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10 Mins With: Whinnie & Kierra, Founders of Poodle & Blonde

10 Mins With: Whinnie & Kierra, Founders of Poodle & Blonde

Introducing Poodle & Blonde wallpapers at Rockett St George

We have caught up with Founders Whinnie Williams & Kierra Campbell to discuss everything from design inspiration to business advice for female founders...

image of Poodle & Blonde Founders Whinnie & Kierra

Image of Poodle & Blonde Founders Whinnie Williams & Kierra Campbell

We first discovered Poodle & Blonde when photographing Whinnie's Margate home for our second book: Extraordinary Interiors In Colour. Filled with creativity, 1970s character, vintage treasures and of course, poodles, Whinnie's home was a masterclass in decorating with personality. During the process of renovating the property, Whinnie had the idea to start designing prints for the home. With a background as a Production Consultant for emerging interior brands, Kierra stumbled upon Whinnie's Instagram page and got in touch over DMs to offer help on building the brand. Over coffee, the creative duo clicked immediately and what started as a consultancy meeting, turned into an inspirational business partnership. Combining Whinnie & Kierra's skill and shared signature style, the world of Poodle & Blonde has become a destination for notalgic patterns with a cool, contemporary edge. Having followed Whinnie & Kierra's journey since the 2018 launch, we fell head over heels for their big personality prints and revival of all things retro. So, to celebrate the arrival of Poodle & Blonde at RSG, we interviewed Whinnie & Kierra about their iconic brand. From personal style inspirations to the future of Poodle & Blonde, keep reading to discover their story...

1. Let’s start at the very beginning, tell us all about yourselves and Poodle & Blonde!  

image of Poodle & Blonde Founders Whinnie & Kierra Images courtesy of Poodle & Blonde

W: Long story short, I got a record deal at 20, but instead of singing, I preferred designing sets for my music videos. So, when I bought my first house, I planned the interiors to look like a movie set but what I wanted didn’t exist anywhere, so I started painting my own designs.  Inspired to start my own business, I couldn’t get a factory to take me seriously but knew I was onto something so kept teasing it as ‘Coming Soon’ on Instagram.

K: And that’s where I come in.  I’d been watching Whinnie’s journey and really loved her aesthetic so was excited to see the first collection. My background includes working for one of the UK’s leading maximalist interior brands, and at the time I had set myself up as a Production Consultant for start-up brands so I got in touch to see if she needed my help.

W: From the moment we met, we clicked immediately - sharing a love for business, interiors and a determination to launch our own brand.   

K: That was back in 2018, and from our core collection of wallpaper, fabric, cushions and lamps, we’ve expanded the range to include dog beds, limited edition vintage cushion drops, dinnerware and our Interior Design Service. 

W: From the beginning, we believed there was a gap in the interiors market, and our mission is to establish Poodle & Blonde as the leading retro and mid-century inspired interiors brand - designing future vintage pieces that will last and be loved for a lifetime. 

2. Where do you find inspiration when designing new collections?  

Image of Poodle & Blonde Tea Room Blossom Wallpaper

 Poodle & Blonde Tea Room Blossom Wallpaper

W: Initially the design process starts by being drawn to things and objects which intrigue me.  I’ll then start to obsessively research and collect as much as I can.  Last year I became fascinated with cowgirl and horse-inspired memorabilia – anything and everything from vintage fashion and ornaments to sketches and paintings.  This became the starting point and inspiration for our Appaloosa collection.  I also find old films, exhibitions and travelling an amazing source of inspiration whenever I want to dive into one of my style hunches. 

3. With so many gorgeous wallpapers to choose from, can you tell us a bit about the wonderful Poodle & Blonde wallpaper patterns available to shop at Rockett St George?  

images of Poodle & Blonde wallpaper

Margate Marble Emerald Pink Wallpaper | Tottenham Dalmatian Ginger Wallpaper | Margate Marble Tobacco Ink Wallpaper

W: From the beginning, we wanted to create wallpaper designs that felt nostalgic but modern in colour, chic and playful.  One really special aspect is that everything is designed in-house and each new collection is inspired by a strong storytelling narrative.  We love to make things feel nostalgic yet new, creating future vintage pieces that will last and be loved for a lifetime.  

K: We both have a soft spot for our Wyndham Collection because it was the first time we worked together.  The designs are a complete merge of both of us in terms of creative inspiration including Whinnie’s Grandad Wyndham, my home in Tottenham and Whinnie's love of Margate alongside our shared obsession for animal print, the 70's and plush velvet. 

4. Please tell us all about your own homes, are there any new renovation projects in the works?

Images of Whinnie William's home in Kent

Images of Whinnie's Kent home, courtesy of Poodle & Blonde

W: My new home is in the Kent woods and looks like a Palm Springs bungalow on stilts.  I’ve named it Follywood after the Victorian Follys.  The plan is to completely renovate the whole house and bring it back to its late 50s glory, starting with the swimming pool which I want ready this summer. 

5. Poodle & Blonde is synonymous with vintage style and reviving all things retro. How would you describe your interior style?  

Image of Food Babies Camel Wallpaper

Poodle & Blonde Food Babies Camel Wallpaper

K: I’m really inspired by anything post-modern specifically prints that are vibrant, bold, and aesthetically complex. I think myCaribbean heritage attracts me equally to earthy tones and punchy primary colours, which, when mixed with my love for retro design makes my home a post-modernist den full of organic styling. What I love most about my design style is that it isn't trend-led, each space can constantly morph and be experimented with, much less rigid than other design styles.  

6. If the objects in your homes could talk, which one would have the best story to tell?  

Image of Whinnie Williams at home and 1970 Caffe Wallpaper by Poodle & Blonde

Poodle & Blonde 1970 Caffe Wallpaper

K: All of my most complimented pieces are second-hand, I don't think I have ever had a guest show interest in something new in my home, except my air fryer! I source most of my pieces from local sellers, sometimes I'll treat myself, travel outside of London and make a day of it. The most interesting piece I own is a mid-century sofa with a chrome metal base, which I re-upholstered in one of our Poodle & Blonde velvet designs. It looks as vintage as it does brand new. Vintage pieces that can easily be worked into modern spaces are my favourites. 

W: I have a stuffed swan called Vera which I bought from eBay when I was 19. She’s been with me ever since and has moved house with me so many times, meaning she’s been at all of my parties.  She would have a lot to say!  

7. You describe one of the goals of Poodle & Blonde as helping people turn their homes into magical movie sets of their dreams. What is your favourite movie/tv interior of all time?

Image of Whinnie William's Kent home

Image courtesy of Poodle & Blonde

K: Mine has to be Desmond’s.  It was a British tv show in the 90s based around a Caribbean barber shop. Even though the interiors are by no means impressive, as someone who grew up in London, within a Caribbean community it is so nostalgic. I love all the portraits on the walls, posters in the bedrooms, and little ceramics and trinkets on every surface. 

W: I don’t have an all-time favourite, and instead love taking inspiration from a selection of old films and classics. I’m currently obsessed with the Yellowstone series.  

8. Congratulations to Kierra on being named one of the 100 Female Founders To Watch by NatWest & The Telegraph! What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own business or passion project?  

Image of Kierra Campbell & Saguaro Saturn Denim Wallpaper

Poodle & Blonde Saguaro Saturn Denim Wallpaper

K: Any new venture requires stamina and our ability to maintain it regardless of what we are facing is something we’re proud of.  Actually, what we’ve found is focusing our energy on maintaining stamina, vs our ‘fight or flight’ response, helps us to make better decisions. Belief in your vision is paramount also. When we launched the brand, we had no idea of its potential. What we did know is that how we wanted our homes to look and feel wasn’t easy to create. There was no ‘one-stop shop’ for quality retro-inspired pieces and so we knew there was a customer…it was us! Print-obsessed individuals who prefer to style alongside vintage finds and buy into products that have a story.   Plus, let’s not forget an injection of fun.  You have to enjoy the journey and celebrate even the smallest of successes. 

9. Is there anything exciting we should look out for in the world of Poodle & Blonde in the coming months?  

image of Tottenham Dalmatian Pink Wallpaper by Poodle & Blonde

Poodle & Blonde Tottenham Dalmatian Pink Wallpaper

W: We’re just about to launch a new collection which is quite different for us in that it’s slightly more neutral and designed to work alone and alongside our statement prints that embrace large-scale patterns and prints.  It feels chic, super sleek and sexy.   

10. Finally, name three new Rockett St George products that you love!  

images of Whinnie & Kierra's favourite RSG products, including the cabbage plate, evil eye necklace, black & pink geometric throw, blue wavy wall mirror, amber easyfit glass lampshade and pistachio footed bowl

W: Green Cabbage Leaf Plate, Gold Chunky Chain Evil Eye Necklace & Pink & Black Geometric Pattern Quilt

K: Blue Wavy Frame Wall Mirror, Amber Tiered Glass Easyfit Ceiling Shade & Pistachio Green Footed Fruit Bowl

Poodle & Blonde wallpaper is available to shop at Rockett St George here.

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