It was a fateful cup of chai tea that introduced us to Louisville-based design company  Kin Ship.  As we waited for our favorite drink at a local Louisville coffee shop last winter (Heine Brothers, if you must know--and it is awesome) we noticed a flyer for an upcoming arts event that featured several area artists.  Kin Ship was among the listed participants, and we tucked their name (and the flyer) away in our mental rolodex for a rainy day.  

Though the skies are clear and sunny in the Bluegrass, we found a way to work with this talented duo, Hilary and Dan, on our Fall Collection, enlisting their skills (which are amazing) for our seasonal art card design--a fitting collaboration with our mutual Kentucky home and love of handmade beauty.  It turns out the pair has been quite busy in their two years since founding Kin Ship, selling their limited-edition wares online and in stores nationwide, and enjoying occasional features on Brooklyn-based design blog Design*Sponge for their witty, handmade creations.

For our project, we took inspiration from the traditional Shaker song about simplicity, and asked Hilary and Dan to interpret the words visually.  Armed with our Look Book photos taken at the historic Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, they could not have come closer to the heart of what this collection is all about--the simple, rustic, rich, and honest beauty of it all.  

We hope you'll enjoy this gift of art as much as we do.  


We recently had a chance to ask Kin Ship a few questions, and they kindly obliged...and passed along images of the design/creation process for the cards they crafted.  Enjoy!

Emily/Elva Fields:  How did you two meet and how did the business begin?  

Hilary/Kin Ship:
 I was working on an issue of Bejeezus, an arts and culture magazine I sometimes publish. Dan liked said magazine and, on a whim, sent in a drawing of a pirate. We met a few weeks later at an art show at his apartment. We became fast friends. Kin Ship started in 2008 as an art gallery in the back of a shop in Louisville. After running the gallery for awhile, we realized that we wanted to focus more on making things ourselves, instead of just showcasing other people's work. So, we turned Kin Ship into a boutique home goods company.

EF:  And the name...any fun story behind it?

KS:  It came to Dan in a dream.

EF:  We love the handmade element in your work...tell us more about your products and how they involve or feature hand-crafted components.

KS:  All of our items are designed by us and hand-printed in our studio in Louisville. We are currently working on some new hand-printed goods, constructed by us. Stay tuned!

EF: The cards you created for our Fall Collection are beautiful...taking inspiration from the Shaker hymn, how do you two keep things simple in your life?

KS: We make sure to drink coffee in the morning and go to bed at night. 

EF: And....last question...what is your favorite thing about autumn in Kentucky?

KS: It's a break from humidity and mosquitoes!

[process images courtesy of Kin Ship]

  • Posted byEmily Maynard /


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