Maker of the Week... Clothkat March 06 2015
Hello lovelies and welcome to another Maker of the week story!
I've only recently discovered this one, so I'm looking forward to finding out a little bit more about the designer behind the cute and quirky Clothkat brand.
Tell me a little bit about you?
Hello! I’m Kat, designer, illustrator and maker.
And where are you based?
I live and work in a place on the outskirts of Glasgow (squirrels, foxes and frogs are regular visitors to the garden) with my other half who is hugely supportive and has a special ops role in ClothKat when it comes to some of the more technical/practical sides of the business.
I had started with one of the rooms in the house being for work and but it’s gradually spreading and now it’s a two room business.
What do you make?
I make whimsical, colourful, characterful prints, cards and cushions. With an emphasis on tongue in cheek, texture and pattern. The majority of my products are for nursery décor.
And where do you sell your products?
I have sold work at craft fairs previously and while I really loved getting to meet customers and other makers face to face it wasn’t always easy to balance the time it took to prepare and attend them with the profit that could be made but I think if you find the right craft market for your product they can be wonderful for your business.
I have also sold my work wholesale via some lovely shops around the UK and I’m currently working on my new wholesale catalogue and will be contacting more shops soon.
What inspires you?
Ooh! So many things! Here is just a few of them - memories from my childhood, books and films I read, mid century style, Scandinavian designs, things related to circuses and the theatre, nature, textures and travel, exploring cute independent boutiques are one of our first ports of call in any city we visit.
Not to sound too Mary Poppins but anything that lifts my spirits and makes me feel joyful as it helps to get me into the right head space for being creative. Even just a smile from a stranger I pass on the street!
What are some of the pro's and con's of running your own business?
One of the hardest things I’ve found about running ClothKat has been how to develop my ‘inner manager’ – the creative side comes much more easily than the focussed/organised management side, but I’m getting there!
I love getting the chance to make a living out of doing something I’m passionate about and I love being able to contribute in some tiny way to a lot of very special occasions – such as celebrating a new little life coming into the world.
Do you have any words of wisdom and advice for designers starting out?
Be careful of the risks of comparing yourself with others – something I think you posted about recently Allison? I most certainly did! :)
While it’s really important to have an idea of what other people are making, how they price their work etc it can be all too easy to feel overwhelmed and compare yourself unfavourably.
Remember that everyone’s journey is different - you are totally unique no one else can do exactly what you can!
Breaking things down into tiny bite size pieces and working through them one at a time is a good way to make the overwhelming feel more manageable.
Working for yourself can be a bit isolating at times so make sure you take good care of yourself and get a good support network in place, friends, family, other makers – anyone who will be on your side and offer a bit of encouragement when you might be having doubts!
And finally. what are your hopes and dreams for the future?
Continuing to grow my business and taking my designs and applying them to other products is one of the next steps for me this year.
I would also love to get the chance to collaborate with other makers I admire.
Thank you so much Kat for sharing your maker story, I really enjoyed finding out a little bit more about you and all the wonderful things that inspire you too!
If you want to see more of the Clothkat creations, or maybe you fancy taking up that offer of a collaboration, then hop on over to her Instagram gallery or website and check out more of her work there. Keep on making lovelies, until next time...
Allison x x x