Hello!!!! And welcome back to what is truly the birthplace of Caitlin Wilson Design!
I’ve recently felt inspired to document my story back here in the place where it all began. I get many requests and questions via Instagram and email that the CW team decided that the blog might be a more efficient way to respond and the perfect place to share more with all of you! It’s been an amazing journey and the last 9 years behind the CW brand have given me so many incredible opportunities and blessings. From the earliest days living overseas to opening the doors of our Dallas flagship store- every day really does feel like a dream. I won’t say that it’s easy, in fact, the last few years have been the most intense years of my life, but I really do love this business, I love our products, and I love that it has given me a perspective and platform to inspire creativity and happiness in our homes. I’m often asked how I do it all or how I actually learned/started this business…and I’m here and ready to share! I hope you’ll reach out and make requests and suggestions so I can be thoughtful about the time I spend here. I can’t say enough how grateful I am for all of you, because truly I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing without the support and encouragement all those who have been following along my journey for the last 9 years. So to my old friends who care to re-live the memories or to my new friends who have just discovered my brand- I give you the CW story…
It all began on a little “Blogspot” back in 2007, I caught a few people’s attention ( I mean truly a few) with my pattern-filled “cute” apartment and one day I got a request via the comment section for some design help. I guess I had done a decent job hiding the hideousness of our first apartment - I had spent countless hours painting and decoupaging frames, trying my best to downplay the knotted yellow oak cabinets and laminate countertops;) So it began, I made it official with an LLC as a home-based business and started taking small design projects during nights and weekends since my full-time job was as a buyer at a boutique and design assistant to an interior designer.
Fast forward a few years and I was living in Dubai with my husband, Brigham and our 6-month-old daughter, Olivia, while he pursued an international banking career. Eager to make our life comfortable and our home somewhat attractive, I scoured every decent home store in Dubai (which was not many besides IKEA) and learned how to use local seamstresses to help me make pillows and draperies for my house. I frequented local marketplaces finding cute Knick knacks from the region and even made an adventurous purchase from Dubai’s Craigslist (called Dubizzle) - for a promising rocking upholstered chair, (thanks to my friend Tiffani who drove me there because I didn't even have a car!) I documented it all along the way on the blog and I guess my life must have either been hilarious, bizarre and/or fascinating - because at that time it wasn’t quite as glamorous as Dubai was typically thought of, but thanks again to my blog, I continued to receive messages and emails requesting design help in Dubai and even back in the states. So, I had a friend help me with a “fancy” blog banner and now that I’d been sharing all sorts of things with the world- I coined the name “Style Files” to keep it open to whatever sort of thing I was in the mood to share that day. Whether it was custom making my own clothes with my favorite tailors Raj & Iqbal or traveling to Oman or Lebanon and finding inspiration in ancient architecture or handmade soaps. I would blog and design virtually during Olivia's naps and bedtime. I remember staying up so late that I got myself sick with strep within a few months, but connecting with people in the US was so comforting to me since I was so far away. My life was turning out to be quite exciting living overseas and equally as surprising as that was- was the fact that so many people wanted to be a part of it via CaitlinWilsonDesign.blogspot.
After many requests, one Christmas I decided to experiment with an idea and took some orders for some pillows that I had made for my apartment. I think I got somewhere around 40 orders and I was thrilled! I had my Dubai tailor whip them up with a Greek key ribbon border and I packed them with all the Christmas gifts and headed home to ship them out to my sweet blog followers/ kind customers!
You could say I've always had an entrepreneurial spirit- even my grandmother remembers all the little businesses I would create around the house when she would come to town for the holidays. I was no doubt a creative child- drawing animals and flowers in my sketchbook but I was most definitely an entrepreneur coming up with all sorts of goodies to sell to my sweet grandmother.
Back to 2011, and my husband was given a great opportunity to work in another banking team in the Hong Kong office- so we set out on another adventure even more foreign than Dubai. By that time I had been spending every minute of nap time and evenings writing on the blog and doing design for clients all across the globe. So when I landed in Hong Kong, I was on a mission to not just continue what I was doing with my blog, but turn it into something that could work while
I was not ... I had realized at that point that there were only so many hours in the day and with the ambition of growing my family, I knew that I wanted to find something that filled both my creative mind and my entrepreneurial appetite.
So a month or two of Saturdays spent in the garment district and I had made some friends who were willing to work with me to print fabrics. I drew my first floral pattern with a black sharpie in my little apartment with my darling Olivia on my lap and began working with a friend from church to help me put the patterns into repeat. I’m going to cut to the chase but needless to say, I was able to pull together 14 patterns and began working on a website. I knew I wanted to sell online but it would have proved difficult from Hong Kong, and luckily the stars aligned and my husband was accepted to business school back in the states. Within a few months, we were headed to Philadelphia with 14 bolts of fabric. We rented an apartment with an extra bedroom for an office and I worked tirelessly for months to create the website, the photos, the process, the brand. On October 17, 2011, Caitlin Wilson Textiles was born and the rest is history!!! Fast forward 9 years and I’ve designed over 60 textile patterns. I have a team of 15 and produce not just textiles but also rugs, wallpaper, and furniture. I have 4 beautiful children and live in Dallas, Texas- just minutes away from my store. My life is nothing short of boring, but I thrive on the energy and excitement of every day. Whether I’m running to carpool, cheering at a basketball game or dance competition, or I’m on a photoshoot for our latest collection, I’m grateful for the way I’ve been guided and inspired to do what I’m doing. And thanks again to all of you- I wouldn’t be here without you!
I’m thrilled to be back writing again on the blog and excited to share more from behind the brand! Check-in with us weekly for more insight into our designs and collections, tips and tricks of the trade, home, and fashion inspiration, and personal memoirs and moments!