Kate Davies Designs (KDD) was established by Kate Davies in 2010, when a stroke at the age of 36 ended career as a literary academic 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 author 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 handles the trade / wholesale / B2B side of our operation. Outwith the warehouse, Sam’s multi-disciplinary background in the creative industry is an asset on many KDD projects.
Our friend, fellow knitter and Glasgow businesswoman, Fenella Pole, works with us modelling Kate's designs
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 of UK 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 for our Coracle project. In 2019, the blanket designed by Kate and Felicity Ford received a best practice award from International Women’s Day.
Scottish Business pledge and diversity commitment
“KDD is a small business, but its size does not detract from its firm commitment to gender equality and larger issues of diversity” (International Women’s Day). At KDD we believe in creating a business that is welcoming, respectful and that positively promotes inclusivity. We are proud signatories of the Scottish Business Pledge, making a formal commitment to ensure that fairness, opportunity, diversity and innovation develop hand in hand in Scotland. We are business supporters of BIPOC in fiber and stand in solidarity with those who, like us, wish to effect long lasting structural change in our industry. Our not-for-profit MAKE / MARK imprint is specifically designed to open doors to new and underrepresented industry talent, mentoring authors and designers through the process of independent publishing. Our open design competitions are designed to support and celebrate the work of BIPOC, and other underrepresented designers, resulting in inclusive projects like Warm Hands. As an employer, as a manufacturer and as a retailer, transparency, accountability and inclusivity are at the heart of our ethos and play a central role in all current endeavours. From documentary photography to collections of essays and designs, the range of projects and creative collaborations undertaken at KDD are explicitly and intentionally anti-racist. We commit to evaluate our business to ensure that we remain inclusive to all members of our community. We will listen and seek to put things right if we don’t meet your expectations.
If you'd like to become an approved stockist of our books, please contact Sam: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find out more about us on our blog or follow us on twitter (@KDDandco).