A little more about Kate…
Kate Marsden is a textile designer, illustrator and blogger based in South London. Kate's work is inspired by the city around her as well as her travels, and her style leans towards the mid-century look, frequently highlighting her love of architecture, in particular Modernism and Brutalism. Kate's designs feature on a range of fabrics, art prints and other items.
The majority of Kate’s work starts life as black and white pen and ink drawings, taken from her own photographs. Kate digitally enhances and colours this work, frequently turning the motifs into surface pattern designs. All artwork is based around hand drawn elements.
Kate has been a self employed designer since January 2014, having studied Fashion & Textiles at Lincoln College of Art in the mid-1990s. During the 2000’s Kate took a number of short courses at Chelsea College of Art including screen printing, fine art and ceramics.
With a strong focus on pattern design for fabric, Kate loves to see her customers transform her designs into items she could never have imagined herself – Kate’s fabrics have graced a wide range of quilts (as seen at the Festival of Quilts), bags, home furnishings and even clothing.
Prior to starting her own business, Kate worked at a law firm in the City of London for 15 years, before returning to her original passion when her son was born in 2010. Being self employed provides Kate with flexibility for her young family as well as the option to scale her business as time goes by. In what little free time Kate has she enjoys (fair weather) gardening and belting out her favourite songs (in living rooms only!).
Kate is a winner of Theo Paphitis’ #SBS (Small Business Sunday) and has seen her work featured at the Royal Academy of Arts as part of their RAted range of up and coming British designer/makers. You may also have seen Kate’s work in the following places: West Elm London (pop-ups), The Simple Things Magazine, Emerald Street, Homemaker Magazine, Craftseller Magazine, Quilt Now Magazine, Simply Sewing Magazine, Love Sewing Magazine, Renegade Craft Fair, Crafty Fox Market, Thread Festival of Textiles, Warehouse Home Magazine Capsule Collection, The Village Haberdashery and Carshalton Artists Open Studios. You can see a list of Kate’s press mentions here.
Kate has also been featured in Uppercase Magazine's Compendium of Craft and Creativity:
“Like many of us, Kate Marsden had to put in time at a day job before she was able to make the leap to becoming a full-time creative entrepreneur. Although she studied fashion and textiles in college during the mid-1990s, she worked in a variety of unrelated jobs and ended up spending 15 years at a law firm in London. Her blog and company, Made By Mrs M, began as an outlet for her creativity…” — Uppercase Compendium of Craft & Creativity
Kate's main blog can be found here, she also writes the blog for the Just A Card campaign which encourages people to support small shops, galleries, artists and designer/makers.
A wide selection of customer feedback can be found in Kate’s Etsy shop. Highlights include:
“A wonderful, beautifully designed, personal gift. Kate was a joy to buy from - lots of communication, really helpful, always gave me updates and she did everything quickly. I highly recommend her personalised work!”
“Absolutely fab product, which I was able to change slightly and add different fabric to without any problems at all. Wonderful, friendly service - the seller couldn't have been more helpful. Thanks so much! Am now eyeing up lots more fabrics from this beautiful shop...”
“Good quality fabric and the wonderful Croydon print looks even better in real life! Am planning to make a dress to celebrate my home town. So very happy with this purchase, worth every penny. This fabric makes me smile every time I see it or think about it. Fabric of joy.”
Kate is happy to take commissions and can provide alternatives to almost anything you see on her website – do drop her a line to discuss. Kate has worked with range of individuals and companies and would love to hear from you. Find out more here.
Upcoming events and workshops can be found here. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information or visit the contact page.
How do you produce your artwork?
All of my work starts off with a pen and ink drawing and at this stage is in black and white. I scan my drawings and then edit them digitally – usually simply colouring them, but sometimes changing the size and composition as well. This provides me with lots of flexibility and enables me to use the same drawing in a number of ways to provide consistency across my portfolio.
Why so many buildings? Are you a frustrated architect?!
Well, I may be a frustrated architect! I’ve always loved buildings and I’ve always drawn them (windows are my go to thing to doodle). When I worked for a city law firm I specialised in real estate law and this was no coincidence… Architecture is all around us and it’s very hard not to be inspired by it. I’ve always been attracted to the buildings other people may not notice or like.
You say you work to commission. Can I have a t-shirt or my own unique fabric?
Within reason I can produce anything! I have had t-shirts printed for clients before and have also produced bespoke stationery, cushions, lampshades and unique one off colour ways of my existing items amongst other things. If you have an idea ask, and I’ll see what I can do!
What is your lead time for commissions?
This depends upon the time of year and my workload, but for house portraits and straightforward commissions my lead time is usually 2-3 weeks. However, this may be longer for more complex projects.
Where do you source your materials and products?
I like to make most items myself, however all of the things I can’t produce (such as my fabrics and giclee prints) are made for me locally by people I know (face to face, not just online!). I like to keep it small and support other independent businesses whenever I can.