International Women's Day 2020: interview with Chloe Kempster
Question 1) Tell us a bit about yourself, what is your name and your business?
My name is Chloe Kempster and I started Maisie’s House at the age of 26, shortly after having my second child. Like Annie, I am a qualified artist and professional furniture upcycler. I embrace colour and creativity on a daily basis and create one of a kind pieces from my workshop in South Leicestershire, I like to think of each piece as functional art.
Question 2) How did you come to create this business?
For so many reasons, Maisie’s House is a perfect fit for me, it enables me to do everything I love doing alongside the people I love! I had completed a Fine Art Degree previously and had worked in retail as a Visual Merchandiser. Interior Design was also another passion and when furnishing our first family home on a tight budget, a necessity. After starting my family, I knew straight away that being around for the kids was something I really wanted, so I took the leap leaving my job in retail at the time and began working from home. Yes, it was a risk and financially it has been difficult at times, but I wouldn’t give up spending the early years with the children for anything.
Question 3) What inspirational people have you looked to throughout your career?
I am thankful to my mum for surrounding me with creativity as a child, for always providing a good supply of art materials and her eternally positive spirit, not to mention she has a brilliant eye for interior décor! We have just always had so much in common and I am so grateful that I have someone I can relate to who is a great source of encouragement, she is the first one I call when I have finished a new piece to ask her opinion, love her to bits! Like her I have always encouraged my own children to believe the future is in their hands and I feel like Maisie’s House is a good example of that, I hope to be a positive role model to them like my mum was to me!
Question 4) What was the single proudest moment you've had in business?
There are a few, I think one of them definitely has to be my role as an Artisan on the BBC1 show Money for Nothing. Television isn’t something that I had thought about before and working on the show has taken me completely out of my comfort zone and also inspired me to push my boundaries creatively. And of course being asked to be Annie Sloan’s Painter in Residence was beyond my imagination, what a privilege, I am so honoured to be a source of inspiration to other people in the industry, I love to encourage people to think outside the box and in particular be brave with colour, this is what really makes me smile.
Question 5) What advice do you have to anyone starting out?
Stay true to what you are passionate about, It is so important that your work really represents you and the things you love and believe in, if you believe in what you are doing, then other people will, and of course a bit of hard work and determination also helps!
Question 6) And finally if you were a Chalk Paint colour, what colour would you be and why?
If I was a Chalk Paint® colour, I would definitely be Florence. Not only is this my favourite Annie Sloan shade, I feel it can take on different personalities and represents my eclectic taste! It can be fun and bright, yet also sophisticated and mysterious!!