Katy is taking part in our coming Makers and Designers Market at Turner Contemporay on 4th and 5th December.
Describe what you do as a creative.
I make small batch 100% natural vegan bar soap which is inspired by my love of plants & nature. Each batch made is made by hand using a traditional slow process, using a base of organic coconut oil, pure essential oils & botanics, simply packaged with zero plastic. I love the idea of elevating the everyday & creating products that aid self care.
Tell us briefly about yourself.
I grew up in Gravesend in Kent and left when I was 20 to start a degree. After living in lots of different places, studying a few different subjects and working lots of different jobs I returned to Kent. I would describe myself as having a deep connection to Kent, it feels like home, the estuary, the coast, the countryside. I am myself here & I love the variety of people who live here.
How did you begin doing what you do?
Bohemia & Flower is all about beautiful natural products which are thoughtfully made and intended for everyday use. I think it’s really easy to feel overwhelmed and apathetic in terms of doing the ‘right thing’ environmentally, it’s such a huge and complex issue to even get your head around. There’s this ridiculous idea that if you try you have to be perfect. My own way of dealing with this was to start small, basically just do something, so I decided to empower myself to make conscious everyday choices. The first step I took back in 2018 during #plasticfreejuly was to switch to solid soap and shampoo, it’s led me on a much, much longer journey and eventually to launching Bohemia & Flower during the 2020 lockdown. I love that when my customers make the transition to bar soap it sets something in motion for them too. It feels like such a positive thing to be doing!
What do you like best about your work?
I use my own products every day, to wash my hands, in the shower & even to wash my hair! It adds moments of pleasure to my daily routine and I hope others feel the same.
Describe a memorable response to your work?
“Love your soap so much – I’ve had no dermatitis since using it”
Although I can’t make any claims about my products, hearing feedback like this is so encouraging. I believe that our bodies already take on a huge toxic load and therefore artificial ingredients, colourings and preservatives have no place in skincare products or in our water systems.
What is the most exciting part of your work at the moment?
I started during the 2020 lockdown, an unusual time to launch a business! So doing events like the Makers Market at Turner Contemporary is all new for me, it’s exciting to get to meet my customers in person.
What is your dream project?
I really enjoy the creative process involved in product development, taking something from a seed of an idea to a real functional object is incredibly satisfying. I also like working on collaborations, working with other businesses and likeminded people to create something unique.
Which artists / creative people are your heroes and inspiring figures?
I’m a maker with a fashion school/horticultural/chef background and I’m interested in the intersect between art and the everyday, what used to be sidelined as craft. I would describe this as beautiful things made by creative people intended for practical use, I see what I’m doing with Bohemia & Flower as part of this.
The Charleston artists, the arts & crafts movement, folk art, street art, Kintsugi repairs and creative mending of clothing are all areas of inspiration for me. I love the DIY ethos of self sufficiency, people who empower others to be self reliant, so I would like to also include John Seymour, Solidarity Apothecary and some punk spirit from Poly Styrene.