“From that moment forward I knew my future was in textile. I applied to the textile surface design program at FIT in New York City and never looked back.” - Candice Kaye
Most of us have been asked the question “what do you dream of doing?”
From our numerous interviews with artists, entrepreneurs and designers, the most beautiful works and strongest careers stem from this feeling of being ‘at home’ in their careers.
Candice Kaye’s formal education was in Interior Design, but it wasn’t until she visited a fabric warehouse in Paris that she felt textile design was where she was supposed to be. She had found ‘home’.
When one is fortunate enough to chance upon their calling, all the other pieces will seem to fall into place. It was the same for Candice, who grew up with competitive dance, then studied Sociology at Ryerson University; during this time she had picked up a camera and learned all about perspective. This led to her obsession of fashion and street photography, close to a decade ago when blogging and street style photography by pioneers Scott Schuman and Garance Dore were just emerging.
This is one of the channels where Candice finds her inspiration, as she recalls, “It was organic and raw, I loved everything about it. I would sit on blogs for hours collecting images and making mood boards for myself. All the dots connected when I fell into bespoke textile design. I had years and years of practice scrolling through images to find the perfect one to fit a mood or a feeling.”
Her other sources of inspiration include travelling, as she believes meeting new people and experiencing new cultures helps to open one’s mind. While some artists find inspiration at certain favourite locations or in a bustling coffee shop, Candice shares that some of her best ideas have come to her while she was sitting in absolute silence in the middle of nowhere.
Her varied sources of inspiration and dedication to seeing the world to incorporate it into her work explains her hand painted, oversized, colourful and experimental styles. She likes to have fun with her designs and is always trying new things to make them more interesting.
We asked Candice to share her design process, and she shares that “all prints are hand drawn and hand painted with designer gouache or water colour before they are scanned into the computer for pattern layout and repeat. My bespoke process starts with a mood board. I move onto a hand sketch based off the feeling of the space. Once approved we start the painting process and move onto how the artwork will be translated into textile.”
Having made a transition from interior design to bespoke textile design, we asked what gave Candice the courage to make the leap, and what words of advice she would have for others looking to do the same. She shared a passionate response:
“I guess I never really thought about the risks I was taking and still take today. I have always had this native outlook that everything will work out just as it is supposed to. The jump from interior design to textile surface design was a necessary one. It was definitely scary. I moved to New York City alone not knowing a soul. But that's the stuff that makes you feel alive and excited about life. Life is too special to not live out your purpose. It just takes a lot of faith. Faith in yourself that you're fully capable of anything. Everyday I feel uncomfortable. I know that means growth. The feeling of growth is what keeps me going when things get really hard. It's been a very incredible and eye opening journey to watch myself accomplish things that I used to dream about. If I can do it, you can too. The rewards have been more than I could have ever dreamed of. You just have to take the first step.”
Her faith in herself and in her dreams have paid off handsomely and the intrinsic reward of walking past a restaurant that houses her work is priceless, as she shares, “I was walking down Delancey Street one night in New York. I passed by Sel Rrose, an oyster restaurant I did custom wallpaper for. It was a special feeling to see the customers through the window laughing and enjoying their wine beside the wallpaper. I imagined there were great conversations happening through that window. I almost felt like I was a part of them.”
You can share in Candice’s passion for bespoke textile design by bringing her designs into your home. The brand has just launched their online store selling wallpaper by the panel. There are also numerous exciting items in the R&D stage, including linen table cloths, embroidered napkins and outdoor patio umbrellas. For now, if you want to warm your feet, Candice Kaye Design has just launched their bespoke rugs service. We can only imagine what a treat it would be to have her designs on our walls and at our feet!
Visit the Candice Kaye Design web store for more information.
Photos courtesy of Candice Kaye Design.