Recently I had the chance to meet Cath Kidston, sometimes referred to here in England as the Queen of Flowers. She was speaking at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and I jumped at the chance to hear her story. She's quite the success story, having opened her first shop 16 years ago. Today she has 28 shops, 5 of those in Japan, and has become quite the household name here in the UK. She is often considered the Laura Ashley of today's time.
Her first shop focused on vintage fabrics, curtains, and second hand furniture, which she picked up at car boot sales and repainted. She called it a glorified junk shop. Doing some design work on the side allowed her business to build until her own signature products could carry the store.
Today her stores are experiencing a significant increase of profits amidst the gloom of a recession. She's not to be left behind in the world of technology either, since her design is one of the themes that you can choose for Google's new web browser, Chrome, that was just launched. She's in good company with other designers in this effort such as Dolce and Gabbana, Tory Burch and Donna Karan.
Perhaps it is because her products are so cheerful, bright and whimsical that the appeal just continues to grow. Her Christmas windows are inviting and fun.
Her signature look is florals, dots, and small patterns. The rose pattern was the first fabric she developed, followed soon after with her first product -- an ironing board cover.
She was well on her way to teapots, plates, cutlery, radios,
tea towels, sewing baskets, tins, and aprons to name a few, as well as
clothing, and her ever popular bags, seen all around London town.
Bags of all shapes, sizes and for all purposes. Popular with some of my American friends is a pattern with sites from around the city. She gave us a sneak preview of a new pattern due out next year-- a pattern with landmarks from around the United Kingdom: Windsor Castle, Edinburgh, Dover, and York to name a few.
Some of her stores are devoted entirely to her children's line
with the sweetest bedding, linens and accessories for little girls and boys alike.
And guess who has her own Cath Kidston backpack? Of course, you guessed that Jordan would have to have one of her very own, and she might just find a few more Cath Kidston surprises under the Christmas tree. You can take a peek at her wide selection of products at the Cath Kidston website here.