Designer Profile: Kim Rosen, Owner of FAYCE textiles - Northampton
Hi Kim! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I live in a small town in Western Massachusetts with my wife in our 150+ year old house. Our studios are right next to each other in a nearby town, in an old factory building overlooking the mountains. When I'm not designing new collections or cutting samples, I can be found staring out at the landscape.
What is your background (i.e. education, previous jobs, experiences that led you to create)?
I attended the Fashion Institute of Technology studying Advertising Design and the Savannah College of Art & Design for an MFA in Illustration. I worked as a freelancer in the Advertising, Graphic Design and Illustration worlds before I started FAYCE. I worked as an Illustrator for over a decade, illustrating for clients such as The New Yorker, American Express, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic and many more throughout the years. I have always loved drawing patterns and incorporated them into most of my illustration work. As much as I enjoyed working as an Illustrator, I started to yearn for something more tangible, something that had lasting power. That's where this journey began.
What led you to begin FAYCE textiles?
As I mentioned above, yearning for something more tangible led me to explore a variety of printmaking processes. Whenever I am interested in learning about something I try to find an apprenticeship or a workshop. I began exploring Intaglio, letterpress printing, lithography and ultimately gravitated towards the screen printing process. I did a ton of research and talking with industry professionals to figure out which type of market I wanted to be in and after gathering the information that I felt I needed, I started to design my first collection of textiles.
Could you walk us through the process of getting your illustrations onto a textiles? How did you end up choosing your fabrics and printer?
I almost always start each collection with a broad idea such as fashion or architecture. I then start honing in on exactly what it is that inspires me about the broad topic. I almost always go to my local library to dive deeper into the subject. Looking through and reading a variety of books on the subject outside of my studio is super helpful. The peace and quiet of the library and the fact that there is designated time to develop ideas has proven to be the most important part of my brainstorming process. I think because I come from an Advertising and Illustration background, having a narrative for each collection is really important to me. Once I have my concrete ideas, I start the designing process. I draw all of my patterns using charcoal pencils which provide a nice texture and a good amount of control over my line work. Charcoal lines translate nicely into the screen printing process which is ultimately how my designs get printed onto fabric. In terms of the actual printing, I wanted to keep things as local as possible, If not in New England then close by on the East Coast.
Do you have any favorite or most memorable collaboration?
I loved creating patterns for CB2 that they used for some rugs. Since starting FAYCE, rugs have been in the back of my mind and I'd like to design my own line one day. The CB2 collaboration was a nice peek into what that could look like.
Why is it important for you to shop small and local designers?
Living in a thriving small town really makes you appreciate buying local and supporting small businesses. Knowing the people behind the businesses, seeing the hard work and effort that goes into every aspect of a company is inspiring and our support is essential if we want to keep small towns and small businesses alive.
What makes you passionate about the work that you do?
All of it! I never realized that everything I have ever learned up until this point would be utilized completely while running FAYCE. Drawing, composition, line, texture, color, narrative all have been design elements that I have used in each field I have worked in. Not to mention cutting, measuring, promotion, photo and prop styling, location scouting, image editing, graphic and web design- all of it is put to good use and I feel really fortunate to have gathered these skills throughout the years.
At The Glossary, we believe in women working together and helping one another. Why do you think it is important for women to support each other?
It is so important for women to work together, help and support each other for a million reasons! The reasons that I feel strongly about is that only other women truly understand some of the struggles that we face on a daily basis, in any workplace. We listen, we care, we work our butts off to get ahead in this crazy world. We have an immediate understanding of each other, on the basic level, regardless of our race, upbringing or current circumstance and to me that understanding is comforting and one of the many reasons why I will always be supportive of women.
What creative women do you find inspiring?
I am always inspired by my wife Cara of Taylor Ceramics. Because I work on flat surfaces, I am always amazed by people who think in 3D. Cara's work is thoughtful and beautiful.
I am also endlessly inspired by Liz Karney of Sticks and Bricks. Liz creates beautiful furniture and home goods that are original, smart and resourceful, often utilizing reclaimed materials in ways that I would never think to use them.
Do you have any resources that have been helpful to you that we should know of?
I can't think of an online resource to share but I can share a recommendation. I have been part of an email group of other Textile and Wallpaper designers since the early stages of my business. I can't stress enough how important it is to either find a group of like minded people within your community or create a group if you can't find one. The access to other experiences and insight is invaluable.
How do you manage your time?
I try to have a healthy balance of work and personal time. My natural inclination is to work all the time, but as I get older, it has become really important to me to find that balance between work and leisure. I am new to the concept of vacations, but man, vacations really are all they are cracked up to be!
How do you deal with moments of self-doubt?
Ugh- who knows! It's a hard battle. I think having some self-doubt is actually a good thing. It makes you question and push yourself to do your best and I think in the end you come out stronger and with a better outcome than you would if you thought everything was great the moment you created it.
What are you trying to learn right now or what is something that you are wanting to learn?
Patience and how to not be a worry-wort.
What are some of your favorite places in Northampton?
Well, I have to say, Northampton where I live is one of my favorite places in New England. Minus the long winters, Northampton is a small, liberal pocket that has a slogan "where the coffee is strong and so are the women" I think that's enough said :)