Take time to choose what you put in your house, says Kirsty Patrick, founder of Home byKirsty. Tucked inside a little coach house in Roath, her shop is an illustration of this approach. The collections on display are contemporary items sourced from UK designers, carefully chosen to help you enjoy good design in your home.
What does your business offer?
Homeware, lighting, gifts and jewellery. All are sourced from designers and makers across the UK with a clean and contemporary style. I choose the designs and work closely with the people who make them.
At the moment I have about 45 independent makers from Tom Pigeon in Scotland to Block Design, Tara Ashe in Cornwall. One designer, Stacey, is so local she is over the road! I have around 10 makers that are based in Wales. Like Melin Tregwynt, Sadler Jones and Nelly's Treasures to name a few. The shelves are also full of incredible house plants to green up your home.
Who’s behind the business and what are your values?
Just me. I’d like to bring contemporary products to everyone’s home. That means making good design and well-made products available.
A lot of people veer towards online shops, but I think with homeware it’s important that you can see the colour and feel the texture and quality. You can’t necessarily tell online.
I think that if people pop into the shop and have a ‘mooch’, it plants seeds of ideas for their space.
Why would you consider yourself to be sustainable?
The products I buy are from the UK and many support independent businesses. This supports traditional skills. If you think of Melin Tregwynt, their looms have been going for over a hundred years.
Working with small businesses helps people have an income. It’s easy for everything to be mass-produced and imported from China, but you’re so distant then from the actual maker.
I try to reuse and recycle all the packaging and boxes and reduce plastic. It’s crazy how much gets used. I’m going to start using paper packaging soon.
Tell me about a project you’re proud of?
I think it would be ‘Get Lost in Cardiff’, a map that I set up. I did the first in 2015 and we had nine businesses in it. In the second version we had 24 businesses. I’m making a third now.
I set it up to get people shopping locally, finding new businesses and exploring Cardiff. When you run a business on your own – it creates a community and a support network- as well as getting locals + visitors to support local.
How has your business changed and learnt over time?
The biggest change has been the move from the centre to Roath and a shift in the business.
Originally I was open 10am-5:30pm from Tuesday to Saturday. It was good to be open for longer, but there was more paperwork to do on days off. When I moved to Roath, I reduced my opening hours to 10am-6pm, Thursday to Saturday. I wondered if people would like that – or if they’d think I was lazy!
It’s given me more freedom to do paperwork and develop the business. If I hadn’t moved, I wouldn’t have been able to shift the business in any way with the cost of everything. I think people would have thought I was mad going to a smaller shop. It’s worked out.
I learnt that giving yourself time off to refresh and recharge is important for a business. Otherwise you’ll run yourself into the ground.
What’s your local tip for homes in Cardiff?
Take time to choose the products that you’re putting in your house. It’s easy to rush into things – to just get a throw, a cushion or a print because you think you need it.
Spend time getting used to a space and think before you buy. You’ll save money because you won’t buy things you regret.
When I moved home, I took about a month to put up some shelves and adjust them. Now they look really nice and I’m glad I didn’t rush. Take your time.
You can visit Home byKirsty at 64a Glenroy St in Roath, 10am - 6pm every Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
All photographs are courtesy of Home byKirsty and Diana Oliveira Photography.
What customers say:
“Love love love this place! Perfect for presents and treats for you and your home. Great to find a local independent shop filled with such unique products.”
“My favourite Cardiff independent! One stop shop for super cool stationery, prints, homewares, cards and gifts”
“This is the best designer shop in Cardiff. The best place for very special gifts and your home decor. Highly recommended!”