The Kinfolk Entrepreneur by Nathan Williams

The Kinfolk brand started out as a magazine, published by Ourr, and is based in Portland, Oregon. It was founded by Nathan Williams, and is produced in English, Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. Williams also served as the Editor-in Chef of the magazine until July last year. 

I'm a big fan of the magazine, picking up a copy at Indigo when I can afford it. I'm often inspired by what I see on the pages and by the interviews I read, by the sleek and clean designs, and the beauty of the photography. 

Around the middle of 2020, on one of my many shopping trips to Indigo, I noticed a huge change in the aesthetic of the store. The window displays had changed, the product offering was more chic. They now sold candles boasting ingredients like bergamot, cedar, and sandalwood. There was an abundance of fixtures displaying patterned pillows, knitted blankets, and tables covered with copper cocktail shakers, martini glasses, herbs, spices, and artisanal teas and coffees. This didn't look like Indigo. This looked like a cross between Colette and Anthropologie. Yet there were still books. Many, many books.

Don't get me wrong though, I still loved it.

Turns out, this was the work of Nathan Williams and the Creative Team at Indigo, and their new product line, OUI.

Williams had resigned from Kinfolk and joined the team at Indigo as Chief Creative Officer, and he was making big changes. I was excited to say the least. Things were changing, he was refreshing a stale brand, bringing fresh eyes and his Kinfolk vision. Indigo was about to become a lot more appealing. 

I recently picked up a copy of The Kinfolk Entrepreneur, which was originally published in 2017. I have a personal connection to this book since I used to work at the Herschel Supply Co. head office for the co-founder and I remember the creative team at Kinfolk coming in to photograph him, and our office. I had forgotten that until I got toward the end of the book and saw my two former co-workers standing by the window in the office in which I spent so many hours working.

In The Kinfolk Entrepreneur, Williams introduces us readers to 40 of the world's most interesting and unique creative leaders in a variety of fields around the world. We meet fashion and graphic designers, architects, a futurist, perfumer, writers, and gallerists.  

Some of my favourites included Ben Gorham, Mett & Rolf Hay, and Nina Yasar. 

Ben Gorham is the Founder of Byredo, a brand I've come to adore this past few years. A scent synonymous with New York City for me. I've smelled it on my colleagues at New York Fashion Week. The Bal D'Afrique wafting down the halls as the clothing racks roll at full speed from one end of the corridor to the other. 

Mett & Rolf Hay are the Co-Founders and Creative Directors of HAY, a design company based in Denmark. I've long admired their furniture and accessories. My partner and I have taken trips to Vancouver Special just to check out the HAY offerings, and we adored the HAY x IKEA Ypperlig collaboration. 

Nina Yasar is a gallerist. I fell in love with her look while reading about her in The Kinfolk Entrepreneur. She's one of the few featured creatives that I hadn't heard about before. Originally from Iran, Yasar opened her first business when she turned 21. She now has a 1,900 square-foot showroom with approximately 300 objects on display at any one time. She said "Somebody once counted 415 items, can you believe."
To conclude, The Kinfolk Entrepreneur is not just an inspiring book filled with creatives from all walks of life with inspiring stories and fruitful advice, it also makes for a beautiful coffee table book. This is one you can pull out for months or years to come, a book to spark your imagination, to activate your mind when you're feeling uninspired and counterproductive.

The Kinfolk Entrepreneur is available at Indigo and Kinfolk. For those not in Canada or the US, the book is available worldwide, a quick Google search will let you know where you can find it.