About Kate Davies Designs
KDD was established by Kate Davies in 2010, when a stroke at the age of 36 ended her academic career. While recovering from her stroke, Kate supported herself by designing digital patterns for hand-knitting, established an independent publishing company, and began to produce books that combined her skills as writer and designer.
From its one-woman beginnings, KDD has grown into a small successful business encompassing many different aspects of design and manufacturing here in the west of Scotland. In 2015 we developed our own brands of yarn for hand knitting and in 2017 launched our own knitwear line, KDD Originals, designed and made in Scotland.
Kate’s husband, Tom Barr, is responsible for the beautiful photography you’ll find here, as well as other matters involving graphics, imagery, print and production at KDD. You'll find his work in the Ootlier section of the shop.
Melanie Patton manages our operations and generally keeps everything shipshape here at KDD HQ.
Claire Leach (on the left) manages the KDD Ravelry group with warmth and aplomb.
As well as handling our inventory and fulfilment. Jane Hunter is a talented artist, creating beautiful work which invites you to look at Scotland’s landscape with fresh eyes. (You can find Jane’s work in our Inspired by Islay book, and read more about her here.)
Sam Kilday looks after the physical stock of books and yarn in our warehouse and works with Jane dispatching your orders. Outwith the warehouse, Sam’s multi-disciplinary background in the creative industry is an asset on many KDD projects.
Bruce and Bobby - our fun-loving labradors - are the final, indispensable member of the KDD team, encouraging us all to get outside to enjoy the Scottish landscape whenever there's an opportunity.
An award-winning small business
In 2016, KDD was honoured to be awarded the accolade ofUK Microbusiness of the Year by the Federation of Small Business & Worldpay. We’ve been described by the Times (June 20, 2018)as “a pattern for others to follow” because of our productivity and innovation and also won an award for Best Use of Social Media from Business Women Scotland. In 2018, Tom’s image of Elizabeth Johnston spinning was shortlisted for the EEF photographic prize and in February 2019 KDD was awarded the FSB Scotland award for Business and Product Innovation.
At KDD we believe in creating a business that is inclusive, respectful and that positively promotes diversity in our industry. As an employer, as a manufacturer and as a retailer, transparency, accountability and inclusivity have always been central to our ethos and our commitment to diversity in all forms will continue in the future. From documentary photography to collections of essays and designs, the range of projects and creative collaborations currently undertaken at KDD are explicitly and intentionally anti-racist.
We are proud signatories of the Scottish Business Pledge to support sustainable business growth and to ensure that fairness, opportunity, prosperity and innovation develop hand in hand in Scotland.
Everyone is welcome at KDD and we will never discriminate against race, age, gender, sexual orientation, mental or physical ability, religion or belief. We treat everyone with the utmost respect, and we do not tolerate discrimination in any form.
We commit to constantly evaluate our business to ensure that we remain inclusive to all members of our community and industry. We will listen and seek to put things right if we don’t meet your expectations. We stand with and support those who, like us, are determined to effect long lasting change.
You can find out more about us on our blog or follow us on twitter (@KDaviesdesigns).