Bonnie & Buttermilk: A Passion for Patterns

When you walk into Bonnie & Buttermilk, you’re greeted by a striking pop of colors and patterns—immediately lifting your mood. The store’s owners, Eike Braunsdorf and Katrin Petsch, infuse their work with joy, and it’s easy to see. Soft pillows featuring large scale floral and geometric prints sit atop a wooden table, while racks display a perfectly spaced selection of vibrant clothing. Houseplants are scattered throughout the shop, adding even more life to the space.

“It’s important to do what you believe in and to really follow your passions. If you really yearn for something, then it’s a good and successful business… you can’t stop doing it because it’s what you want to do.”

The pair met about ten years ago: Eike was working in a fabric shop and Katrin was a customer, and they immediately connected on a mutual love of design. They began printing fabrics in small batches, which they used to make clothing for their children. They also collected vintage fabrics, purchasing small quantities from flea markets and sewing them together to make large blankets.

The duo opened an online shop that offered women’s fashions, and demand grew very quickly. They initially produced their creations out of Katrin’s apartment.

“We worked in my kitchen, in my living room… everywhere there were fabrics, fabrics, fabrics.”

Eventually, they moved into a small work space that was around 50 square meters in size, but quickly realized they needed more room. With six or seven employees cutting, sewing, and packing orders, in addition to the bundles of fabric themselves, it was much too crowded. So, they moved to a loft space, where they stayed for three years.

Last year, Eike and Katrin moved into their current location on Kollwitzstrasse in Berlin. The top floor is the shop, where customers can browse and purchase from the collections. The space’s split level construction is visible from the outside, therefore customers can also see into the basement workspace—where employees are preparing the prints, patterns, and fabrics. Often, their curiosity is peaked and they come in.

Katrin and Eike design all their prints and patterns themselves, while the fabric is sewn and printed in Germany. For the pair, this creative independence is the best part of being a business owner.

“It’s great, we can have an idea of a fabric, of a pattern, of colors, and then we can just draw it and have it printed on our own fabric—for a dress, for a shirt, for a sweater… that’s something that’s really fun.”

Running a business also poses many daily challenges. It took the co-owners some time to find the right people to work with, from sewers to printers. Additionally, a surprisingly large amount of time can be spent working through small, often bureaucratic, tasks like managing orders, invoices, emails, etc.

The creative work is pushed back as a result: the women return to their homes in the afternoon, and when the children have gone to bed, they begin designing and drawing.

Eike and Katrin are currently focusing on strengthening relationships with customers and launching collections. In the future, they hope to have their designs printed on new objects and materials, like wallpaper, ceramics, bedding, and more.

Katrin and Eike started using their PIN+ Terminal shortly after they opened their store in Kollwitzkiez. They enjoy being able to let their customers pay conveniently. Moreover, they’re happy they can keep track of their business by reviewing transactions within the sales history section of the SumUp app.

“There are so many people who pay with cards, and no one pays cash… We believe that a lot of people wouldn’t buy if they couldn’t pay by card.”

Blog author

Christine Lariviere