Five minutes with designer/maker Kate Marsden of Made by Mrs M

 Kate Marsden

Today we’re finding out about the creative world of Kate Marsden who creates mid-century inspired textile designs.

National Theatre Print

Hi there Kate! Can you tell us all a little bit about yourself?

My name is Kate Marsden (a.k.a. Made By Mrs M) and I’m a textile designer from South London. I mostly design patterns for fabric, which I sell by the metre and fat quarter, but I also produce a complementary range of products – travel card wallets, notebooks, soft furnishings etc.

When did you start designing/making?

I studied Fashion and Textiles at college (I left 20 years ago!) and have always designed and made things, however I took many years out working in the City so I’ve only been doing what I do now for a few years and as my main job for the last 2½.

What do you love about designing/making?

The opportunity to be myself. I never really felt able to be or able to express myself in corporate jobs. Now I feel that I’m really doing what I’m supposed to do, even if I do spend a lot more time on admin than designing – it is very hard work building up a business from scratch, especially in the leaner times.

Fat Quarters

Can you share any top designing/making tips?

I think what I’ve really learnt over the past few years is that it’s best to let your personality shine through, and not let yourself be swayed by trends or what you think will sell best. Whenever I’ve tried to water my designs down or make something I consider to be more commercial, it doesn’t sell. I think my work is a bit like Marmite – people tend to love it or not quite get it. My attitude is that it’s better to be loved by some than ignored by everyone as it’s just the same as everything else out there!

When you’re not designing/making, what do you like to do?

At this time of year I love gardening. I work from home so I’m lucky that if I’m having a bad day or I’m a bit stressed I can just pop out there for 10-15 minutes, do a bit of weeding or something, and feel better. I’ve also really got into yoga in recent months and feel like a new (taller) person for it. Apart from that I’m Mum to a 6 year old, so that’s the rest of my free time gone!

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