Meet the Maker: Kip & Co

Launched in Melbourne in 2012, Kip&Co was founded by sisters Kate Heppell and Hayley Pannekoecke and best buddy Alex McCabe. What started as a bright, colourful bedding brand, quickly expanded into a vibrant lifestyle concept with a cult following.

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Kip & Co founders Hayley, Kate, and Alex

When and how did Kip&Co come about?
In 2012, a fresh-faced trio of Kate, Hayley and Alex were tossing around business ideas. We had a lot of other things going on in our lives (Hayley was in full swing of producing adorable kids, and Kate and I were busily plugging away at our respective careers) but something was missing. We wanted a business to fill that gap – creative, flexible work with your best mates…the dream! We had a few different business ideas, but when Kate bought back a wildly bright printed quilt cover from the US, we knew we were on to something. There was no other brand doing bedding in Australia in a way that spoke to our aesthetic. And we set about filling that gap.

 

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Quilted Bedspread | Quilted Pillowcase Set

 
How would you describe the Kip&Co customer? 
Kip&Co has always been a really organic business because we create the products, we honestly want to buy ourselves. That’s why we try not to overthink the construct of a customer profile because ultimately, we hope that “she” is “us”! That is - women who love homewares and apparel that have as much personality, colour, and fun as them.

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Linen Pillowcase Set | Quilted Bedspread


Any advice you would give to someone thinking of starting a brand?
Dive in! If you don’t give it a go, you’ll always be wondering. I think perhaps the biggest thing is choosing the right business partners – I think an uneven number is good, because there is always a clear majority that makes decision making easy.

 

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What’s your design process and is there anything you do to help to get the ideas rolling?
This is the part that comes most naturally to us! We set aside a day a week that is completely dedicated to design. Each week we come with ideas on prints and products – taking inspiration from vintage finds, flea market treasures, travels, and the everyday.

 

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Kids Slippers | Windbreaker Jacket | Kids Slippers


What inspires your  collections and aesthetic and how do you keep it relevant? 
Because there are three of us coming up with products and prints, the collections are quite diverse and eclectic, reflecting the different individual styles. We don’t try to be “relevant” in the sense of following current trends, because the risk then is that you just look like everyone else. Instead, we create things that we genuinely love, and we hope that our customers love them too.

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Do you have a favourite style or print that you’ve created over the years?
GREAT question. That’s a tricky one. I’ve always got a soft spot for our velvets - we have so much fun choosing new colours for every season.  I do love the Native print that’s out currently – Australian flowers are just on a whole other level. And of course, our original Croc print as that sort of “launched” us. 

What is something not that many people know about you or your brand? 
We’re on the road to being carbon neutral – it’s a project we’ve just started but we are very excited about it.

 

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Velvet Queen Quilt Cover 

 

What has been the absolute highlight of your brand / career to date?  
We have collaboration launching in September with some incredible Indigenous Australian artists. We are really proud of what we’ve created together over two years in the making, and cannot wait to share it.

What are you listening to right now?
Alex the Astronaut

 

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Velvet Queen Quilt Cover  | Tassel Throw


What are you watching at the moment?
Catastrophe and re-watching VEEP which I think might be my all-time favourite (big call!)

 

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Linen Pillowcase Set | Womens Slippers


Describe your style in three words:
Texture, colour, fun

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Womens Slippers


What’s your daily go-to outfit?
2020 outfit is very different to 2019! If it’s not one of our waffle robes, then it’s almost always a pair of Kip&Co leggings, a vintage tee, a woolen jumper, a colourful over-sized cardigan, bright socks and a pair of Blundstones.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been  given? 
One of my first bosses used to remind me before a big launch, that “we’re not saving babies”. It just was a helpful remind to have perspective, not take things too seriously.

 

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Waffle Bath Robe | Linen Bath Robe


What should every woman have in her wardrobe?
A cool over-sized cardigan.


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What’s your favourite thing about living in Melbourne?
Other than friends and family, I think the thing I love most about Melbourne is the stuff I’d dump into a “culture” bucket – the galleries (I’d try to go to one a month pre-COVID), the live music, the restaurants, the laneways bars, the rooftop drinks. Heaven.

 

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Linen Pillowcase Set | Linen Reversible Quilt Cover

 

Can you share with us any of your local hidden gems? (Could be food, shopping etc. any must see’s / do’s)
I love Heidi Gallery (bit out of town but worth the drive) and the garden at the NGV, my favourite restaurants are Ciccolina for amazing Italian, Tulum and Las Tapas, and for shopping I like the Standard Store on Gertrude St.

Where is your favourite destination of all time and why?
I love the Mornington Peninsula – so much so we’ve just moved! But out of Australia, I love Barcelona, Buenos Aires and Berlin.

 

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Tassel Throw

 

Where to from here, what’s next for Kip & Co?
We want to colour every home happy. Now more than ever, we need our homes to be somewhere that makes us happy.

 

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