My Story

Hi, I’m Kate. Owner of Kate Inglish Designs. Mother, keeper of memories, gift box fanatic and accidental counsellor.

And I’m fiercely committed to seeing Mum’s acknowledged. Because it’s damn hard work bringing another human into the world! 

It started with
a gift box

Gift boxes are everything. The deep thinking behind choosing every precious item. The creativity they inspire when arranging their contents. The keepsakes and future memories they’ll become. 

I love how personalised gift boxes are and I love imagining the joy mums feel as they excitedly unwrap their box.

It’s my desire to spark joy and to cherish memories that inspired me to create Kate Inglish Designs in 2010. My husband was in the Navy, and I started by creating gift boxes for new mums in the Navy community. 

My business has since gone through many iterations and evolutions. It offers so much more than gift boxes. But I still get excited every time I create a new box.

“Nothing is too big of an ask for Kate. Within hours of my asking for a gift to be sent , she had created the most amazing masterpiece and it was on the way in less than 24 hours. This is why her beautiful shop is always my first choice for gifts.”

- Emma Guyatt

Loss creates the desire for keepsakes

One of my most treasured personal items is a card from my Dad to my Mum. I keep it in my own baby book. Dad wrote it and gave it to Mum the day I was born. It says, “You’ve made me the happiest man alive”.

In 2012, I lost my Dad. Losing him still hurts so much. But having something so very special and meaningful from him means I can feel his love whenever I look at the card.

 

That time I almost quit the business

The week after I lost my Dad, I found out my youngest daughter Ruby had a rare form of Epilepsy.  I came so close to quitting. It all felt too hard.

But I could sense my Dad pushing me forward, reminding me I’m not a quitter. 

So instead, I took inspiration from Ruby’s newly diagnosed condition and her developmental need for non stimulating toys.

An entirely new direction

Back then, few businesses were offering wooden toys. And as a mum with a child who not only needed them, but loved them, I saw an opportunity.

I shifted my focus solely to wooden toys, mostly selling them at local markets. I loved those markets so much, and given few people were selling wooden toys, people would wait a month to get my toys. 

I built up a huge following. So when I finally opened my Kate Inglish Designs retail store in 2015, I had customers keen to buy from me.

“I love to let them curate beautiful gift boxes for my friends when they have babies too! takes the stress out of it for me and they look SO beautiful when they arrive!!!”

- Samantha Pyne

More than a store

Kate Inglish Designs now stocks hundreds of products across clothing, feeding, toys and more.

But my store is so much more than a beautiful place to shop for unique baby gifts. It’s a place for mums to connect. It’s a place for customers to tell stories and it’s a place for older people in our community to feel nostalgic.

It brings meaning to people. People love that they can come in and have a chat. I love seeing women go through their pregnancies, from first to second and beyond. 

Grandparents love showing their brag books and love that I take time to listen, and let them talk. I’ve had women in tears, because they just needed to unload the stress of motherhood. 

Creating
Connection

I know now that opening my store was the path I was always meant to take. I was meant to open this store to support women. To provide an opportunity for connection. To give women a place to feel heard.

Stories: the heart of my business

I love to stock original products, and know the story behind them. And I share them, so my customers can have the stories too. 

And I know how much stories capture attention. In 2020, in the height of COVID, I managed to capture the attention of Sam Mac, Channel 7’s Sunrise weatherman with my own heartfelt and honest story. A story defined by struggle and driven by fear.

This later led to a visit to the store by Sam, and would you believe it, three pages about me, and my store, in his book The Accidental Weatherman!

My story has also caught the attention of the Sydney Morning Herald, ANZ, and NRMA. And OMG I’m still pinching myself that I was on a billboard in Sydney! Yep, in November 2021 I became part of ANZ and VISA’s Where You Shop Matters campaign. And my face adorned the M2 Motorway at Macquarie Park.

I have no doubt that the stories shared in my store, online, and on national TV, have all played a role in my growth. Humans love stories, I love to listen to them and I love to help people tell them.

Gift boxes have my heart

Gift boxes are the ultimate gift for a new mum. They offer a silent but powerful message that says, “This is one of the most special times in your life. You deserve to have something truly meaningful to remember it with”.

Success to me is helping mums feel acknowledged for their effort. And the icing on the cake? When they keep something special from that gift box to inspire stories with their kids later in life.

And I love moving women forward in their lives as a mum.

Want to acknowledge a mum in your life?

I encourage you to give her the gift of keepsakes and memories.

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