Hello! My name is Kate Pearson, and I’m a product designer from Leeds in West Yorkshire, England. I guess my design career began in childhood, with fierce competition over LEGO blocks with my older brother Miles (pictured top-right, just to embarrass him). He would seriously engineer the bricks into perfect constructions, and I would argue my ad-hoc designs were far better. He ended up as an architect, running his own business in Liverpool and I ended up going into product design!
Maths and English were not my strong points at school. Art, design, music and sports were far more up my street. My wandering father, Andy aka ‘Egon’ (as in where’s he gone?), sent us to a Quaker school in Pontefract; famous for its towering Ferrybridge Power Station and Haribo sweets. I embraced my time in “Ponte” and definitely met an interesting bunch of people in and around the school.
Following my time at school, I returned to my hometown, Leeds. There, I briefly attended
the Art College, but moved to study fashion design and manufacturing.
After college I wasn’t a hundred percent sure if the world of fashion was for me; I think I was too young to know what I wanted to do, so bounced between a few different jobs while I made up my mind.
I joined my brother in Liverpool when I was twenty-four, and studied Product Design and 3D Modelling at John Moore University. I’d previously worked in London as a nail technician so continued to do this part-time whilst studying. I also worked full-time on a placement in packaging design and technology for Unilever in Port Sunlight, before returning to university for my final year. Exhibiting at Love Design for the Liverpool Capital of Culture in 2011 was the perfect end to my time in the city, as I then returned to Leeds to look for work.
The job market wasn’t very good in 2011, and the search for work continued fruitlessly until I decided to follow an idea I’d had a few years previously. And so I went back to study a Masters in Product Design at the University of Leeds. I studied part-time over two years whilst continuing to work part-time as a nail technician. My study was based around the handbag industry, and incorporating new materials.