A Delaware native, Kate moved to NYC to receive her BA in Communication Design from Pratt Institute. Kate spent 6 years in the film industry as a set designer working on commercials, music videos and feature films – her clients ranged from HBO to Wes Anderson. Kate and Ben founded Basic Projects when they moved from NYC to Charleston in 2013. Kate heads up the design team, who work in both commercial and residential design. She has designed multiple restaurants from NYC to the UK, and residential properties from NYC, to Aspen, to Charleston, where they are now based. She and Ben work closely to make spaces that are not only beautiful but functional and comfortable too. You can often find Kate walking through the great Rocky Mountains with Ben and their sheepdog, Daisy, her happy place.
Born in England, Ben co-founded Silkstone Hospitality Group in 2008, and created four renowned New York City eateries, The Fat Radish, Ruschmeyers, The Leadbelly and The East Pole. He co-authored “The Fat Radish Food Diary,” which was published by Rizzoli. His food career started by working in the kitchens of Raymond Blanc’s famous two Michelin star Le Manoir aux Quat’Sai- sons in Oxford and Rick Stein’s restaurants in Cornwall, UK. Ben was voted Forbes 30 under 30 in 2014, and that year wrote a food focused travel column for The New York Times documenting his cross-country bike ride, called “A Ride In The Country.” Ben moved from NYC to Charleston in 2013 to work as the brand director for Dewberry Hotels before creating his own design development company with his wife Kate called Basic Projects. Since that time, Basic Projects has designed both residential and commercial projects and they are currently building an apartment hotel with a restaurant open in the spring of 2018 as well as open a new restaurant concept, Basic Kitchen, just opened November 2017. He is an active and passionate advocate of sustainable food systems and how they affect us. Ben’s heroes are Yvon Chouinard, Jamie Oliver and Bob Dylan.
Mae grew up in Louisiana, but left to attend art school at Savannah College of Art and Design, where she started in Fine Arts and ended in Architecture. During her time in Savannah, she worked at a well established architecture firm, but upon graduation, she realized a big firm was just not for her. Thankfully Mae found Ben, Kate & Daisy.
Ashley French was raised in Cincinnati and lived in Northern California before moving to Charleston. She received her BA in Mass Communication, is a certified yoga instructor, and runs a handcrafted jewelry business on the side. Her hobbies include yoga, vegan baking, and perusing thrift stores for treasure.