Women Who Inspire: Kate Towill
Kate Towill and her husband, Ben, own the lifestyle-driven design and development company, Basic Projects. Their restaurant, Basic Kitchen, opened in 2017 and is one of Stacy's favorite restaurants in town. They also just opened the revamped Post House Inn in Mt Pleasant's Old Village to rave reviews. In addition to restaurants, they design residential and commercial properties, and even offer branding and design consulting.
A Delaware native, Kate has a BA in Communication Design from Pratt Institute and spent 6 years in the film industry as a set designer for heavy-hitters like HBO and Wes Anderson. Kate's design ethos is to create spaces that are not only beautiful, but functional and comfortable too. We can certainly attest to that fact...as Basic Kitchen is one of our go-to restaurants for a reason...and the Post House has instantly earned a top spot in our heart as well. If you haven't visited either restaurant, we highly encourage a visit immediately :)
Q&A with Kate
What has shaped you into the business woman you currently are?
I'd say what's shaped me the most in business is working in the film set design world for 6 years in NYC. It taught me to be very crafty and flexible… and bold where needed ;)
How has facets of work helped you deal with your surroundings?
My work makes me much more detail-oriented and thoughtful when it comes to my surroundings… I can take inspiration from the smallest object or gorgeous tune.
How have you continually developed and worked with companies on an international, national, and local scale?
I put a lot of time into sourcing unique vendors from all over the globe when it comes to our projects, residential or commercial. This is what I believe sets us apart from other designers - we like to make life a little bit more difficult on ourselves ;) Whether we find an artist in Portugal hand painting tile for us or head to the antique fairs up north or out west and come home in a 20-foot truck filled with gems...some with no immediate use too ;) We always go that extra step and believe it really creates this “travelled / storied / effortless” feel… I really hate when something feels over-designed.
What is your driving force that keeps you moving while running Basic Projects?
Benji (my partner in it all), coffee, and all the wonderful people we work with. Cocktails once a week with girlfriends always helps too ;)
Does Hampden cater to your style? If so, what are some of your favorite designers or pieces currently at Hampden?
Yes, I love the more classic lines and simpler pieces Hampden carries. My favorite brands are Isabel Marant (all day every day, love love love), Lizzie Fortunato, R13, Xirena, Rachel Comey, CO, Mara Hoffman , Forte Forte , Loeffler Randall.
What has 2020 left you most hopeful for?
A new president.
How does the Charleston community support women-owned businesses like yours?
Maybe more than any city I've lived in, Charleston has an impressively extensive crew of talented girl bosses doing very cool things and all supporting each other.