|The lady herself. Photo by Muddy Stilettos
And here it is, the first 'I couldn't make without' post. Vintage-loving, creative barrista gal Katt of King's Jive is sharing her inspirations and motivations.
Hello lovely Katt, tell us a bit about what you make and how you got started.
"I make craft coffee and tea from the back of my beloved 1964 Morris Minor Traveller `Betty'. My better half blends my tea, and the company he works for sources it from small farms. When he's done with it I bag it into cotton sacks, producing our own homemade tea bags. That's one of the things I love about the job I have created for myself; not only do I have a major part in sourcing and making the things we actually sell, but I get to make everything from bunting, aprons through to hopefully the front shelf of my car. I get to choose it all and learn in the process.
I ended up where I am as the consequence of a huge series of events, starting with art in school, leading to a design-based course at university . After uni I came back to Watford and worked I a few design studios but, did not feel creative my usual creative energy at all. About three and a half years ago I found myself at Download festival in a field, tasting one of the best cups of coffee I have ever had. Weeks later Elliot (the producer of said awesome coffee), hired me and trained me. There were times when I was working three jobs - a bar, a creative agency, but always the best was serving coffee or being at home making and baking things. So three years later, having worked among the best people, I was given the go-ahead to do it my way. I haven't looked back since."
"Almost everything I see inspires me, but apart from the obvious 1940s and 50s styling, it is knowing how lucky we all are. Initially, that may not make sense but when I go out and see or eat something I simply love, I firstly think how can I do this and how if at all could I possibly better it, be it ethically, making it more personal or simply presented slightly differently. With the internet being so jam-packed we can all get inspired so easily - being able to learn how to purl in a matter of minutes or taming that over-locker once and for all. There is always so much to see, try and far too many DIY projects to sink my teeth into."
"The kind words I've received, even though it is such early days, are enough to keep me motivated to keep trying to grow King's Jive. However, the main motivations for this are Alex, he supports me so much and it would never have became a reality without him. My own motivations and desires play a big part, too. I hope to spread awareness of small farm tea and fair paid coffee farmers and see Hawaii while learning the process first hand of growing and harvesting the products we hold so close to our hearts."
What's been your proudest making moment?
"21st of July at 6:30am, which happened to be my birthday but just three weeks after getting my dear 'Betty', we set off for our first event. It was a small farmers market (thank you, Alex Redgate!), but it was so incredible to be really out there doing it myself. We received a warm welcome and the customers seemed really pleased. I remember my initial nerves, but also I remember how amazing that batch of cold-brewed jasmine green tea we served was, too."
And finally, tell us about one thing that you simply couldn't make without.
"Okay, so the thing I couldn't make without is actually a human, Alex. He's given me courage, inspiration and has been my rock throughout this entire process."
See where Katt and Betty are off to next at www.kingsjive.co.uk