You know the one: Polka dot cuffs and body with white sleeves and collar.
Karen had the vision, sketched it out. Showed it to Michelle. Her wife said, “I don’t like it.” Karen felt the shirt enough to keep at it, so she reworked the sketch, brought it back. Michelle was still not a fan.
Karen liked this Kairo shirt, though, gang. She pushed on, had it made. Michelle? “Not feeling it.” And then Karen put the shirt on and showed her wife.
“I love it,” was the final verdict.
The Kairo shirt, my friends, is a top seller. Now, Karen will call out, “Hey Babe, guess what shirt sold today?”
I know, I know. The Kairo.
Karen first conceptualized Hautebutch six years ago. A mere seven months passed between that first inspired thought and the first item, the Rebel Jacket, shipping out. Uh, what? Seven months? Wow. That’s drive.
It is Karen’s drive, ambition, and search for something better that makes Hautebutch products so outstanding.

Confession: I’m sad right now. There is so much more to tell, but I’m running out of space here. Fortunately, I have good news. Nah, I’ve got great news.
Karen has launched a new Hautebutch YouTube channel in which she will do things like show us her process, walk us through the life of a shirt from idea to finished product, and share HB stories every-other Friday. Those videos have already started to roll out, so get on board quick.
Subscribe to get the inside scoop on all things Hautebutch. Got something you want to know? Karen asks that you leave her a comment on the YouTube channel so she can answer your questions.
That right there speaks volumes to me. Karen wants to know what you think and what you want to know. She wants that feedback.
She cares...and it shows in every single Hautebutch product. That’s love.
Huge thank you to Karen Roberts for sharing her story with us. Be sure to catch those videos for more.