”Do not wait for opportunity — create it “ With Designer Katia Bates

Yitzi Weiner
Nov 6, 2018 · 6 min read

My life lesson quote is as follows: ”Do not wait for opportunity — create it “ this quote has been the essence of my life since I decided to leave my family behind in Italy and move to the USA to attend college and find more opportunity.


I had the pleasure of interviewing Katia Bates. Born and raised just outside of Venice, Italy, and with a passion for restoration and lavish designs, Katia was the designer for Versace’s mansion, Casa Casuarina in 2000 and again in 2004. She was able to maintain the elegant feel and renowned artistic flavor that dates back to 1930 when the home was first built, while incorporating the regal styling and design of when Versace owned the mansion, turning it into an Italian masterpiece. Her overall vast and diverse history of interior design client experience also includes interior design of yachts –typically in Ft. Lauderdale, a global yachting home base.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I was growing up in the area of Venice, Italy, I was fascinated by the projects that my father was doing for some of his clients, And I began to spend time at his offices to learn about interior design. I am a second generation in this business and almost everyone in my family is either a developer, and architect, or an interior designer.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

We completed a project in Palm Beach for a family which was due to be delivered the day after Christmas. The property was a vacation home for them.

When they arrived with their suitcases, we were there to greet them. Few days later, we received a phone call from the husband who was requesting that we would book a flight their hometown in Georgia because “If we would not redesign their home there, his wife would be moving to Palm Beach since she loved their new place very much .”

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

One of the funniest mistakes we made was that, coming from Italy, we measured in centimeter while in the USA we use inches. Back in late 90’s , we were working on a yacht, we ordered a custom mattress which was supposed to be cm 170x203, but the order was written in inches 170" x 203".

The mattress manufacturer called our office to let us know that it would not be possible to install such a mattress size on a yacht. The lesson was, always check your work twice in our industry because the smallest mistake can make an enormous difference!

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

What makes our company stands out is the resources we have and the way we use them that makes our projects exclusive and amazing. We just finished a $32 M project which is very successful because we used products and furnishings that had not seen before in the USA and we created a new concept of interior design due to the high level of customization we adopted.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

We are working now on several very exciting projects including the refit of a 145’ yacht. We live in Fort Lauderdale, the yachting capital of the world, and every time there is a refit project of this size, many specialized companies are hired to perform work that others would not be able to accomplished although working in the same field. Therefore, the high budgets in doing these types of projects paired with the specialization required in doing this type of work demand higher pay for the companies involved.

What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?

My advice to other female leaders to help their team to thrive is that they need to work hard and show confidence in what they do.

What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?

The best way to manage a team is to assure that everyone is informed at all time and on the same page, so everyone knows their duties and responsibilities.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

The person that I am forever grateful in my life is my husband Tom Bates who has supported me during all these years of challenging projects. He has been helping me in keeping schedules and manage the teams even in the most critical situations.

During an installation in Vail, Colorado few years ago which was scheduled the opening day of ski season, we received a call from the logistic company that the installers “ were stuck “ in another project and will be there at 4pm to unload the delivery, only to find out that they all went skiing that day! If Tom was not there with me that day, the project would not have delivered on time.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

A lot of younger start up designers or Young Millennials decorating their first apartments or homes ask me for directions, want to talk to me to know what I think about the furniture they are buying or choosing to use for their new places. Also, our financial success allow us to contribute through donations to charities and organizations.

What are your “5 Leadership Lessons I Learned From My Experience” and why.

5 leadership lessons:

  1. Know what you are doing.
  2. Be confident
  3. Be informed
  4. Appreciate the team work
  5. Always be on time

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

Recently, I attended some events for Women of Tomorrow, an organization for high school girls that are in need of advice due to their less fortunate situations within their families.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

My life lesson quote is as follows: ”Do not wait for opportunity — create it “ this quote has been the essence of my life since I decided to leave my family behind in Italy and move to the USA to attend college and find more opportunity.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them :-)

The person that I would want to have lunch or breakfast with would be Melania Trump - not as politician but as a woman of influence who can make a difference in improving education in this country.

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Yitzi Weiner

Written by

A “Positive” Influencer, Founder & Editor of Authority Magazine, CEO of Thought Leader Incubator

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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