Hello Kayleigh thank you for taking the time to speak to us. Can you start by telling us a little about yourself?
It's lovely to work with you! Sure! I'm 38 this year, a mother to two small children, a wife, and I run Kinshipped. I started Kinshipped because I could never find greeting cards/wrap and stationery, that fitted my personal style. I also found it really hard to want to display received greeting cards in my home, as they felt so jarring with my interior style.
Prior to Kinshipped, and having a family, I worked as a business director in Brand Strategy in London. I spent many years listening to brand and marketing directors share issues for us to solve and strategise on. I left that career when I fell pregnant after leaving London; I never saw myself commuting away from my small children for large portions of the week and was privileged enough to have saved to take the time out after birth and think about what I was going to do.
We also have a 10-year-old Boston Terrier, who is very much central to family life, and my Kinshipped journey. He's usually by my side.
We love the aesthetic of your brand. Can you tell us how you approach the design process for your products?
Thank you! I always start with an idea of what I want to create, it's always from something I can usually see in my mind's eye and I might then create a mood board around the patterns/textures/colours I'd like to use and go from there - exploring layouts etc. Starting with a blank piece of paper and seeing what happens really doesn't work for me. Anything can trigger an idea - a pattern, a colour, a shadow, a mark, a building and from that I will create a mood board from which to experiment with. My phone is absolutely full of random pictures of things that have inspired an idea.
I'll aim to create a range of 8-12 cards, but often the design just doesn't lend itself to all occasions. Once I am happy, I look at my paper stocks to see what board to print on, and what envelope will go with the design. If it's a new colour I will send a colour test off to the printer to make sure it appears physically how I want it to. I predominantly draw on a graphics tablet (Huion) to make my designs using Illustrator. Some elements I will draw by hand and scan in, but that's quite rare.
I also like to binge-create and have recently realised, a creative hibernation for 3 days away from home really works for me. I will literally rent an Airbnb and sit, drawing/creating for days. It works really well for me, as I don't do well dipping in and out of creating, it's really disruptive. I will often book it at the last minute when I have lots and lots of concepts in my mind that I need to explore.
How important is sustainability to you; both in the way you live your life and run your business?
Exceptionally important. Particularly since having children -- I have become incredibly aware that we are responsible for creating the legacy they will inherit. I feel so angry with the generations above us, and how ignorant they were in the way they lived their lives, and I don't want younger generations to feel that way about us. It's so important we do our best. At the very least, I think it's important to think through every single purchase. It can be exhausting, but usually, there's a better choice to make in every situation. It pervades every single part of our life now, and it's a lot to bear at times, but I strongly believe it's the only way. I also find that sustainable living is tightly married to health and well-being.
A lot of the ways we were living previously - eating and drinking from plastic vessels, driving everywhere, unseasonal eating etc. are actually really damaging to health. Living sustainably has really started to mean so much to us, in every way. We've slowed down a lot in the last years.
Sustainable living and mindfulness often go hand in hand. How do you try to incorporate mindfulness into your daily/weekly routine?
I am naturally a completer/finisher, so try not to dwell on anything. I complete and move on. I'm able to make decisions assertively, so not much stagnates and goes round and round.
I also commit things to paper - I'm a big list person, and it keeps my life more orderly.
I'm a huge fan of walking. We have a dog, and fitting in gym/classes as well as school drops offs and dog walks is a lot, so Loki and I walk 2 x 45 minutes a day which is fantastic for getting that headspace and vitamin D dose.
Sleep and the time preceding sleep are hugely important too - I have found. At the moment, we're a lights out for 10 pm household - in bed for 9.30 latest. This is for reading/talking and definitely not scrolling. By bedtime, I have prepared outfits/bags/laundry for the day ahead - if I leave that for the morning, it leads to a terribly frenetic start to the day. Prep allows me to sit and have breakfast with the kids, chatting about the day ahead.
We believe that clothing can be transformative, how does this resonate with you?
Absolutely this is true. There have been a few occasions in my life (I remember them all) where I have been forced to wear something that just didn't feel like 'me' and I felt so incredibly awkward and not myself all day.
Feeling good about what you wear is such a powerful tool for confidence. It's definitely true for me that if I need to pick myself up or move out of a rut, I will revisit items in my wardrobe I've not worn in a while - perhaps things that require a good iron, smarten myself up, put some makeup on (I rarely wear it), and I will immediately feel better. Similarly, there are times when you just want to feel comfortable and cosy, and clothing can do this for me too.