Kathryn Yee (@bash_studio) is the founder of The Everyday Napkin, a small batch cloth napkin company that she started as an offshoot of her event design business, Bash Studio. The 31-year-old Syracuse grad is a designer at heart, having been art director of luxury goods and hospitality for South End studio Korn Design before branching off on her own.
Q. How did the Everyday Napkin come about? How is it related to Bash?
A. I dabbled in event design and styling and The Everyday Napkin was born out of doing events. We’re about a year old now. I’d say it’s a product launched from Bash Studio and it’s my main focus right now. It’s a reusable cloth napkin made from found fabrics that I’ll scour and source for you. I went to LA and San Francisco recently to find fabrics, and once a style has sold out, they’re out.
Q. What made you think of the concept?
A. My husband and I live in the South End, and traditional cloth napkins just take up a lot of space. The Everyday Napkin is sized to stack on your counter and is exactly sized to a paper napkin.
I’d say, they’re our generation’s cloth napkin. They’re lightweight and you can pack them for work. It’s great for parents who want to teach their kids to be kind to the earth.
Q. Do you have any sort of personal sentimental value for napkins?
A. Family dinners were always really important to me growing up. My parents owned a retail business for almost 20 years and even though they worked seven days a week, they always made time for family dinners. But we always used paper and never stopped to think about how wasteful that was. Now that I’m married and about to start my own family, I’ve realized how important it is to be conscious of your waste. And at the same time, I think coming together at a dinner table and bonding over memories and creating moments is really important.
I don’t have a textile background or a fashion background. I’m learning on the fly, but that’s what makes the process really exciting. I think my advantage is that I’m a designer at heart. I’m a visual person and the brand’s look and feel and packaging are designs based on what I’ve found. I work hard to make sure they all feel cohesive.
Q. Are you still working in event planning?
A. I’m doing less events now. I’ll do select clients sometimes. But it’s cool because now that I have the company, event designers are coming to me for custom product for clients and I’ll know what to expect from their end. I started this company with my mom, and she’s been selling for us our entire year. All of our napkins are handmade in Boston, they’re not coming off from crates. They’re hand-finished and made here.
Q. What’s it like working with your mom?
A. It’s great, and it definitely has it’s challenges. It’s been a way for us to spend time together and I’ve learn a lot from watching her go through processes, and she gets to see me run my business.
Today my mom and I cut and sewed over 100 small-batch, reusable napkins for our last two markets of the year!! We hope to see you before the year ends and our Everyday Napkins make it into homes this holiday! Get ready to shop our Signature and Dinner size in solids, prints and colors! Justine Hand Holiday Market Sat. 12-5p Newton, Mass #designskoolholidaymarket Lou & Grey Maker Market Sun. 12-5p @louandgrey Natick, Mass #theampersand Event details on our site. xo
@westelmburlington is restocked this week with our exclusive West Elm sets in Coral, Cutron and Aqua! We shipped them from Cali while we were there on Holiday! And they would love nothing more than to make it into your home for the holidays thank you #westelmlocal fans for all of your support! #theeverydaynapkin Photo @nouveau_lara