The Three of Us | Alex, Kate + Hayley
For sisters Kate Heppell and Hayley Pannekoecke and their best mate Alex McCabe, starting a business together has been a dream come true. Kip&Co was conceptualised 5 years ago, after the trio noticed a big gap in the market for vibrant, fun bedding. Since then, Kip&Co has grown from strength to strength - producing colourful, fun bedding and soft furnishings which are simply irresistible. The girls share with us the dynamics and perks of working together and how for them, three is the perfect number.
Hi Alex, Kate and Hayley - tell me about how you first met. Alex: Kate and Hayley are sisters so they’ve known each other since they were pips! Kate and I met at University when Kate was studying commerce and I was floating through an Arts Degree, taking high vocational classes like cinema studies and gothic fiction with a focus on Buffy the Vampire Slayer - the good old days!
What prompted the decision to start working together? Hayley: We launched Kip&Co in 2012. We were actively looking to start a business together.
We brainstormed many different business ideas (which is a highly entertaining activity in itself!) before settling on the idea of bedding. While there are a lot more exciting options on the market now, six years ago the colour hungry interiors lover had limited choices when it came to bedding and we set about rectifying that.
Is it ever a challenge to work as a trio? Alex: Honestly, not really because we can move through any decisions really quickly by just taking a simple vote. Nobody is precious, we are too time poor to sweat over things for long - so we just got to move on to the next adventure.
What’s the best part about working with your best friend? The best part is when we work at Hayley’s house who is an amazing chef, always treats us to some healthy gourmet delights - normally followed by some less-healthy treats!
Colour and pattern are both so important in your work, can you tell me why? Alex: The Kip&Co designs and aesthetic are a reflection of our own personal style which is really eclectic, vibrant and infused with things we’ve collected from around the world, inherited from our families or little treasures we’ve picked up at a flea market.
What's the most rewarding part of your job? Kate: The creative side of the business is what motivates and excites us, and why we started Kip&Co in the first place.
What’s your greatest business achievement so far? Alex: Launching.
What motivates you? Hayley: Creating beautiful pieces for beautiful homes.
What are you loving right now? Alex: Bali - we just shot our SS17 photoshoot there, The book Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey, all the vegetarian amazingness in A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones, winter at the beach - Kate and Hayley live on the coast on the Bellarine Peninsula and I love getting down to the Mornington Peninsula to visit the family as much as I can this time of year – you can’t beat a crisp sunny winter morning!
What’s in store for Kip & Co in 2017? Alex: We’ve launched in America – tell your friends! Our SS17 photo shoot is in Bali…hard work but someone had to do it! We’ve also got an incredibly exciting collaboration with an iconic Australian which will be landing later this year. And of course a tonne of new products, new designs and a whole lot of colour coming your way!