We believe you need to meet the fabulous pattern visionary, Kimberly Lewis, whose eponymous company – featuring some amazing wallpaper – we’re thrilled to be representing here in the southeast!
Steve and Jill origionally met Kimberly Lewis while on a trip to Masion Objet with Grange last year. Her company is a Brooklyn based design studio that specializes in playful, preppy and patterned home boutique wallpaper and home decor products. They believe in joyful, coy color that can sometimes get a bit out of hand (but not too out of hand!), flirty patterns that add whimsy, and socially, environmentally conscious design and product development. Their products are designed in Kimberly’s Brooklyn, NY studio and are made close by in the Northeast by highly skilled craftsman and manufacturers.
Learn more about Kimberly and the wonderful products she designs…
Kimberly founded her company in 2011 and shortly after was dubbed by Apartment Therapy as one of the “8 Brooklyn Wallpaper Designers To Watch.” Her interest in design started at a young age; growing up Kimberly’s mother predicted that one day she would design wallpaper for Laura Ashley. Kimberly likes to think that she is even happier with this outcome. She grew up in New England and has been living in New York City for the past decade; Kimberly likes to think the Northeast is in her DNA and finds inspiration in both the bustle of the city and the calm of the country and seaside.
Kimberly holds a Bachelors of Industrial Design from Pratt Institute and studied Textile Design at the Danish Design School. Outside of her own company Kimberly has designed and developed patterns and products for companies such as Clinique, Macy’s, Dwellstudio, SkipHop, WolfGordon, The Jewish Museum of NYC and JMcLaughlin. In 2013, Kimberly was honored to have four of her wallpapers acquired by the Brooklyn Museum for their decorative arts permanent collection.
sm’s: Can you please share a bit about your background/how you started Kimberly Lewis and how you gained the courage to break out on your own?
KL: I studied industrial design at Pratt Institute. While I was a student I was constantly applying patterns to my 3 dimensional designs and that’s when it clicked that perhaps that is something I wanted to pursue. I was able to study textile design for a summer in Copenhagen through Pratt and after that it was clear to me what that I wanted to make print and pattern a focus for my career.
I’ve always had an entrepreneurial itch ever since I was a child. My first business was launched my senior year of college. I designed and sewed pillows and tried my hand selling them on Etsy and at craft fairs. My first line of pillows didn’t pan out too well. You have to inventory your mistakes and use them as stepping stones and moments for learning. Looking back on launching my wallpaper line, I really had no clue what I was doing, but I didn’t really care because I was creating something that was all my own and learning every step of the way. I spent a year researching wallpaper, manufacturers, reading business books and getting my hands on whatever I could learn before launching. It was exhilarating and honestly, in my mind at that time, I didn’t have room to think about failure; I just wanted to get my product out into the world and take it from there.
sm’s: What inspires you/your art?
KL: Living and working in NYC is a constant source of inspiration for me. I love the energy, the pace and the fact that I can walk down a street and pop into amazing stores, or see someone with fantastic style on the street or catch an awe-inducing exhibit at a museum. Inspiration is literally all around me here; I always have something to look at or a place to visit to stir up some inspiration if I’m feeling flat.
sm’s: What is your vision, not only for Kimberly Lewis, but also the individual pieces you create?
KL: I want to create patterns that elicit joy in people. I want my products to spark an emotion, hopefully a happy one!
sm’s: What are the differences in your collections – i.e. how do you create such unique designs that remain a part of one, cohesive line?
KL: I personally design every pattern so you can definitely see my hand and style in all of my patterns. I am thinking about the end use of the pattern while designing; how it will look in a room, what type of furnishings a designer may style it with, etc. My work has definitely evolved a bit, but I try to keep it in line with my brand and what my customers want.
sm’s: What’s on the horizon for Kimberly Lewis?
KL: I am hoping to start licensing my prints and patterns in the new year and focusing on connecting more with interior designers.
sm’s: As an artist/business person how do you recharge?
KL: I am an introvert, so I recharge by carving out me-time. I love doing things that make me feel good, like taking a pilates or barre class, or curling up with a good book.
Aren’t Kimberly’s designs an amazing breath of fresh air?!? They’re even better in person, and we encourage you to come take a look at them in our showroom, next time you’re in the neighborhood. Or, if you’re interested in learning how you could incorporate Kimberly’s wallpapers into your space, please contact the steve mckenzie’s team today!ᐧ