Artist and designer Katie Kime, founder of Austin–based eponymous apparel and home accessories company, remembers creating artwork and vessels as far back as elementary school. “My earliest age of making things [clay pots] was around seven,” says Kime. “So I have always loved creating. That said, I really never thought it could be a career until my senior year of college when a friend convinced me to host a trunk show of the things she’d been watching me make over the years. And then it kind of clicked that I could make a career of this.”
These days, she’s busy designing bright, colorful art and original prints and patterns (think banana leaves, tennis racquets, arrows, and cheetahs) for an expansive collection of sleepwear, monogram oxfords, and home goods comprised of stationery, ice buckets, coasters, phone cases, lucite serving trays, peel-and-stick wallpaper, and tea towels.
Her latest toile wallpaper design, the San Antonio Collection, is a nod to the town’s history and beloved icons including the River Walk and Alamo. “I am really leaning into my obsession with color and art and making that a part of the brand and our prints,” explains Kime. “Color has always been there, of course, but even color as its own print color-blocking, color theory with something as simple as stripes and so on.”
Kime, who admits some of her favorite items are the oysters pattern, the Marfa toile, and the Josephine art print, credits some of her biggest design influences to David Hicks, Dorothy Draper, and photographer Slim Aarons. “I think the former two for their bold uses of print and color in just the most incredible ways,” says Kime. “Slim Aarons for capturing travel and sunshine [something that changes things for me], during such an iconic fashion era. Combine those three and…swoon.”
This year, she’s working on additional custom art and paintings and a much-anticipated release of a new print collection and ever-evolving monogrammed oxford line. “Next up is patches and all kinds of ways to tell your story via one of our best-selling classics,” explains Kime. “I can also say that our newest, [biggest] upcoming launch has to do with the cosmos.”
Kime’s Top Design Tip:
“Trust yourself. I’ve said this before, and I stand by it vehemently. I think people assume there are just all these rules they have to adhere to and there aren’t. I think people have more of an eye and understanding of what they like than they usually will trust.”