Maker Monday: An ASPIRE Exclusive Interview With Summer Kath

Summer Kath is a powerhouse when it comes to creating innovative quartz designs for Cambria Surfaces. With creativity in her blood and passion for her work, Summer has worn plenty of different hats for Cambria, such as acting as both Executive Vice President of Business Development and Head of Design. But she doesn’t plan on just stopping there. For Cambria’s 20th anniversary, Summer created a new collection of quartz using proprietary technology with tones and movements that have never before been accomplished. Introducing the trailblazer of our Maker Monday series, Summer Kath.

Not only is Cambria known for their superior performance of natural quartz surfaces, but they offer unmatched beauty, world-class service, American craftsmanship, and pure sustainability.

Andrew Joseph: You’re the newest Crayola color. What color are you and why?
Summer Kath: Peacock! Metallic blue-green. The peacock is my spirit animal. It’s vibrant and radiates vitality.

Andrew: If you weren’t a designer, you’d be:
Summer: An inspirational, professional speaker. I get such a high being on a stage, connecting with my audience and inspiring people to see things and think differently.

Andrew: What’s the best thing that happened to you this month?
Summer: In the midst of finding the new normal “in shelter”, the best thing (this month) was I found out I was nominated into a group of Women of Inspiration. It is such an honor and I am very grateful for the nomination.

Andrew: What’s your favorite cocktail?
Summer: Vodka Soda with a million limes. And it is a quarantine favorite.

This incredible kitchen was designed by Jewel Marlow. The breathtaking kitchen island countertop is called the Bentley, which makes for the perfect focal point.

Andrew: What’s the weirdest thing a client has ever asked you?
Summer: Can we make a pet food dish out of Cambria??

Andrew: What are your ideal weekend plans?
Summer: Trip to the desert. Hiking, biking, spa and amazing food and drinks.

Andrew: What’s something you always travel with?
Summer: What I wouldn’t give to travel again!!! Oil of oregano. It prevents any sickness (probably not COVID). The first sign of a sore throat, you dobber the oil down your throat (WARNING: it tastes awful) and it has not let me down.

Andrew: Do you get your eight hours a night? – what is your schedule like?
Summer: Oh how this schedule has changed. Pre-quarantine: I would be on a plane every week. I rise at 5 am for a 6 am fitness class, no matter where I am in the world, then hit the ground running hard and fast. Sleep was a luxury I didn’t put emphasis on. NOW: I definitely get 8+ hours of sleep. I work out when I can fit it in while working at home. It’s a new adjustment and I’m overworking that Zoom.

Andrew: How would you describe your personal style?
Summer: Classic, with a modern edge. I like to juxtapose rough with refined. My goal is to overall create something that is classy and elegant with surprising elements, which might make you go ‘hmmm.’

The amazing natural quartz featured on this kitchen island is a part of Cambria’s 14 new designs. It goes by the name of Chicago Tower and provides a sense of subtleness and confidence, along with the gathering of white specks intermixed with particles of black and medium gray.

Andrew: What’s inspiring you in life (in the industry) right now?
Summer: Art. I have several friends that are prolific artists and I find so much inspiration in studying their inspiration. Art Basel and other art fairs spur many ideas for my design work and for my own life aspirations.

Andrew: What are some of the podcasts you listen to and why?
Summer: “How I Built This” with Guy Raz. Guy interviews entrepreneurs who launched successful companies, like SoulCycle, Peloton, and Yelp. Great conversations of their trials and tribulations to the top.

Andrew: What would you like to be remembered for?
Summer: My Passion. When I like something (food, people, places, solutions, vacations) I become a major advocate and share with everyone, with great passion. I am very lucky to have the job of my dreams which I couldn’t have designed better than how it has evolved. My passion for Cambria and what I do is strong. I hope that translates into the output.

About The Maker | Traveling the globe to source inspiration for Cambria’s continuous pipeline of new design innovations, Summer Kath is the creative force behind all new design launches at Cambria. With over 180 designs and growing, Summer is responsible for translating consumers’ existing and unmet wants and needs into product development, combining her trend-spotting, keen eye with the art and science behind quartz.

As Head of Design, Summer most recently spearheaded Cambria’s most significant launch to date with the introduction of twenty new designs tied to the brand’s 20th anniversary, created using proprietary technology with tones and movements never before accomplished. Summer also led the launch of Cambria’s first-to-market innovation – Cambria Matte™, a breakthrough surface finish with a low-sheen akin to honed marble. With multiple design launches per year, Summer responds to demand in the marketplace by staying at the forefront of what’s new and next by offering designs that are unlike anything else in the surface industry and pushing the R&D team to the max.

As Executive Vice President of Business Development, Summer strategically grows operations across North America and oversees regional business development teams across the country. Summer orchestrates white-glove celebrity and corporate alliance partnerships, from rockers and ball players like Steven Tyler and Dwayne Wade, to like-minded brands like Kohler and Wolf Subzero and high-end hotel and restaurant alliances such as The Baccarat Hotel in NYC and David Fhima’s new restaurant in Minneapolis.

Andrew Joseph is a regular contributing editor for ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME magazine. See more of his work here.

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