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A Question and Answer session with Kate Sproston Design

Posted by Catherine Conway on

We're so happy to introduce award winning designer Kate Sproston of Kate Sproston Design. Kate creates beautifully embroidered cotton napkins, egg cosies and many other wonderfully products for the modern home.  

Kate Sproston

1. When did you first become interested in design?

I have always been interested in design, art, the theatre, stories and anything that requires a bit of imagination to create. I think like a lot of creative people, it’s just something that is in you so I can’t really pinpoint when.

2. So how did you get into this business?

I started working full time for lingerie company prior to starting my degree.  It was whilst working here that I got to see how a handmade business worked, taking into account material costs, production time, etc. It was a fantastic experience but after a few years I realised that I wanted to be able to continue to design for myself. These experiences helped me to come to a decision and I started to look into digital embroidery as a way to create tactile pieces that could be quickly produced and therefore be more affordable.

3. Where do you find your inspiration?

As you might expect, inspiration can come from anywhere at any time. Sometimes it’s just nice to have a flick through a few books or take a look on Pinterest to spark an idea. Often I think about an upcoming birthday, anniversary, etc, and see if I can make something for that person. Quite a few of my products can be found in the homes of family members and friends, and I don’t think its going to stop any time soon.

4. Is there a piece of work that you're particularly proud of?

On a personal level, I am most proud of the goldwork embroidered corset I made for my final university project. Whilst sourcing the threads, I got involved with designing kits for Toye, Kenning and Spencer. I went on to demonstrate the kits at Fortnum & Mason on their behalf. It was a fantastic experience to be able to say I could share a skill at such a prestigious store that values British craftsmanship.

On a business level when thinking about Kate Sproston Design, the product I am most proud to say I designed are the Reusable Christmas Crackers. They have been received really well and it is great to talk to customers about them and see how excited they get by something that is usually a throw away item. I love to hear what they have been filled with, with some really special gifts like engagement rings and baby scan pictures sent in them over the last few years.

Christmas Crackers

5. What do you think makes your collection unique?

Being made in the UK is something that is really important to me and when talking to visitors at fairs, it is something that they are often surprised by. That and the hand drawn nature of my designs give my products a more illustrative look. There has been a definite progression in my products over the last few years, but the new pieces, such as my rabbit and otters collection, have captured this hand drawn quality that I am eager to explore.


6. Are you working on anything special at the moment?  

At the start of the year I attended Spring Fair trade show at the NEC, Birmingham. One of my embroidered rabbit egg cosies was shortlisted for the Gift of the Year Award, and overall I enjoyed a great response to the collection as a whole. I also made contact with some new stockists and am currently exploring some exciting opportunities.

Later on in the year I will be exhibiting at the Country Living Christmas Fair, London in November, which I seem to be working towards the whole year through!. As you can imagine I love to attend and the products are well received.

 Katie Sprotson has previously won first place in the Peoples Choice Award on two occasions, once for the reusable crackers and again for the winter lodge cushion

Follow Kate Sproston on her Instagram for behind the scene pictures and visit her page on our website for more information.

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