Today we’d like to introduce you to Kathryn Faull.
Kathryn, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I grew up in South Carolina surrounded by the influences of my architect/interior designer parents. From a young age, I was interested in design and it leads me to college at RISD where I studied textiles with an emphasis on screen printing. At RISD, I learned how to design thoughtfully and methodically, developing many of the mark making techniques I use in my designs today. After RISD, I moved to New York to get experience working as a print designer, and after several years, I decided to pursue my love of print design for interiors and moved back to the south (Savannah, GA) to start my own studio. It was there that I designed my first collection, making each mark by hand and screen printing the designs to sample the initial fabrics. Once the first collection of designs had been perfected, I started to look for manufacturers who could screen print my designs on a larger yardage scale, so I could market my fabrics to the interior design trade. After finding manufacturers in the US, I was able to approach interior design showrooms in the Atlanta area who might be interested in carrying my collection, which by then had the name Maresca Textiles. After finding my first showroom, the emphasis became finding other showrooms who would represent my line across the country, growing the collection, and connecting with interior designers who would use my fabrics in their projects. After six years in Savannah, my husband and I decided to move to his hometown of Chicago and Maresca Textiles, of course, has come with me.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Starting a business is so difficult, it takes a lot of passion and determination and there is constant self-doubt. I decided to take a slow and steady approach to the business, only growing in increments I could handle. I carefully introduced new patterns to my collection and slowly built relationships with new showrooms so as not to burn myself out along the way, and I think this has helped me maintain focus and stay excited about the growth that’s happening. It takes years to build your business, and my advice is to stick with it and keep at it.
In terms of struggles along the way, I’ve found that it has been very helpful to find professionals to help me with things I don’t know how to do. I’m a fabric designer, not a bookkeeper, accountant, lawyer or photographer. Sometimes, it pays to invest in professional services because they can save you a lot of money and stress in the end.
As a woman, I feel so blessed to have control over my schedule and my life, and being in business for myself has made that possible. Sure, it’s stressful and hectic and sometimes I feel overwhelmed, but in the end, it’s worth it because of the autonomy I’ve built for myself.
Please tell us about Maresca Textiles.
I design prints by hand using mark making techniques such as block printing, pen and ink, sponge painting, and resist drawing. My designs are then sent to a screen printing mill where they are hand screened onto rolls of Belgian linen fabric. These printed linens are then sold to interior designers to use in their projects, being used for everything from pillows to drapery to reupholstery.
It’s important that my designs feel distinctive and well thought out. It takes months to create a collection from initial design to market. I take pride in our quality control and the ability to use the finest materials and print methods available, as we are catering to a luxury market. Because I run a small studio I’m able to maintain client relationships and ensure that orders go out accurately, making sure that designers have a positive experience when they order from my studio. There are many options on the market when it comes to designer fabric, but the quality and reliability of my fabric sets it apart from other manufacturers.
Often it feels as if the media, by and large, is only focused on the obstacles faced by women, but we feel it’s important to also look for the opportunities. In your view, are there opportunities that you see that women are particularly well positioned for?
As a woman working in the textile industry, I feel like I’ve always been surrounded by other working, independent women and it’s given me a lot of encouragement as I’ve gone out on my own. I feel lucky that I have autonomy in the workplace and that I’ve been able to create that for myself. As I look toward the future, I feel empowered by the independence self-employment has given me.
- Address: 3323 W. Diversey #11
Chicago, IL 60647
- Website: www.marescatextiles.com
- Phone: 401-374-3265
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @marescatextiles