I met Kathryn, founder of Ilkley London, earlier this year in London on a Sophie Robinson and Fiona Humberstone colour workshop. As I’m based in Ilkley, my ears pricked up when I heard Kathryn talking about her business, Ilkley London; a little reminder that we live in a small world. Having retrained myself, I’m always interested to hear other people’s stories about changing career to do something they are passionate about. What I love about Kathryn’s brand is her bold, colourful curation of a range inspired by the mood and colours of Yorkshire. The fringed Mill cushion is one of my favourites, take a look…
1/ When & why did you set up your business?
I launched Ilkley London earlier this year. It combines my passion for retail (I used to work in buying) and interiors (I re-trained at KLC, graduating in 2015). I also wanted to produce a range which combined the two areas of the world which I love; Yorkshire and London. The range is inspired by the colours and textures of the Yorkshire Moors (in particular Ilkley Moor) but works beautifully in an urban setting. Colour and texture are here to stay and Ilkley London was created to give people easy access to a range that introduces colour into their homes.
2/ What can we buy from you?
Ilkley London has a cleverly curated selection of cushions, throws, lamps and fabrics. Expect to see rich textures and patterns, with a signature moorland bird print which works across the range.
We currently sell online (www.ilkleylondon.co.uk) and via our Instagram account @ilkleylondon. New products are often launched on our Insta feed, so do follow us to see what we’re up to.
3/ Describe your brand style in 3 words.
Bold, sumptuous, unique.
4/ Out of everything you have ever sold, what’s your favourite piece?
The Hebden Cushions in our signature moorland bird print. They have a contrast fringe for a unique twist and the colours are rich and decadent. Watch this space as we’ll be adding more fringe/fabric combinations to the range soon.
5/ What do you love most about running your own business?
It gives me an outlet to explore my own creative passions and do something I truly believe in.
6/ What do you think are going to be the next interior trends in 2018/19?
More colour, colour, colour! We are most definitely leaving the world of grey behind. Consumers have still been a little nervous of colour but it is slowly creeping into more and more homes. I also think more people want to stamp their own individuality onto their home and be bolder with their style.
7/ What are you most proud of?
Definitely launching Ilkley London. It was a long journey! Before I launched, I wanted the products to be just right, the website to reflect the brand and obviously everything needed to stack up commercially. Juggling 3 children at the same time, it took a little while to get everything right, but it was most certainly worth it!
8/ What challenges have you faced while running your business?
There are constant challenges from technology to getting the design right and dealing with suppliers. Every time I hit a problem I try to work through it bit by bit and not get overwhelmed – I just chip away until I get there.
9/ What’s next for your business?
We have just launched wallpapers, artworks and greeting cards all based around our signature bird print and we have seen a fantastic response so I am looking forward to promoting these new lines more. We will be showing at The Country Living Christmas Fair from 7 – 11 November and Spring Top Drawer 13 -15 January. All truly exciting steps in getting the Ilkley London brand out there and known.
10/ Who would be your ideal celebrity customer?
Someone with their own individual flair, strong but down to earth. Paloma Faith sums this up for me and her music is great too!
Check out Kathryn’s full range at www.ilkleylondon.co.uk and take a look at her beautifully bold Insta feed @ilkleylondon