Monday, March 7, 2016

Local Lovin': Bash Studio and The Everyday Napkin

HAPPY MARCH! MEET THE EVERYDAY NAPKIN AND LIVE A LITTLE MORE SIMPLY. I can't exactly remember when it was that I first discovered Kathryn Yee's brainchild, The Everyday Napkin but I do know that over the last year, I have seen her local presence + creations grow and her offerings become more robust. Her team has really worked hard to create a "brand" that is both stylish and sustainable! I can't wait to see what Kathryn and her team are up to in the future; by the way it's shaping up, there are great things to come!

Credit Photographer: Arielle Doneson
Give us a little background as to how The Everyday Napkin and Bash Studio came about. What initially drove you to start?

Prior to starting Bash Studio, I had spent almost 10 years in graphic design and brand strategy. I found that planning and styling events was a natural transition from creating brand experiences. After making cloth cocktail napkins for an event, I started to think about the usability and functionality of a cloth napkin. Growing up, traditional cloth napkins were only used on special occasions. So, I thought if these cloth cocktail-sized napkins were just a little larger and sized to a paper napkin, they would be perfect for using every day. Added bonus: using smaller sized cloth napkins would be much more efficient and take up significantly less space (especially in small city living spaces like ours!) than our traditional dinner napkins. My mom and I explored the size, construction and started to sew. Developing The Everyday Napkin has allowed me to build my own brand and create a product I am truly passionate about. It’s something everyone can use every day. Looking back, it was critical that I took the risk and give myself the opportunity to get to this moment. My background was key in starting The Everyday Napkin.

When creating your products, where do you take inspiration from?

I pull inspiration from fashion, home finishes, textiles, and color trends. Online blogs and magazines like Remodelista, Domino, and Rue magazine are constant sources of inspiration. Behind any beautiful product needs a strong business so reading Fast Company and Inc. magazine have been helpful tools as well. It’s important that we develop products that become a part of your lifestyle, feel good in your home when you’re enjoying your favorite meal, and are reminiscent of making memories with family and friends. I’m constantly inspired by my customers and the lives they are living. Learning from and looking at brands that have come before us who do it really well is something we are doing constantly. Having virtual mentors and companies that I look up to in the industry keeps me focused on the dream of growing The Everyday Co. and the direction that I have always envisioned.

I admire that affecting your environment was one of the driving forces in your business. Reusable and Re-purposed napkins handmade with love. What is it about "simple living" that you love so much?

Living more simply is something I have been personally trying to practice and I admire those who are doing it among everything going on around us. Living simple means clearing out the clutter in your life or home, creating a healthy space and being more aware of the “stuff” that creates waste. Living simple means going back to your roots, enjoying the simple things in life like good company, conversation and valuing your relationship with not only those around you but yourself and your impact on this planet. The Everyday Napkin is inspired by simple living but more importantly I hope it inspires others to find what it means to do the same.

What do you love to do in New England, when you aren't busy running your successful business?

Capturing time when I’m not running The Everyday Co. is pretty limited but when I get a moment or two I’m headed to a yoga or barre class, maybe a run with my husband, Jake (an avid runner!), or getting a good walk in with a cold-pressed juice in-hand! But most of all, Jake and I really enjoy using our time to visit family and friends, indulge in a good meal and great conversation whether it’s at a new restaurant, local favorite or at home with friends. Quality time is the best time you have. If we’re lucky, taking a day trip to discover new places and finding beautiful spots in New England is always an adventure. You can also find me searching for the best homemade ice cream—I love ice cream! There is no doubt, the balance is tough but you have to do your best to find it.

Credit Photographer: Arielle Doneson
You have certainly found some fantastic early success! Where do you see The Everyday Napkin headed in the future?

Thank you! We had a great first year at The Everyday Napkin and we certainly don’t take any of it for granted. We will be launching The Everyday Handkerchief and debuting them at special event at Urban Grape on April 3rd. Tickets are available here! I’ve invited Natalie Pinney from Whim Events to join us to help event hosts and brides with ideas on how to personalize their event or wedding with custom details that become long-lasting keepsakes. Our Everyday Handkerchiefs are cut and sewn to order and hand-embroidered with a single monogram or full initials. They are simply unique, beautiful and one-of-a-kind. We think it’s the perfect gift and keepsake for a bride, maid of honor, bridesmaids, groom, groomsmen, parent and anyone who has supported the couple in the planning process. With over 30 thread colors, you can customize your Everyday Handkerchiefs and our full line of dinner napkins and cocktail napkins that are customizable for any event or wedding!

For any small business with a dream, there is always work to be done. The Everyday Napkin will soon be The Everyday Co. and launching soon! This will allow us to grow company into a home goods and lifestyle brand with more products from us, and possibly fellow local makers, who all share the same vision as us. The Everyday Napkin will always be our original and signature product. I hope to grow the team, scale and be more efficient. You have to think about all the aspect of a successful business!

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