“I Listened to a Dream of Doing Something Creative” Meet Karin Tegnér, Founder and Director of Kate Kae

We love speaking to inspirational women here at YCB magazine, and this week we had the pleasure of catching up with Karin Tegnér, founder of the beautiful Nordic lifestyle brand Kate Kae. If you’re not already familiar with Kate Kae, let us introduce you. Designed in Sweden, Kate Kae is a home décor brand producing 100% organic and fair-trade cotton towels and bed linen for that luxurious hotel feel. All products are certified according to GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) and created with sustainability in mind. Enjoy timeless design with a Scandi-feel, these products are a treat for your skin and will add a touch of elegance to your home.

We were lucky enough to spend some time chatting all things business, daily routines and professional life with Karin, so let’s find out a little more about this inspiring lady…

The Essentials:

Name: Karin Tegnér

Age: 42 years

City: Stockholm, Sweden

Coffee or tea? Organic herb Tea

Hi Karin! We’re big fans of the Kate Kae brand and ethos here at YCB magazine, so let’s start by getting to know the brand a bit more, and introduce our readers to the Kate Kae lifestyle…

Describe your brand in one sentence?

Swedish Kate Kae, passion for quality of life, we make bedding and towels with elegant and timeless design, made of the finest organic cotton you can find.

What inspired the name Kate Kae?

It’s a mix of my name and the names of my beloved children.

What led you to set up your own business?

I listened to a dream of doing something creative that has been bubbling back long ago. Dare to bet is scary but it was part of the process to really spend time and energy on something that is warm to my heart and I am passionate about. We wanted to be a part of changing today´s traditional textile industry who use a lot of strong chemicals, pesticides, toxic dyes and have poor working conditions.

Kate Kae started with the philosophy and vision of contributing and inspiring to make healthier and more sustainable choices in the form of high quality bedding and towels with durable classic design, and pure 100% organic cotton. We have worked hard to be able to give you the best organic cotton, which is grown under fair conditions and with an environmental thinking for future sustainable agriculture, free from strong chemicals, pesticides, toxic dyes and poor working conditions. Kate Kae’s products are good for both you, the person behind the manufacturing and the planet we live on.

Listening to your dream is oh so important, and we just love the story behind Kate Kae and the importance of sustainable and Fairtrade product development. On that note, let’s discuss products! We want to know what inspires you, and what the future holds for your product range…

What inspires each new Kate Kae collection?

Natural feeling with luxury touch. We design products in a stylish, classically elegant Nordic design. The result is a sophisticated, relaxed home for you to enjoy for years to come. And what’s important is that all the products are 100% organic cotton, GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) and Fairtrade certified.

Do you actively sit down to design a whole new collection or is it a constant process?

It is a constant process but I rather choose long lasting colors and style to make it more sustainable. No fast trends, I want to create a sense of calm and inner harmony.

When creating new products, do you ever get a creative block and if so, how do you overcome it?

Of course, if your mind is blocked with tons of things to do, there is not much left for creativity. My best tip is to take a walk in the woods and breathe a lot of fresh air or sit down and meditate to clear your mind. Disconnect to connect.

Who is your customer?

My typical consumer is one who appreciates quality, design and wants the hotel look at home. It is a conscious person about both our environment, our health and who wants to support a change. Kate Kae is an investment in yourself and for those you care about and will provide lasting enjoyment for many years to come.

Kate Kae is known as a lifestyle brand, what type of lifestyle are you wanting to personify?

Our mission is that we want to give you better sleep and rest with a positive impact on optimal health as you avoid toxic particles in both touch and inhalation, while making a big difference to our environment. Our bedding and towels will give you an unforgettable experience thanks to its high quality and simplicity. Create well-being for body and soul.

I want to inform you the impact of our choices that can make a big difference, not least for our health, our environment and also for those who are behind the manufacture of our products. We wanted to be a part of changing the textile industry.More and more companies are marketing their products organic but there is a big difference between the certificate label on organic products. Choose organic cotton that is certified to ensure the entire chain from seed to you as a consumer. By buying organic & Fairtrade you are supporting a change. Happier farmers, healthier communities & a cleaner planet.

What is planned for the future of Kate Kae?

I hope to give you new sizes and colors of both towels and bedlinen and maybe a surprise.

We’re extremely excited to watch the future of Kate Kae unravel! Let’s dig deeper and discuss a little more about you, Karin Tegnér…

What did you study at college?

Economics

What was your career before you founded Kate Kae?

I´m actually still working in finance and running Kate Kae.

Take us through a typical day in your life?

I start my day drinking a cup of hot water with pressed fresh organic lemon. I then take a walk of approx. 30 min. I make myself a smoothie with a lot of fresh spinach, berries, ginger and turmeric. Then start my day with meetings and mail. In the evening I go through what the most important thing to get done during tomorrow, I write it down, so I can drop it for the night. I also bring out some positive things that have happened during the day, I highlight it for a while.

And how about your professional life, we’d love to share some pearls of wisdom with our readers…

What advice would you give readers who want to start their own lifestyle brand?

Dare the chance, listen more to what your inner heart says! Enjoy and the insights come when we are ready. Follow your gut feeling. If there are doubts, there is a reason for that.

What was the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Don’t give up to achieve the dreams of your life.

The work/life balance; is it a myth or is it achievable?

Balance is for me about daring to let go. In the past I had a great need for control, but with challenges in my life I have learned to accept what is happening and let me be swept into life. I’m still working on that every day, it’s not easy. Don’t blame yourself too hard if it doesn’t go as planned. Getting a moment for yourself in a meditative state does the trick.

Thank you, Karin, for taking the time to chat with the team here at YCB! We’re feeling extremely inspired and excited for the Kate Kae brand. Keep an eye on Kate Kae via their Instagram page, and discover the full collection at https://katekae.com

Tilly-Jayne Kidman

Tilly is a graduate in fashion marketing and currently works in social media. She writes for various publications including the Huffington Post as well as her own fashion and lifestyle blog tillyjayne.com. In her spare time she's usually wandering around her home city of Cambridge, making travel plans or finding a new restaurant to try out.

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