Featured Designer: Kitty Came Home

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FK talks to Katrina from Adelaide label Kitty Came Home about her range of fashion accessories and her business journey.

Tell us about Kitty Came Home and what products you offer?
The Kitty Came Home label unites vintage-love with contemporary design. The product range gradually expanded from the original Vintage Fabric Button Clutch to now include the Super Clutch, Journals, Diaries, the KCH man style wallet as well as a small collection of sterling silver jewellery. Using predominantly reclaimed materials, such as PVC, vintage fabrics and buttons, which I collect in opp-shops and from my travel adventures.

How did you come up with the name? and what lead you to starting your own label?
My friend Holly & I came up with the name and at the time I was only making one product the ‘Vintage Fabric Button Clutch’. I wanted to use the word Kitty because I like to use the phrase ‘put your money in the kitty’ and being a clutch purse, that worked perfectly. I love cats and all things cute and cats + cute = kitty.

Kitty is also a reference to my name, although most of my friends call me Kat. ‘Came Home’ because so many of the fabrics & buttons that I find must think that their life is near over, so its great that they get to come home with Kitty and have a fresh start. Also the fabrics that I use have so many little stories to tell so using Kitty Came Home as a name provided the narrative I was after.

Where do you find inspiration?
In the little details mostly … perhaps because of my jewellery background I always find myself lost in the most tiny details of the bigger picture. Other inspirations for me would be travel, design, fashion, furniture, food & of late I must say that classic vintage Euro cars have been my thing so curvaceous & cute it’s weird but I can’t take my eyes off them!
I’m also very inspired by process both hand made and industry processes. I enjoy exploring the limits of a material through process.

What have you learnt most since starting in 2004?
Almost everything I have learned along the way by making mistakes. I was very lucky in the early days to have had a product that I was able to sell whilst still ironing out the flaws in production. Listening to (brutally honest) advice from my friends about how I could improve the original clutch purse was most helpful.

Probably my biggest lesson learned is that I cannot do everything myself. I have a handful of key people that I outsource components of the making process to. This is especially important to relieve me of that robot feeling that I had when doing everything myself & keeps my time free for experimenting with new product designs.

How was your ‘out of Adelaide’ experience with being at the Sydney Finders Keepers?
Double excitement actually. Firstly because I had spent months prepping stock and displays for the Finders Keepers which was my first big Market in Sydney. So I had my fingers and toes crossed that all would go well.

Secondly because the day that I flew in, so did my boyfriend from Hamburg who I had not seen in 3 months! Needless to say there was quite a bit of kissy, kissy in between selling, selling, selling.

All up it was a fantastically busy weekend, a great opportunity to sell to the public & gain some exposure in Sydney.

What do you love most about doing what you do?
Making things, dreaming about what I what I want to create next & having the ability to make it happen. I love working from home with my cat Fella, being my own boss and having the flexibility to be able to travel.

It’s hard to say what I love the most but I think it would be the hunting down of all the little treasures that make their way into Kitty Came Home.

The Finders Keepers is an independent design and art market event founded in Sydney. FK also have a sensational blog packed with fashion articles and more.

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