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A gingerbread man wooden pin badge. It's wearing a red and white scarf and has white icing lines on his head, arms, and legs.

Christmas Collaboration with By Kate Elford

Christmas is one of our favourite times of the year, and we love teaming up with some of our favourite clients to design Christmas cards and free pin badges to send out with your orders.

This year, we contacted Kate from 'By Kate Elford' to see if she fancied doing a crimbo collab, as we always love turning her designs into cute pins and custom merch.

When her designs dropped in our inbox, this adorable gingerbread man was the clear office favourite and the obvious choice for us to bring to life as one of our new wooden pin badges.

We're delighted with how the badges turned out. 

A gingerbread man wooden pin badge and a baby blue and white Christmas card that reads

We've already started sending them with every order in December (while stocks last) pinned to our Christmas card to you (created by our fantastic designer, Elenor). 

There's a token of our appreciation inside, too, if you're lucky enough to get one.

Christmas Catch-Up With Kate

We caught up with Kate this week to ask her how 'By Kate Elford' came about, the inspiration behind her designs, and her plans for the future.

Could you share the origin story of By Kate Elford? What initially inspired you to become a pin badge designer, and what gets your creative juices flowing?

I started out many years ago (too many to count) painting; I then tried pottery and ended up specialising in ceramics for several years. I've always loved working in miniature with art and ceramics, so the pins were a great way to make mini illustrations come to life.

My inspiration has always been from the animal world, and in more recent years, I have loved the idea of creating a little gift that will help someone smile or let them know they aren't alone.

Mental health is so important, and it's good to see that it's being talked about more and more.

Can you walk us through your creative process when designing pin badges? And what considerations do you take into account before sending us your designs?

I scribble things down constantly; there are scraps of paper everywhere!

Occasionally, an idea happens really quickly, and I am happy with it within a day or two, but some have taken me literally years of going back and forth and deciding what to do. It's remembering to take on what other people would like and not just what I would be happy with.

Friends and family get quizzed constantly for their opinions!

We love the Christmas wooden pin we made together. Could you share any unique challenges or exciting moments during this collaboration?

Just that it was lovely to be asked! It's my first official collaboration, and it was a real compliment. Thank you 😊

How does your design philosophy align with Made by Cooper, and what aspects of our processes do you find most complementary to your creative vision?

Made by Cooper are easy to work with. Especially with the gingerbread man. I sent the design, and you created it with absolutely no issues. I ask a lot of questions as well, and everyone is very patient with me.

It's a constant learning curve.

What are your future goals for By Kate Elford? Are there specific themes or projects you are eager to explore in upcoming pin badge collections, and how do you see your brand growing with Made by Cooper's support?

I have so many ideas the list gets longer and longer. I'm going to find it a challenge knowing where to start next year. There will definitely be more animal designs on the way. I am planning on more lanyards as well. They were a new thing for me this year, and I was really pleased with your quality. 

I'm looking forward to getting started in 2024

Create Your Own Custom Christmas Merch

While it's too late to create Christmas merch for 2023, it's never too early to start planning for next year's seasonal events. Check out our Christmas client page for ideas and inspiration to make 2024 a truly exceptional year.

Made by Cooper
8 December 2023