Kate Rose manages to personify her business without moving a muscle. She opens her smart grey door sporting a Kooples sweater in a puttyish shade with her long legs encased in All Saints washed grey denim. When she pauses to grab her iPad, it slips from a charcoal felt case into fingernails painted a desirable shade of grey (Chanel’s Washed Denim or Garconne at a guess).
As one of her Tutti&Co posters proclaims, “Always Grey, Never Dull’. Kate Rose is living proof.
Kate is the owner, inspiration and creative brain behind the lust-after lifestyle brand Tutti&Co, which has seen spectacular success with its homeware range launched just two years ago – inspired and created by Kate when she couldn’t find nice things to fill the house she was building.
The name, if you’re wondering, is Italian for ‘all, everything, together’. And it fits Kate perfectly. She lives and breathes Tutti&Co, deliberately or otherwise. The growth of her business and some impressive plans mean that the rest of us are likely to be surrounding ourselves with more Tutti&Co love soon.
Her big idea is for a dreamy concept store – in the North East – which will embody the Tutti&Co lifestyle. She’d like to be the Jo Malone of the interiors world and her business has reached a turning point to make that quite possibly a reality.
Early plans have been drawn up and for now it’s a case of reasserting the brand and its interiors focus. That has meant Kate, who is 36, sitting down with brand experts and business advisors to find Mrs Tutti and speak to her.
They didn’t have to look far. She is that women.
“We sat down, thought, how does Mrs Tutti live, what does she like to do, to wear, how does she spend her time?
“Basically, she is me”, laughs Kate.
Mrs Tutti, real or imagined rises at 5.30am and hits a bespoke gym decent workout that might take in cardio, boxing, endurance.
“She loves family time, she loves unusual things – classics with a quality, quirky edge. She’s called Louise.
“She is in her forties – but thinks she still in her 30s. She eats well, she loves days by the coast and city breaks, is successful and creative. She’s married and has a couple of kids. Everyone asks, ‘how does she do it?!’”
READ MORE: Take a look at the Tutti treasures inside Kate’s humble abode by the coast. Interiors inspo as good as it comes.
Kate, who is married to James and is mum to Albie, five and Ava, nine, has being ‘doing it’ since leaving Northumbria University after a fashion marketing degree. She shied away from pursuing fashion and had a lightbulb moment when she went to Milan for the weekend.
“I knew I wanted to stay and work in the North East but I had been really inspired by a trip to Milan and seeing how things were put together. I knew I wanted to create something.
“I started with jewellery and gained quite a following, then we started designing scarves and they were so popular.”
Tutti&Co jewellery and accessories are casual, appealing and different.
Kate is all about layers and textures in everything she does. Her bracelets, cuffs and necklaces will have leather or fabric detail and unusual shapes. Metals are dull not brashly shiny; everything is subtle and understated and made for cool girls and yum mums to wear with jeans and tees – or add some glam to a loose black dress for cocktail time.
She is inspired by her home and business – both are located close to the sea at Tynemouth. Her daily routine has to include making a slight detour so the school run includes sea views. When she was designing her homewares range it became clear to her ‘brand people’ that everything she did was informed by this coastal location.
“Colours, textures are all from this landscape – it was very obvious once they had seen where we work”, says Kate.
“The grey of pebbles, the blues and greys of the sea and the sky. Weathered metal, characterful driftwood, battered stone. I love the layering of things, the softness of fabrics, greenery and florals – not being precious about things being battered or creased.”
This ethos lives and breathes in Kate and James’ house. It is a dream of a place.
They bought a plot of land and built it five years ago. The stone three-story looks handsome but not oppressively cool. Kate’s charming and welcome personality sings from every room. Before we meet up she laughs and sounds chuffed to bits that is a completely ‘Tutti&Co house’.
Wood floors, grey walls, pristine off-white painted wood. It is a hymn to Farrow and Ball at its contemporary best. Beautiful lighting offsets a deep painted dining room and cosy lounge.
Everywhere there are candles, signature Tutti&Co stars, feel-me throws and an abundance of cushions. The look is made friendly by the twinkle of tea-lights, fronds of flowers and personal prints.
The heart of this delicious home is the kitchen. Its form a company called Devol in the Midlands.
“The company was set up by couple of furniture designers and the kitchen is simple and understated.
“It is painted so I can change the colour if I want to do that – the rest of the room has bits of old furniture, boxes and crates picked up at antique shops and some chairs I painted.
“The table was an old boardroom table from an architect practice, it’s old soft and lovely – and it doesn’t matter if it gets abused by the kids’ paint!”
Grey-painted bi-fold doors line the room which at one end has a double-height ‘snug’ painted in Farrow and Ball Quartz Grey.
There’s vast, battered leather sofa adorned with myriad throws and yes, more cushions. Coffee in Tutti&Co mugs sit on slate coaster atop the angular concrete side tables that have proved a real it in the Tutti&Co concession which opened up in Fenwick, Newcastle last year. There’s also one in Fenwick, York.
Home for Kate is a place to chill with the kids. She admits, “I never stop thinking about Tutti – I am also reading, photographing and collecting things, searching for things..
“But, I love entertaining and having a house full of people. I love a home that is welcoming, understated and comfortable.”
Her working week means those early starts and workdays until seven or eight at night Monday to Wednesday. Thursday she picks the kids up from school and they might pop out for tea – then Friday are about, “being flexible – I might work from home, sorting things, planning things.
“I make sure we all eat really well (Deliciously Ella is on a side table) – it is a crazy life, we are so busy.
“I believe in being positive. I’m not always positive but I think what’s the point in not being, life’s hard?”
Kate refers to one of the posters she’s design which says Oh Happy Day, “It’s in my bedroom – it’s lovely to wake up to that!”
“I always have candles – I love fresh salty scents – the idea of that feeling of being wrapped up in a blanket, sitting on the beach, the crashing waves and the salty air. The sense of seaside and space is everything.”
Tutti&Co’s HQ is in North Shields and it’s bursting with the Tutti touch.
Her workforce has expanded from seven to 15 in the past year and she often employs graduates form Northumbria Uni.
Last year she was approached by Next to design and collaborate with them. It was
a real turning point for her. It meant big-league retail and would’ve kept the accountants happy, but it didn’t feel right to Kate.
“I spoke to a consultant who really knew his stuff, and really ‘got’ Tutti&Co – he made me realise that I didn’t have to take every opportunity – just the right ones.
“I didn’t want to be Next. I realised that going that way would not get me to that concept store I want. Having that expertise made me confident of what I did want.
“My goal is that concept store and I am really geared up for it – looking for the right location for a place where people will make a destination. Where we can offer everything for the home and show our creativity – that would be everything I could wish for.
“Is it about being a multi-millionaire or having a great lifestyle business? It has never been about making money – my drive is about producing something I love and creating the experience.
“I want to tell a story, go behind the scenes and show the people making our products – like hand-pouring candles.
“We have a passionate team and we work in a cool little design hub – I wanted that feeling, you get more from people when they feel that they are living the brand.”
There she goes, as another of those posters proclaims, Dream Big. Indeed.
Kate will be joining Luxe to write an interiors & lifestyle column from September – keep an eye out!