Katy of Ola Studio (3 min Read)

Radical Giving - Ola Studio

What have you learnt so far?

How important it is to stay true to your beliefs and your values as a designer. In the seven years of building ola there have been a lot of choices and some tough decisions to make. Knowing that these have all been made from an authentic place means I regret very few of them. Even if things didn’t go as planned, I know I did what felt right for us at the time.

Where is your favourite place?

I love being by the sea, there’s no place more calming.

Name your three favourite words?

These have to be the three words that inspire each of the products we make at ola; beautiful, practical, crafted.

What do you think makes a good company?

I think a great business is one that thinks long-term about its impact and goals. Thinking about the next ten, twenty or fifty years when making a decision, rather than the next six months, is so important. Companies that think in this way will always be more sustainable, more conscious and be considering the long-term health and happiness of their employees. It’s key to the way we work here.

Can you describe your workplace?

We have a beautiful light-filled studio in the heart of Bristol. It’s in an old Georgian building that we share with other small businesses. It’s filled with lots of plants, and inspiration/designs in progress are taped all over the walls. There are three of us here and we sit down to lunch together every day. I really look forward to coming into work.

What is your favourite food?

Anything Japanese!

What can you not live without?

My Layflat Notebook, I don’t leave home without it.

What is the last thing you bought?

A vintage dressing table and drawers on eBay by a British company called Austensuite. We’ve just moved into a house that’s larger than the flat we were in before so I can finally indulge my vintage furniture addiction.

Proudest moment?

Back in 2016 I was selected for the Heal’s Discovers Award. It was a huge moment for me as I’ve always been inspired by the textile designers at Heal’s. Alongside the award I was invited to create an exclusive range. It was a dream to work with the team there and create something unique for such an iconic design store.

What’s next?

We have some really exciting new launches on the horizon for 2021. We’ll be designing more stationery items, lots of new patterns and really focusing on how we can make our products even more sustainable. We’ve been bouncing lots of ideas around the studio and can’t wait to put them out into the world!

For sneak peeks, head over to our Instagram @ola_studio or sign up to our newsletter.

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