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Home Stories: Kate Fenning

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Sometimes when you first meet a stranger, something clicks and you just get them.

Kate’s hugely popular Yorkelee Prints business started on a chance encounter and I found Kate’s styling work on Instagram by fluke, so perhaps this alignment of great coincidences just follows her around.

In looking at Kate’s aesthetic, it’s probably not a surprise that Kate started off as a graphic designer. Then—like many of us—Kate got side-tracked from dreamy creative work and moved into sensible project management in Canberra creative agencies, before taking a break to bring her two kids into the world.

I too hold qualifications in design but ended up working on the ‘suit’ side of an advertising agency, where I was shut out of the creative process because I wore a shiny tie instead of a ripped t-shirt with a retro slogan. Okay, so wearing a shiny tie was a mistake, but it still didn’t seem fair (…so I pouted lots for a few months until I worked out that I should suck it up and turn my passion for design into my own creative consultancy).

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Credit: Victor Tawagi

Kate also used her dormant creativity to start up Yorkelee Prints, but not before running into a stranger at a mall who inspired her to let go of her fear and believe in her own abilities. Somewhere between not being sure of what to do next and looking for a bargain in the fruit section, Kate found a friend and business partner that helped her to realise her talent for design and unique ability to produce raw prints that exude emotion.

Fast-forward a few months, and Kate had set up a website and had started styling rooms for social media shoots—and before she knew it, thousands of people were emailing her asking, ‘so where can I get that print?’

Okay, so it wasn’t that easy …Kate put lots of work behind the scenes into collaborating, trying out different directions and seeking out online audiences. And because it all came from her heart, every moment filled Kate with more drive to push ahead with her brand (…of course, this was much exciting than finding that two-for-one special on melons at the supermarket).

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Kate’s home doubles as her studio, but I guess if you work in styling and prints, then you might as well combine the two. The result is a modern, on-trend home, which is homely and relaxed at the same time.

On my way out Kate said ‘I really love that for this entire time you didn’t take any notes … you just listened.’ It’s true I did, because it’s worth getting to know someone to see if you click (and even if I get any details wrong, I’m sure you won’t know.) I suggest you get to know her prints and see if anything clicks for you.

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Read all of Ashley’s Home Stories series here

Photos: Cass Atkinson, Plum Photography unless specified

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