Australia’s Kip & Co creates colorful, spirited and youthful bed linens—and towels, rugs and even beanbags. From cartoon pizza representations to rainbow scribbles, the prints are just playful enough without overdoing it. The team, composed of two sisters (Kate Heppell and Hayley Pannekoecke) and a friend (Alex van der Sluys) they met during their college years in Melbourne, has worked in various fields but always felt the pull to embark on a creative project that was also tangible.
“We were forever coming up with business ideas—some great, some good, some terrible! But that was half the fun,” van der Sluys tells CH. ” One day, over a glass of wine, Kate said, ‘What about bed linen?’ and that was kind of it. We knew there was a gap in the market for bright, creative bed linen and we just went out there and set about plugging that gap.”
Three co-founders working together on each design might sound like a potential mess, but it all falls together seamlessly. They “work in a bit of a ‘design democracy,'” van der Sluys explains. Drawing inspiration everywhere from their own sketches to treasures found at flea markets, the trio has a “layered” approach to designing. “We all come to a design session with our favorite print ideas and color inspiration and then we end up taking a little bit from Kate, a little from Hayley and a little from me and merging them—so that the end output is really an amalgamation of the three of us,” van der Sluys says. “I am sure that’s not how big companies work, but it seems to be going OK for us and means we are all really engaged.”
We absolutely love spending time in India. It might sound cliché, but the color and life of that country are just incredibly motivating.
The trio was also sure to thoroughly research their manufacturing options, focusing on quality, speed and—most importantly—to have their goods made ethically. “We have spent quite a bit of time in India to find the right manufacturers and build our relationships with them,” Says van der Sluys. “We use a family-owned manufacturer who meets the high ethical and quality standards that we expect—and I think it’s really important to be in regular contact with your suppliers to make sure those standards are always front of mind. We absolutely love spending time in India. It might sound cliché, but the color and life of that country are just incredibly motivating—and they are very innovative in their textile design and creative processes.”
There are a few exciting collaborations in the works, plus new products bubbling in each of their minds. For now, though, their bed linens (for adults—and also children’s twin bed options) are available online.
Images courtesy of Kip & Co