I recently had the opportunity to visit with Gloria Wall, Creative Director and founder of Kate & Birdie Paper Co.
about Kate & Birdie: Founded in 2004 and based in Downtown Winnipeg’s trendy Exchange District, Kate & Birdie specializes in hand-illustrated note cards, invitations and stretched canvas prints. The designs are vintage inspired and are chalked full of colour and charm! Located on the top floor of an historic building, the K&B studio is bright and open; and, it boasts as much charm as the company’s note cards do! As I sat in the K&B studio looking out at Winnipeg’s landscape, I felt like I had been transported to a metropolitan city like New York or Chicago!
Kate & Birdie Studio: 708-70 Arthur Street, Exchange District of Winnipeg
Gloria admits that most people are surprised to learn that K&B is based in Winnipeg. Having grown up in a small town outside of Winnipeg – loving art, food and design – Gloria had always aspired to live and work in a big city like New York. Of course, after marrying and having a child, New York was less of a priority, but that didn’t stop Gloria from launching a successful stationery design business.
Today, K&B products are available in 600 stores worldwide; and, in November 2010, Chapters / Indigo stores picked up the line. Last year the company launched a brand new collection, which included a line of wrapping paper featuring popular K&B designs. Creating designs that will have longevity is a primary goal of Gloria’s so she refrains from getting too caught up in trends. Instead, Gloria looks to old cinematography, local architecture and nature for inspiration. Here are two of Gloria’s favourite pieces (and mine too!):
Yellow Bunnies Card, Kate & Birdie Paper Co.
Kate & Birdie’s yellow baby bunny card is an original, hand-drawn illustration printed on recycled stock made with wind power using vegetable-based ink. Paired with a 100% recycled brown bag envelope and enclosed in biodegradable cello wrap. $4.50 / card.
Forest Squirrels Note Card, Kate & Birdie Paper Co.
Kate & Birdie’s grey forest note card is an original, hand-drawn illustration printed on recycled stock made with wind power using vegetable-based ink. Paired with 100% recycled hand-dyed charcoal envelopes. $12.00 / box of 8
what’s in the works: In May of this year, Kate & Birdie’s website is scheduled for a new look. The revamped website will feature an online shopping component that will allow customers to stock up on their favourite products from the comfort of their own homes. Also in the works for Kate & Birdie is the release of a new wrapping paper collection. The new collection is scheduled to debut at the National Stationery Show in New York this May, but Gloria treated me to a sneak peek! I just love how this new wrapping paper design blends a modern pattern with a classic colour palette of charcoal and white. Take a look…
Evergreen Wrapping Paper, Kate & Birdie Paper Co.
Kate & Birdie’s hand-illustrated evergreen and pinecone design is now available in charcoal and white wrapping paper. Printed on FSC certified 100% pcw recycled paper with vegetable-based ink and processed chlorine-free. $3.50 / flat sheet or $7.00 / roll of two sheets.
at home with Gloria: Gloria has a passion for interior decor and hopes to one day expand her home goods collection of stretched canvas prints to include a line of textiles, bedding, wallpaper and area rugs. Gloria believes a home should be an expression of the owner’s personality. What could be more perfect for personalizing a home than K&B’s playful patterns and colourful compositions? Looking forward to it Gloria!
Kate & Birdie Paper Co., 708-70 Arthur Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3B 1G7 t: 204.943.6827 f: 204.943.6827 e: email@example.com www.kateandbirdie.com (all photos provided by Kate & Birdie Paper Co.)
Amy Walters is a Winnipeg-based design enthusiast and blogger. For more design inspiration from Amy, check out her blog aDESIGNdock.