What's in the name?

Over the years I’ve often been asked where the name Kettlewell comes from. Well, the answer is it has two origins really: it’s my maiden name (my father’s name is Captain Kettlewell), but it’s also the name of a village in the Yorkshire Dales, close to where my grandparents used to live – the quintessential English village with its neat limestone houses, old inns and views of the lush green dales as far as the eye can see.

For me, Kettlewell is that perfect mix of heritage and nostalgia, with a sense of fun and wellness to it that you don’t find every day. And of course, for the Kettlewell family it is also synonymous with afternoon tea – a proper sit-down meal with crumpets and homemade cake and lashings of hot Yorkshire tea (in fact, before ‘colour’ changed my life, I had planned on recreating that cosy family scene of my childhood by opening a tea shop on the King’s Road in London). So when John and I were deciding on a name for our new T-shirt company, Kettlewell seemed like the obvious choice. It certainly had that special kind of quirkiness we were looking for.

Another person who shares my affection for Kettlewell is my sister Charlotte, who was over visiting the other weekend. Charlotte lives in Rio de Janeiro with her Brazilian husband and two children, which means that I don’t get to spend as much quality time with her as I’d like, so it was wonderful to have her to stay and catch up properly. Charlotte is a talented jewellery designer, sourcing all her materials – precious stones, silver and gold – on trips to India and Bali (see her on Instagram: @charlotterosegold) and turning them into beautiful unique designs in her Rio studio. As you can see, she is also as dark as I am fair, so while I’m a Spring, she falls most definitely into the Winter camp. Not for Charlotte, soft and bright watermelon, buttercup, aquamarine and mint green – she is all about bold, vibrant and intense colours such as deep claret, cobalt blue and scarlet, and, rather fittingly, jewel-like colours such as dark emerald and sapphire.


People often comment on the fact that, as sisters, we are strikingly different in skin tone and hair colour. All I can say is that it’s probably a good thing: at least we know that by keeping to our own seasons and colour palette, we will never be tempted to do that very sisterly thing of coveting each other’s clothes!