Meet Kate Kindersley, the founder of HADEDA, the lifestyle brand that works with African artisans.

Kate Kindersley is the founder of Hadeda, a UK-based lifestyle brand which works with talented artisans across Africa on one-of-a-kind ceramic, art, furniture and fashion pieces. Her onus? To celebrates the enduring heritage of craft over mass production.

I came up with the idea when…

Probably as long ago as in my late teens. My mum (who is South African) and I did a charity sale with South African-designed products, which was very well received. We discussed then that we should start something but it never happened. Then in my late 20s, it really started to take form. I was living in Tanzania and had come across so many inspiring artisans. I just thought how much I would love to show their work and make it into a business. It wasn’t until some time later though, after having my three boys, that I had the courage to take the plunge, and HADEDA was born. It’s all about timing.

The biggest challenge is…

Juggling family life and running a start-up has been quite challenging. I am not sure you ever find the right balance but this year I am really trying to compartmentalise my time so I can fit in work, family and also some me time!



The average day is spent…

Once I get the kids all up and sorted and settled at school, nursery or with my nanny for the day, I try and do some exercise. I give myself an hour if I can and this really clears my head for the day. I then head to the showroom. I try and reply to my emails first and get that out of the way. I am not naturally good at admin so I try to tackle this first. I then focus on the getting orders out, whether that involves trips to the post office or liaising with my courier. In between, I am always playing with product and moving things around in the showroom -– I can’t help myself! My favourite aspect of the business is sourcing, so I am always looking for new ideas on Instagram or in magazines. This doesn't feel like work and I feel lucky that I love what I do.

The team consists of…

Me, my husband Alex, and Katie my assistant. We also have two consultants who help me with more specialised aspects of the business. Alice Sykes does my PR and Lydia Mansi does my brand management and marketing. Without them HADEDA would not be what it is today.

My favourite quote is…

Keep calm and carry on...

I am where I am today because of…

A supportive husband and family and a love of beautiful handmade objects.

I am who I am because of…

A strong matriarchal influence in my life. My mother is the most practical and motivated person I know. She really knows how to get things done.

The best advice I’ve been given…

Ignore the noise and follow your own instincts.

In five years I’d like to be…

Healthy and happy living near nature with my family around me, while running a successful business and supporting as many people and communities as I possibly can through that business,

The websites I most frequently use are...

Moodboards on Pinterest and all my accountancy through Xero. It has made it a lot more painless!

By Lydia Mansi
May 2020

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Lydia Mansi

Lifestyle Editor

Lydia is an all-round lifestyle guru, tireless champion of women in business and our resident expert on beauty.

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