You can do it all from your kitchen table, says Foxtrot Home founder
Living on a farm in central Hawke’s Bay, surrounded by rolling fields filled with sheep and horses, Kate Cullwick was inspired to return to natural fibres. She runs her Foxtrot Home linen business with her sister, Prue Watson, from her kitchen table and embraces the kaupapa of sustainability.
KATE CULLWICK: I grew up on a farm in Gisborne, and now I live on my husband’s family farm. When you are a farmer, you are raised on natural materials.
There may be wood that you harvested from the farm to build the house – which is the case for both the farm my husband and I currently live on [on his family farm]and my parents’ farm.
You draw as much as possible from nature and your environment.
At the time it may have been a necessity, but I think subconsciously your connection to the land is also reflected in the house. The look happens to be popular these days.
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We took over the farm from [my husband] Jeremy’s parents and the window seat were part of the extension they did in the 90s. It’s a lovely little place.
The calm invites you to sit back and enjoy. I sit there with coffee in the morning. The sun rises through the window with golden light. It’s just wonderful.
I’ve always loved vintage oil paintings, which aren’t easy to find in New Zealand I think. Living in rural Waipukurau, we don’t do much art shopping.
The cloud “painting” above the cabinet is actually just a download that I enlarged and printed on canvas. It’s textured, so it has the feel of oil brush strokes. So while it’s a bit out of my price range to buy something this big for real, I did instead.
In front of the painting is the most incredible view of our farm. The valley we live in is amazing. We are so lucky.
We have this massive bridge, and we’re right on top of a hill, so there’s a lot of cloud. There’s that connection to the natural world again.
I work from home, from the kitchen table. I love being on the farm with Jeremy, helping out as much as I can, so this is a little message for everyone – but especially women, because the feminist in me says it – you can do anything from your home.
I’m so grateful, so lucky to be able to do this.
Prue and I wear many hats, and the business has always been developed to fit our lifestyle first.
At Foxtrot, our mantra is natural at home. It’s a personal philosophy. Even before it became my business, I was passionate about natural and sustainable fibers because it’s about looking around and realizing that we can make conscious choices for our homes.
Switching to using wool in addition to flax was particularly exciting, as it is a sustainable resource and supports farmers in New Zealand.
Yes, natural fibers are all the rage right now, but it’s actually the only choice. I just try to avoid plastic wherever possible and make conscious choices every day, to support ethical and sustainable products. Foxtrot is a reflection of what we want to see in our homes.
I read somewhere recently that with all the chaos in the world right now, people are drawn to the natural elements for a sense of calm and peace.
I had never thought of it before, but it rang so true.
It’s not just the chaotic world, we’re so busy these days. It’s a crazy, crazy personal life, running a business, being a farmer and a parent.