Designer Showcase #1 - Gillian Kyle

Here at Quince we will be showcasing one of our talented designers from time to time. You will get an insight into their world of design, from starting out to what inspires them.

Our first designer is Glasgow based Gillian Kyle. Famed for her fun take on traditional larder favourites. I had spotted Gillian's designs when on the hunt for a gift for my super fussy father who doesn't do the norm of football, golf, The Simpsons or beer, so buying for him is always tricky, but one thing he does like is chocolate, he has an incredibly sweet tooth, with the classics from Tunnocks being his favourite and that's when I discovered Gillian Kyle. Her unique take on Scottish classics such as Irn Bru, Mothers Pride and of course the Tunnocks lovelies, really caught my eye. For Dad, of course it had to be the Caramel Wafer mug, But now that I have found her gold mine of designs I will never be stuck for gift ideas for the chocolate lovers in my life. I hope you love Gillian's designs as much as I do. Here is her designer showcase for Quince:

Top Buys from Gillian Kyle at Quince - 

           

 Scottish Breakfast Mug            Teacake Tea Towel                Scottish Coasters

            

     Teacake Art Print                   Cremola Coasters             Victorian Tea Towels

A word from Gillian....

What inspired you to start Gillian Kyle Designs?

I had just graduated and really didn't want to contribute to the brain-drain towards London - I think it's such a shame that so many talented Scots move away because of lack of opportunities up here. There were no design jobs to be had, obviously, so I decided to start something myself. I've always been interested in Scottish kitsch and ephemera, and I wanted to celebrate Scottishness and Britishness and try to strike a blow at the mass produced tat that typifies Scottish and British giftware! 

If you were to choose one product from your range, which one could you not be without?

I absolutely love my Caramel Wafer cushion! I'm a real cushion collector...

But having said that I use my Scottish Breakfast mug every single day, and I'm pretty excited about the 'Big Fish' tea towel from my about-to-be-launched 'Fish and Chips' range. 

Talk us through a day in the life of Gillian Kyle?

Up with the larks (or rather, the baby), try to get us all fed, dressed and out of the house. Drop Rufus off at nursery, grab a coffee and aim to be in the studio for 9.30. Most days are a mixture of creative stuff like researching new design ideas, drawing (always by hand) and working on designs on the Mac, and business stuff like dealing with manufacturers, keeping tabs on stock levels, marketing and general correspondence. We're about to launch a brand new all singing, all dancing website, so I've been working a lot on that recently. We quite often grab lunch at the very lovely Hidden Lane Tearoom, which is just round the corner from us, but its usually just a quick bite and then back to work. We have a juicer in the studio and juice most days which helps keep us going until  the end of the day!

What advice would you give to any up and coming designers looking to start out?

Get as much help, training and advice as you can from as many sources as possible. See if you can apply to the Princes Trust for some funding, but also plug into the other organisations out there such as the Cultural Enterprise Office. Do a business plan even if doesn't come naturally - it will be a real help. Network, even if it scares you (I'm not a natural networker but always gain something from an event). And don't be afraid to plough your own furrow - originality is a good look! 

Tunnocks Teacake or Caramel Wafer, what’s in your ‘piece bag’?

Definitely a Teacake (or Teacakes, lets be honest) but its more of an afternoon tea gig for me; eaten in layers starting with the chocolate (of course).

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