B & B interview founders of Katy Blades May 20, 2015 12:00 1 Comment
B&B: Charlotte Blades, we met donkey years ago when we used to have our store in Carnaby Street and you championed our oddball streetwear as it matched your kooky personality. Now you have opened your own tongue in cheek quirky online shop Katy Blades selling super cool gifts with your bestie Kate Simpson. We know you are super busy at the moment, thanks for taking the time to have a catch up.
How did the idea of Katy Blades come about?
Kate: For me, it came up after a life changing event, I ditched the dross (i.e. ex-husband) and, with some financial help and a gorgeously hairy and generous new fiancé, I was in the position to put my proposal for world domination to Charlotte, my oldest buddy.
Charlotte: For me it was just about getting off the gin...
Kate: Seriously Charlotte... people are reading this.
Charlotte: OK, I’d been made redundant after daring to have a second child (thanks for that). I was merrily making my jewellery to stop myself from being bored/weed on, picking up lego/Weetabix, when Kate mentioned the idea of starting a shop. It blossomed out of a need for independence, something to invest in for our future and we just did lots of research into things we like. We’re still learning. but it’s been invaluable to have made mistakes as we’re gradually learning our market.
How did you two meet?
Charlotte: We met through mutual friends, and I can recall seeing a sweaty Kate in the basement of the now defunct Wine Cellar ‘club’ in Woolwich… frankly we all took our life in our own hands there. She was as vivacious and full of vim then as she is now…”
Kate: Yeah, through a toxic haze, this beautiful petite thing came into my life. We've been through parties, boyfriend break ups, house removals, Glastonburys, several England football matches and a whole lot of Gin together.
Where are you based?
Saaarff East London/North Kent borders… follow the Thames far enough and we are just past Charlton.
What's your most popular product?
Kate: Without a doubt, Pink Flamingos and Beard Wash Kits. People are hairy and kitsch, what can we say?
Most important of all, will you have any more pink garden flamingos for the garden, as Lisa is not quite ready to purchase yet till her garden done?
Kate: Definitely, not only do we have flamingos, we also have a darling set of three swan planters. Charlotte thinks they are better suited to using as elaborate punch bowls…oh and the new plastic pineapple pots we’ve got coming are great too.
Charlotte: Yeah, they would be great filled with pimms! Loads of ice and some fancy straws! No? Just me then….hah they are probably not watertight. I shouldn’t recommend people do that.
Kate: No Charlotte, you shouldn’t!
David Hasselhoff (The Hoff) or Midge Ure?
Charlotte: Tough, I saw The Hoff in Chicago in the West End. I laughed so much and got so excited I melted a whole bag of Maltesers which I’d left in my lap... then again Ure has the indelible style of the Vienna video. I’d have to say Selleck.
Kate: Selleck all day long.
B&B: Ha ha, wanted to throw you - knew it would be Tom Selleck or Phil Collins!
What three words describe each of you?
Kate: Tall, Blonde, Achiever
Charlotte: Short, Dark, Hairscarves
What is playing in the background while you work at the moment?
At the moment it’s Phil Collins of course! (That’s All... Just when I thought it was going alright, find out I’m wrong when I thought it was right, it’s always the same it’s just a shame, and that’s all) but usually its someone from the holy Trinity (Genesis, Prince or Dolly – natch).
Where do you see yourselves in the next couple of years?
Charlotte: Well, to be honest, things are really picking up. We are focusing on our upcoming stall at Spitalfields Market this Sunday. We’re hoping that will become a regular thing for us, as well as driving traffic to the website. We hope to have a really extended homewares range in a couple of years as we are finding our passions lie somewhere between kitsch and cool.
Kate: Yeah, I’d like to see us corner the entire tea towel market and make a real success of Spitalfields. It's great having an online shop, but getting out and meeting the customers and showing off your wares is what we’re really looking forward to.
Charlotte: Thanks for always staying in touch girls, you are our design heroes x
B&B: Aw shucks... thanks.