As I met Kate at her beautifully decorated Cook Street home, I’m greeted enthusiastically by her two Dachshunds, Grizzly and Oscar.
Originally from North Vancouver, Kate has called many places across Canada home, including Nova Scotia, where she went to university; Toronto, where she worked in shopping centre marketing; Grand Prairie, where her husband worked as a cowboy on the rodeo circuit; and finally to Victoria, where she and her husband plan to stay.
“I love Victoria. It feels like the country’s little secret and I’d love for no one to find out about it,” she says, laughing at the irony because her job happens to be about bringing people here. “It’s funny. When I first moved here, I was going to Vancouver every weekend and now I never leave. Every weekend trip is to somewhere on the island — there’s so much to see.”
Passionate about adventure, Kate’s happy place is exploring the island on the weekends.
“I love paddle boarding all year. In the summers, we do a lot of fishing off our boat in Bamfield. There are so many cool islands to explore around here.”
Originally brought to Victoria to work in commercial leasing for Uptown shopping centre, Kate specialized in finding local tenants for it. But although she found it very rewarding, she eventually moved to residential realty.
“I get so excited by the potential I see when I look at homes. People don’t always see what I see; I just can’t help but get excited about that sort of stuff.”
Asked what qualities have led to success in real estate, she says, “I was always told, ‘If you’re going to be in this business, you have to be hard.’ But I’ve found that the best approach is to just be open and honest with people and go about it in a respectful manner. I feel like people trust me and my opinion because I’m so open and honest.”
|Realtor Kate Gray at home. Lia Crowe photography.
With a “less is more” approach to her style, Kate says her everyday look is driven by comfort.
“I like clean lines and a simple, classic style. I’m also guilty of being a total Instagram follower when it comes to fashion. I get a lot of style inspiration from there, but I never take fashion too seriously.”
Uniform: Comfy jeans, tank top, blazer and some heels.
Fashion Obsession: “Fancy dresses. I have a closet full and not enough places to wear them!”
Accessory you spend the most money on: “It is 100 per cent bags — they always get me in trouble.”
Necessary indulgence: “My eye lashes extensions are a guilty pleasure that I have tried to give up but can’t seem to live without them.”
Scent: Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel.
Must-have hair product: “Purple shampoo; it keeps the brassiness out of my blonde hair.”
Favourite Musician: Garth Brooks.
Film or Movie that inspired your style: Clueless.
Favourite Cocktail/Wine: “I honestly love a virgin mojito; it’s so refreshing.”
Album on current rotation: The soundtrack from The Greatest Showman. “I love musicals.”
Favourite Flower: Wild lilacs.
Favourite city to visit: Buenos Aries, Argentina.
Favourite App: “The ParkVictoria App. No more tickets — or at least less tickets!”
Favourite place in the whole world: “I have travelled the world and lived in four different provinces. Victoria is my favourite place in the world.”
-Story and photography by Lia Crowe