I get a lot of emails from new homeware shops introducing themselves. I like to support small businesses as I have one myself and it’s exciting to get access to businesses in their early days without all the bells and whistles of commercial thinking which can lead to things feeling a little homogeneous. At this stage the shops often have a home-made charm, the product offerings are off the beaten track and the interactions with the seller actually feels pretty intimate. I thought I’d start a new series of sorts to share a few of these shops with you.
I received one such email from Kate Williams last year about her new store Handpicked By Kate and we exchanged some messages about the challenges of running online businesses and arranged to chat in the new year.
Sometimes its just important to get on the phone and talk to people – I don’t always have the time but it’s so worth the effort when you do – you get so much more out of a proper conversation and when you work for yourself I think it’s even more essential to exchange ideas and chat to like-minded people.
Kate, based in Fulham has a background in interiors and events and got asked all the time where she got this or that piece in her home (all the best people do!). I loved Kate’s style instantly because it was my ‘alternative style’ – and by this I mean how I would furnish my interiors if it didn’t already have a distinct and more minimal look. Confident with mixing colour and pattern the eclectic collection of homewares for me is a cross between British tastemaker Ben Pentreath and global aesthetic of Anthropologie.
Also – I found her product choices very unique. I’m always reluctant to feature shops that have products that I’ve seen a lot of before – and i’ve pretty much seen everything – but as I browsed the store I kept expecting to read the name of a brand I knew but found not one – so refreshing! Expect delightful brands like Mister Berwyn‘s illustrated textiles, Bloomsbury Ceramics – wonderfully modern vintage ceramics inspired by the art of the Bloomsbury group and gorgeous hand-painted lamp bases from Rosanna Londsdale.
I’ve included some images of Kate’s own home so you can see how her style translates. She is totally skilled at confidently layering colour and pattern… how great is the geese fabric pin-board and hound-print storage skirt in her kitchen? I also love her use of mixing sweet and sentimental artwork like a cross-stitch from her birth – so lovely!
Handpicked By Kate has a lot of exciting new updates coming up with the look and feel of the store so keep an eye out and meanwhile snap up some of these beauties before everyone else discovers them.
Handpicked By Kate
Author: Rohini Wahi
Rohini is a London based freelance journalist and trend forecaster for the design industries. She has worked for Elle Decoration, Living Etc, Houzz and Design Sponge amongst others.
She loves a period drama and keeps a tidy home. Launched in 2007 The Beat That My Heart Skipped focuses on home inspirations, design trends, lifestyle and food – coupled with an insight into Rohini’s work and home life – from key picks at trade shows to styled weekend soirees. To contact Rohini for queries, work for hire or just to say hi drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org