What Cath Kidston Did Next - The Gloss Magazine

What Cath Kidston Did Next

Cath Kidston is synonymous with a love of colour, print and pattern, but did you know she loves gardening which was the starting point for her new creative venture?

The name “Cath Kidston” is associated with pattern, colour, nostalgia, and comforting, cheerful spaces. In fact the brand became linked with arguably one of the biggest decorative trends in the early 1990s which is still going strong – vintage chic, known as or #cottagecore on Instagram.

While Cath Kidston sold her majority stake in the brand in 2015, she has not rested on her laurels. Since then she has set up a studio called Joy of Print producing a small collection of pretty sophisticated fabrics and wallpapers. She has also launched C.Atherley, a body and bath range inspired by the scented geraniums she grows in her greenhouse, and written a book about interior design inspired by her homes.

In this exclusive interview for THE GLOSS, Cath reflects on her work and why she’s looking forward to visiting Ireland next week…

On business highlights

“The first day of opening of my first Cath Kidston shop is one of my best memories. It was something new to the market at the time and daunting but very exciting.  I have always loved the creative side of my career, so my memories tend to be product related. We made the first printed phones with Nokia which was a crazy project and also sold a massive quantity of recycled shopping bags in Tesco raising funds for Marie Curie which was a great moment when they hit the market.”

On home

“I live in a Cotswold farmhouse with an 18th century extension to the front. We look down a beautiful valley called Paradise. It’s very much a family house with lots of colour and antiques. There is some chintz in the odd bedroom, and it’s filled with flowers which I love having in the house. I researched a lot of books on old Irish houses when I was decorating it and love the colour and simplicity you find and have a thing for old Irish furniture.” (Read Cath’s book, A Place Called Home, Print, Colour, Pattern, €32.95, published by Pavilion)

On new projects

“I am always on the lookout for ideas. I reckon it’s a mindset for creative people so they could come from being in the garden, going to an exhibition, travelling – anywhere really. As my background is in retail, I love the structure it brings creating a brand and the connection and focus on products and the customer so starting a new brand seemed a natural next step. I missed it when I left Cath Kidston in 2015 and managed a year out before I was back at my design desk.”

On her love of gardening

“I was brought up in the English countryside and spent so much of my childhood outside so have always appreciated nature. I had my own patch in our vegetable garden as child. I now have a very simple garden with woodland planting and an expanding greenhouse set-up packed with geraniums. I love the scented varieties and having plants to bring into the house. My family were all interested in gardening.

My new body and bath range, C.Atherley, was inspired by my love of scented pelargoniums and their extraordinary breadth of fragrances and qualities. The product is literally developed from greenhouse to bottle. I cultivate the plants we chose to base the fragrance on and then take them to the apothecary where they match the fragrance directly from the leaves using one pure essential oils. My geranium collection is ever expanding, and I am in the process of putting in a second greenhouse to have space for cuttings.”

“I named C.Atherley after my maternal grandmother; I loved her name which died out in her generation and used it really to celebrate all the women who loved gardening. My other grandmother created a very beautiful garden at her home called Sutton Park in Yorkshire.”

On Ireland

“My last visit was a few years ago and a wonderful trip to Ballyfin. I used to come over regularly when I had shops in Ireland but haven’t been for a bit, so I am very much looking forward to my visit to the new Ballintubbert Garden Festival.”

Need to Know: See Cath Kidston at Ballintubbert Garden Festival, on Saturday, April 20 when she will discuss the Power of Scent and the creation of her new beauty and bath brand C.Atherley from 3.30pm-4.30pm. Tickets for Saturday including booking fee cost €105; weekend ticket is €160; www.ballintubbert.com


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