Katy Skelton

Katy Skelton launched her collection of gorgeous, modern furniture and home accessories earlier this fall. As a self-taught designer for an Austin-based furniture company, she spent quite a bit of time traveling to overseas factories and learned how products were made. She loved her work but wanted to build her own brand, so she went to SCAD, received her masters in furniture design, and moved to New York to start her business. Read on to learn more about her line! katy-skelton-media-cabinet


It’s important to put jobs back in to the economy. Also, it’s easier to manage product development locally, and there are better standards, social responsibility, and sustainability processes in place in the U.S. My furniture is made by Amish craftsmen in Pennsylvania – we have developed a great relationship, and the makers are so invested in my pieces, which is really exciting.


I loved my work for the furniture store, but my personal aesthetic was very different from what we sold. I had a lot of freedom and started to pitch more modern designs and they did really well. I wanted to build my own line for myself, where I could control every aspect of the supply chain. katy-skelton-arrow-blanket


Danish design. Vintage furniture, translated to a modern functionality. Multipurpose pieces – I live in New York so that is very important. Wooden furniture can be so simple and classic, like a great pair of jeans. I want to build really high quality pieces that will last forever. The American-made movement is fantastic – the more people we can get on board and show how amazing American-made can be, the better.


I get out of the city. I love to take long weekend hikes and visit the Storm King art center. New York can be so hectic – it’s hard to come up with new ideas, I need to get out into nature to do so. Even a quick visit to the park can help. katy-skelton-captains-tray


My husband, he’s so supportive and I couldn’t do it without him. I have great family and friends that are super supportive. Taking a little bit of time for myself – I didn’t do that for a long time and I realized that it was so easy to get burnt out. Working for yourself, it’s really easy to never leave the house. Every time I make a sale, it’s validation.


Comfortable but cute shoes. A new pair of jeans, I love AG. Sofas that don’t necessarily look comfortable but are. Furniture that looks great and is also really functional.


The Future Perfect. Lindsey Adelman. BDDW.



From a business perspective, Everlane. They work to be transparent in their manufacturing and with their costing and I strive to do the same. The goal is to make classic things that will last – but you don’t have to pay a lot for them. Also, Emerson Fry – she is an amazing businesswoman, she works hard and doesn’t need any attention for it.


When you are trying to start a design business because you are a designer and you love to design, it turns out that you really only spend 10-15% of your time designing. Starting a business is so much more work than you thought, but so much more rewarding. You have to wear all of the hats – designer, maker, packaging, shipping.


I’d like to grow the company a little bit. I’ve expanded the product line with textiles, and I’ll be adding more furniture to the collection.

Eventually, I’d love to have my own factory and employ more people.


Thanks, Katy, for taking the time to chat! Can’t wait to see what comes next for your line! Follow Katy Skelton:

Illume Candles

I’ve always been obsessed with understanding how things work… so it’s no surprise that I love a good factory tour. After years of touring factories all over the world, learning how products are made and seeing production and take place, I’ve come to appreciate the process and the amazing amount of work it takes to produce product on a huge scale. That’s not to say that I don’t love small batch or handmade products – obviously I do! – but the dedication and commitment to quality needed to produce huge quantities of product in a responsible manner is incredibly impressive.

Even more impressive – companies that can do this, and make amazing product, right here in America – more, 15 minutes away from my home in Minneapolis! I’ve been a fan of Illume Candles for years – the candles smell incredible, look beautiful, and are affordable and available at all of the major retailers. As much as I love to seek out American-made, it’s even better when it’s easy to find. I visited the factory and met with the team last month and am excited to give you a peek into the factory… and the inspiration that leads to some of our favorite candles!
illume-burn-roomThe burn room… Illume burns candles in a controlled setting to test for safety and quality – flame height, smoke points, etc. It’s a bit of an overwhelming room (all of those candles burning at one time!) but a great example of Illume’s dedication to putting out amazing product. Did you know that candles have a cold throw and hot throw scent? Cold throw is the way the candle smells when it is not burning… hot throw is the smell when it is burning. Illume combines the cold and hot throws to create the ideal scent for their candles.

illume-waxJust a little bit  of wax… hard wax is melted and then colored and scented. To add perspective, I believe there were 4 vats of liquid wax running when I visited.

illume-wicksI can’t say I ever thought about all of the different wick options that existed… Now I find myself checking all of our candles and trying to figure out the difference!

illume-metal-capWick tabs hold the wick in place and ensure your candle is as safe as it is pretty.

illume-candles-pouredCandles are poured by hand! Seeing this never ceases to amaze me… so much takes place before we bring products into our homes.

illume-factory-candlesCandles after they have been poured… the ombre effect is due to the wax drying. Jenny, Illume’s Marketing Manager, has far better instagram skills than I do and shot this little video that day – it’s amazing!

One of the most exciting aspects of my tour was the contagious excitement and passion everyone had for their work. I had the opportunity to speak with the Creative Director and CEO after my tour and their belief in American manufacturing and the positive impact it has on the business was incredibly motivating and inspiring.

Illume has tons of gorgeous candles, but I’m currently obsessed with the seasonal options.  Everyone I spoke to raved about the combination created by burning a balsam + cedar candle with a woodfire – and after testing it for the last month or so, I agree!

If you are still on the hunt for holiday gifts, I highly recommend the following:

Inspiration for next season…. Trust me, good things are coming!


Thank you so much to the amazing team from Illume for letting me visit and learn for the day! Thank you for all that you do!

Be sure to follow Illume for more behind the scenes information.. and tons of great sales and discounts! (even a contest!)

The Edit: Wide Eyed Legless


One of the best aspects of TAE are the amazing and inspiring people I am so fortunate to meet along the way… I met Maddy Furlong through Lisa Hackwith – Maddy works with Lisa on HDH and is a talented designer, stylist, photographer, AND the blogger at Wide Eyed Legless. Girl’s busy. But she has incredible taste. and I’m so excited to share her favorites with you today!

No. 1: Hackwith Design House

But of course. No one does rompers better than Lisa- and I love me a good romper!

No. 2: BRYR Clogs

CLOGS- need I say more? Plus made in MN!

No. 3: Wilder Magazine

Caylon and I spend so much time outdoors- foraging, gardening, etc. This magazine has been so helpful, plus it is so beautiful!

No. 4: Black Crane Clothing

I love beautiful made clothing, and all of Black Cranes pieces are so simple and elegant- they truly can become staples in your wardrobe for years to come! Plus this husband/wife duo is all about sustainable design and hand woven textiles (dream come true) Made in LA

No. 5: Jujumade bag

I dont own this bag but having been seriously lusting for it for some time now! Made in LA

No. 6: MCMC Fragrances

I love the Noble perfume- it has just the loveliest, fresh scent, and I love how the companies goal is for their fragrences to evooke memories! Made in Brooklyn

No. 7: Imogene & Willie Candle

I love most things Imogene and Willie! And I die for the packaging of this candle- you can reuse that jar for everything!

Thanks, Maddy!