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"I don’t have time to work, I need to design everyday.”

Katie Phythian Image

If you happened to be passing through Wigan in the summer of 1978 you might have witnessed the birth of Katie Phythian Design.

An 8 year old girl was calling door to door, shoe box in hand with a selection of hand made greeting cards. She was encouraged by her initial success and invested her earnings in a large bag of midget gems.

“I didn’t eat them,” she recalls, a little embarrassed, “I took them out everyday and made patterns with them.”

Art and design are in the blood, in 1948 her uncle bought himself out of the navy to follow his artistic passion. He is still working today at 98 years of age. 

Katies mother is an accomplished artist and has been a source of encouragement from day one.

Twenty years after her first sale she met her business partner Michael and together they formed the company we see today.

As far as design goes Katie hasn’t changed much, she’s still stopped dead in her tracks by an explosive colour pallet. The sight of a budding flower, a chateau or well displayed flower shop can still slow the progress of one of their ambitious french cycling trips.

All her work is initially hand painted using the same children’s paint set her mother bought her 20 years ago. Only when the components are in place does the technology intervene.


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