Meet Kieren & Kate from The Utility Co
"Here at The Utility Co we design, cut and sew every piece ourselves. Each piece is made with much care here in our Melbourne studio." - The Utility Co
Ever heard of the phrase 'Good people doing good things'? I am positive they had the team at The Utility Co, Kieren and Kate, in mind. Not only do they hand make their beautiful, and functional, products that champion zero waste, they are also the founders of The Makers Department. A platform that supports other small Australian businesses. See, they are 'Good people doing good things'!
Tell us a bit about yourself?
Our names are Kate and Kieren. We are best friends from Melbourne and proud co-founders of The Utility Co. We became friends many years ago when we met working together in the hospitality industry. Since then, we have both worn many hats, collectively gaining valuable experience in retail, design and fashion. Today we run The Utility Co, a humble Melbourne based brand. All of our products are thoughtfully designed to encourage a more sustainable lifestyle.
Where are you based?
How did it all begin?
We have always shared an appreciation for the refined, considered and functional use of design. We both possess skillsets in the creative industry that compliment each other and because of that we have always worked very well together. We knew that we wanted to work together and create a platform where we had no creative limitations. We wanted freedom to create products in Melbourne, with the ability to control all aspects of the business from production to marketing. Most importantly we wanted to create a brand that showcased the importance of local design and manufacturing for a sustainable future.
We workshopped a few different ideas but kept returning to reusable bags. We soon created our debut product, the reusable produce bag and it grew naturally from there.
What influences your work?
We are influenced by function and simplicity. We create wares that have purpose in everyday life.
What do you love about what you do?
Being able to work with your bestie is a definite perk of the job! Knowing that we are making a difference together is super special.
What is the most difficult part of what you do?
Keeping all manufacturing in our Melbourne studio. We are no strangers to long nights at the sewing machine. It is definitely a time consuming process, but well worth it in the long run.
How long does one of your pieces take to make?
That depends on how motivated we are that day and how much talking we do! Haha.
What Are You Most Grateful For?
In terms of our business, we are most grateful for the support we receive from our customers. Because of the wonderful response from our community we are able to continue working in a field that we love.