Designers and lifelong friends, Kate and Jo established their business, Katey and Josephine, in 2012. After dropping their children off at school they step into their ‘business shoes’ (i.e. slippers!), put the kettle on and get to work, designing stylish home textiles and accessories from their studio in Yorkshire…
How did Katey and Josephine come about?
Way back in 1984, we met at school, aged 7, and have been friends ever since, enjoying many art and textiles lessons together. In 1998 we talked about owning our own business and selling our homemade wares, but life got in the way. It wasn’t until 2012 that we decided to really make a go of it.
Describe the design process.
Our starting points are very varied, and that’s what keeps it interesting for us. For example, we may stitch, collage, draw, or paint, to create the initial design. We scan in these designs in order to rework them digitally, finishing with a digital pattern that may then need to be adapted – we always consider the end product and how the design is translated onto it.
What inspires your designs?
Having been friends for so many years, our interests and likes are often very similar, and so our inspiration is often very similar too. We love colour, pattern, natural features, unusual ways of seeing things and discovering art in the mundane. We also enjoy finding inspiration in local galleries, art and architecture.
What’s the secret to a happy partnership in business?
30 years of friendship!
How do you choose your manufacturers and why?
It is important to us that all our products are ‘Made in the UK’. We like to visit our manufacturers and build a relationship with them – this can only help to create quality products that we are proud of. Many of our manufacturers are family-run businesses and so there is a mutual appreciation and support for how small businesses run.
What’s your favourite countryside moment?
Living in Yorkshire there are many that we have shared together, but we both have very happy memories of climbing Snowdonia together in the late 90s. It was a stunning autumnal scene with amazing views
Describe your creative style in three words.
Authentic, fresh and friendly.