After completing a degree in 3D design at Brighton Poly I illustrated for the Body Shop, painted murals and then changed tack and taught primary aged children until the birth of my daughter. We moved to Bermuda for 3 years where I sold collages and paintings through local art galleries. When we returned to the UK, I painted botanical images for a ceramics company and then when my son began full time school, I started up The Square Card Company which later became Kali Stileman Publishing.
My children are my greatest inspiration and my fiercest critics. They have come up with lots of ideas and it was Finn that designed the monster and peacock cards when he was ten.
In recent years I have been writing and illustrating books for Random House. peely wally, my first book, was a surprising success and was shortlisted for the red house book awards 2012 and has been selected to go in the bookstart bags that all children in the UK receive at eighteen months. time for tea polly wally, the sequal was released a year later. I have also illustrated the big book of nursery rhymes and the big book of my world which to date has been translated into 26 different languages and won the rightstart gold medal toy award for 2012.
the national literacy trust have chosen big book of my world for their london literacy champions project. This means that over the coming months 1700 copies of the book will be distributed to families across London. The project aims to help develop children's early literacy by connecting community volunteers with local families with children aged two to five years.
Alongside designing greetings cards and stationary for foreign publishers, recent licensing projects include designing calendars and family planners for KV&H Germany 2014-17, bag and wrap designs for Glick, a growing range of wall stickers with stickerscape www.stickerscape.co.uk, and cushions for welovecushions.com and super board books for Make Believe ideas.
I remarried in 2011 and now live near Dorchester with my lovely husband and our 4 kids when they are back from uni, a pair of loopy dogs and a garden full of chickens, geese and ducks....life couldn’t be better!
I grew up in Dorset in a remote little village “where everybody knows your name”. Escaping to the big city, I studied in Canterbury for a year, and then studied English and Drama at the University of Sussex (still pretty rural!) I lived on the seafront in Brighton for three years and had the time of my life there.
After completing my degree and teacher training, I missed the comforts of home and the beautiful Dorset coast, so I moved back to the house I grew up in and had a great time being a kid again living with mum and dad. I met my wonderful husband Dale in 2012 and we now live together in a little house which we renovated together from the bare bones. We live with our two twin cats –Monty and Rupert- and a part-time dog -Sybil). We're expecting our first baby in April.
I have been working as an English Teacher in a secondary school for the last eight years and by a strike of fate (magic) I found my job here with Kali -so now I do a bit of both! I've been here for over a year now, and I take care of the public side of the business -including social media and publicity. I love the creativity and variety in my role, and most importantly I love the things we make!
Chrissie is one of my oldest dearest friends. We lived together when we were doing our foundation course in Winchester and she went on to have a long career designing fabrics for a host of international brands and then overseeing the technical development and manufacture of knitwear for the likes of Marks and Spencer, Boden and Fat Face.
When she decided to take a break, I jumped at the opportunity to pull her in to work with us. With over 20 years' experience in retail, Chrissie is now in charge of our research and marketing, liaising with all our lovely shops and agents.
Chrissie works from her beautiful home in West Sussex where she is also developing her passion for gardening and garden design. I should also say, I named my daughter after her, they both share Airlie as a middle name!
I have just graduated from the University of Exeter, where I had three of the most lovely years living with Kali’s daughter Jem. Kali spotted my scribbly birthday wishes pinned up on Jem’s wall, and invited me to play a little part in the Kali Stileman team. I currently live in Oxford, where I love working with local youth, designing wedding materials, and writing music (when I’m not lying on the carpet, ink-pen in hand and surrounded by calligraphy, that is)!
I have just graduated from the university of Exeter, with a degree in French and Italian.
After five fantastic years living in France and Italy, where I dabbled mostly in journalism, radio broadcasting and teaching, I have found myself unable to resist the draw of the beautiful and bustling city of Exeter. Having now joined the Kali Stileman team, I work alongside Chrissie in research and marketing.