Born in Chicago, raised in New York, schooled in Providence and Paris, nourished by her global travels, Julia Knight was born to make things happen. It just took a while to find her muse.
First she spent countless hours behind the cosmetic counter at Bloomingdale’s, then marketing stints at Revlon and Estee Lauder International (where she, at least, got to travel a lot to Paris and Italy), then executive positions at salon product companies in Minneapolis, then the remarkable launch of an industry-changing frozen baby food company, Growing Healthy, then a side trip to raise her kids, and finally (drum roll, please), a fateful road trip from Minneapolis to Minturn, Colorado which lead, ultimately, to discovering a cowhide covered drink holders that resulted in these fateful, and now infamous, words: “I think I can make that.”
Originally founded under the brand name Stampede in 2001, Julia proved that she could, in fact, “make that” by designing and manufacturing western and southwestern influenced housewares. Then the ‘eureka’ moment, Julia discovered the possibilities of color-embossed leathers and the company morphed from cowhides to fun entertaining gifts in brilliant colors that captured the imaginations of buyers and consumers alike (her Perfectly Pink leather-covered cocktail shaker was included in the 2005 Academy Awards celebrity goodie bag).
It was the colors that captivated Julia, too, but she was driven to design serveware and entertaining accessories – her real passion. Her search led her to India, to aluminum and to a rarely used process of fusing colored enamels to the aluminum.
Stampede became Julia Knight, Inc. in 2005. Leather disappeared from the line and in its place were the most inspired beautiful, original, colorful designs the tableware industry had seen in years.
And the company took off. So much so, that today, just a few short years since it was re-launched, Julia is considered by many as one of the hottest designers in tabletop and serveware today.
Based in Minneapolis, Julia Knight now designs and markets serveware, entertaining accessories and gifts hand-crafted by artisans in India (featuring signature enamel and mother-of-pearl finishes), and glassware -- hand-blown in Italy -- featuring an explosion of brilliant colors and silver particles.
Knight’s inspired designs have become coveted, copied and collected. Her company, as a result, has grown significantly. The Julia Knight Collection is now sold in more than 500 specialty stores nationwide, including selected Saks and Bloomingdale’s stores, and has been featured on TV and national magazines.
When not on the road at store signing events or design shows, Julia can be found in Minneapolis with her husband and their two teenage children. Or in Minturn, the place where much of this incredible story really began and where, if one looked, there still might be a leather and hide covered tissue box.