Kathryn Duryea didn’t want Ikea dishes, and she didn’t want fancy china. And she bet other people her age felt the same.
4 min read
The tableware industry is enormous and old — a $7 billion space dominated by high-end legacy brands and low-cost plates from the likes of IKEA. Is there room for more? Kathryn Duryea once worked in brand management at Tiffany & Co., where she was part of that old guard, but then she saw a new opening: “We’re in a moment of women embracing leadership and entrepreneurship, but there’s still a desire to build community at home through entertaining,” she says. That led her to create Year & Day, a modern, minimalist tableware brand that has raised $3.5 million in funding and attracted a celebrity clientele, and is growing revenue 40 percent every quarter. Here’s how she created a new place at a very crowded table.
1. Spot the opportunity.
Duryea had inherited her mom’s beloved dinnerware, but it all shattered during a move. That’s when she decided to build her own collection. “It felt like a right-hand-ring moment: I was a woman of a certain professional stature, and I wanted to treat myself,” she