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Steamboat Magazine

Shop and Be a Good "Samaratyn"

08/09/2023 11:29AM ● By Suzy Magill
(Photo: Katie McLaughlin screen printing teeshirts for her clothing line, Samaratyn. Photography courtesy of Katie McLaughlin.)

Katie McLaughlin graduated from Steamboat Springs High School this summer not with the senior superlative of “Most Likely to Be a Reality TV Star'' or “Most Likely to Become a Billionaire,” but with the award for “Most Steamboat.” Both the designs and message of her clothing brand, Good Samaratyn, reflect that. 

Living up to her “Most Steamboat” name, Katie is outdoorsy, filling her free time with backcountry skiing, climbing, river surfing, hiking, and, most prominently throughout high school, mogul skiing. But when she broke her ankle during her junior year, Katie was left with a lot of free time. 

“When I wasn’t able to move, with the amount of exercise I do, I had to express myself somehow,” Katie says. “I started messing around with art on my mom’s iPad.”

At age eight, Katie wanted to start a band. At 12, she wanted to sell necklaces. Now, with her newfound free time, she had the opportunity to make her business dreams a reality. She started Samaratyn, a clothing brand featuring her digital designs, and decided to donate up to 80% of her profits to charity. Her first line launched last summer, featuring a “Thank You for Living With Us'' design with acrylic-style drawings of extinct animals, her iconic design of three teddy bears, one holding the Earth, one holding a snowglobe, and one holding a temple, and a Kendrick Lamar quote that reads “What happens on Earth stays on Earth.”

The first charity Samaratyn donated to was “Give Directly,” which is based out of New York City and gives cash directly to people in need, empowering people in poverty across the globe to choose how best to improve their lives. 

“I like that they humanize people who are in need of money. They don’t take the fact that they’re poor to mean they’re incapable of making good decisions,” Katie explains. “It’s forward-thinking that’s much more considerate. It restores people’s dignity.”

Katie started Samaratyn on her own and is mainly self-taught, but in the past year, she has turned to local businesses for guidance. 

It began with an internship with Ohana, who also hosted a pop-up shop for Samaratyn at their downtown location last winter. 

“It was just wonderful to have such a supportive group of people willing to not only teach you but then to host this thing you’ve learned,” Katie says. “If you’re willing to accept that you’re a beginner and you don’t know what you’re doing, especially as a young person, in Steamboat where there are so many amazing people willing to help, you just have to ask.”

At the pop-up shop, Katie sold a limited edition screen-printed “Morningside Powder for Breakfast” shirt. This spring, a new collection launched with a “Surf the Yampa” t-shirt sold at Cruisers Sub Shop to benefit the Yampa River Fund through the River Collective Company, who Katie now interns for, working to connect them with other river nonprofits nationwide.

“I love highlighting parts of Steamboat that don’t get that much attention, and I saw that with river surfing,” Katie explains. “I love the culture of Steamboat; you just get to do so many cool things. The fact that I have a river surfing design and a ski design, and they’re about the same town, gets me really hyped up.”  

Samaratyn will have a stand at the Farmers Market on August 12, 2023, featuring current designs as well as some new ones. 

“We have a Samaratyn Farmers Market tote bag. So when you forget your bag or forget a bag on purpose, come find me.” Katie says. “You won’t be able to get them anywhere else.”

Next year, Katie will study business at the University of British Columbia but continue living Good Samaratyn’s message. 

“I want to spread the culture it has. It’s this idea of making it cool to care about everything: the planet, charity, your world,” she says. “I might have to take some time off to learn the skills needed, but that doesn’t mean it’s over. It’s more than a brand. It’s a lifestyle.”

For more information on Samaratyn, be sure to visit them online at:
Be sure to follow them on Instagram at @samaratyn