Born in Taiwan, Mae-Maeʼs mother taught her how to make jewelry at age fourteen. After moving to Austin and visiting some of the local boutiques Mae-Mae was inspired to create her own line of jewelry. In order to separate her work from other designers Mae-Maeʼs work often incorporates vintage elements dating all the way back to the 1900ʼs —semi-precious stones, glass/wood beads, sterling silver, gold, and fresh water pearls have found their way into her unique line.
“I have never taken my U.S. citizenship for granted and know how important the local community is to keeping the economy vibrant. Thatʼs why more than 75% of all my beads, findings and supplies are made locally. I want you to feel proud to wear my jewelry and feel good that your money is going right back into keeping your community strong.”
So, Keikopet has been with us for a while but recently creator, Erika, and I got together to create a blog post to introduce our online fans to the adorable line of handmade pet accessories! Some of them are almost big and comfortable enough for human napping (no really) but we more-so recommend that you treat your pet to one ;)
Here’s what Erika had to say about her journey in the pet bed making business,
“My name is Erika Keiko and I created Keikopet to provide comfy and stylish beds for your beloved pets.
It all started in my little apartment in Brooklyn, NY. I lived in a cute Polish neighborhood called Greenpoint which is where I got the name for my business, at first. My little dog, Tango, was in need of a new pet bed but I couldn’t really find one I liked so I decided to go ahead and make my own. The fabric options were endless! After making Tango his pet bed I was asked to make one for a friend…then a family member which is when I realized that I should be selling these! I created an etsy shop called ‘Greenpoints’ at the end of 2009. It did VERY well! Mid-2010 I relocated to Austin, TX and continued my pet bed shop where it continues to thrive.
Later on I decided to throw my name into the mix and created the brand ‘Keikopet’. Yes, that’s it.”
New Artist Alert!
Fisk & Fern is a little paper and household goods business out of Austin Texas, owned and operated by illustrator and printmaker Laura Fisk. Her products feature funny little creatures & nature drawings which she then hand screenprints on a range of paper and household goods. There’s always some brightness, happiness, or silliness in whatever she’s making, and hopes to make people chuckle and smile. Growing up, she always wanted to make cards and be a cartoonist, and finally found her way back to doing just that.
Her work has been featured on Daily Candy LA, The LA times home and style blog, Nymag.com, indiefixx, PaperCrave, and Oh so beautiful paper, among other wonderful publications (Go Laura!)
New at Atown, Trick Pony Studio men’s and women’s tee shirts and greeting cards by Brian Stokes!
“Hi, I’m Brian. I’m a graphic designer/artist and Trick Pony Studio is my attempt to venture out on my own and to do things I want, and love, to do. Right now, those things are t-shirts, but I also have a “greeting” card line that’s coming out in July. Having worked most of my design career at Hallmark Cards and Abercrombie & Fitch, I also happen to have a little experience in those areas.
I started Trick Pony Studio over two years ago in Kansas City. Then the economy happened and my focus shifted from making t-shirts to making rent. In late 2011, I decided it was time for change and headed home. I’m now back in Texas (Thank God) & working tirelessly to build the Trick Pony Brand… “
Introducing Little Minnow Designs at Atown!
Little Minnow Designs is an Austin based screen-printing and custom design duo. Started by two sisters, Lizzi and Mary Bradley, Little Minnow creates original designs, typography, and patterns for printing on apparel and goods for the home. From scarves to tea towels, prints to tank-tops – these girls seem to do it all! All products are printed by hand using eco-friendly water-based inks.
Infinity Scarves: $30
Tea Towels: $12
Set of 5 Greeting Cards: $10
With influences as varied as the folk art of Ozarks, the primitive scenes of the Mississippi delta, and the eclectic modernism of the Austin art scene, Eya Floyd has created a unique and vibrant body of work. Her jewelry and paintings shimmer with vivid colors and fine detail as she reveals a whimsical world of fantasy, and yet retains an introspective tone, with a depth that extends beyond the playful subject matter.
Her prints range from $20-$30. Eya also has two large framed pieces at Atown for $225 each.
Eya also has a beautiful line of eccentrically beaded jewelry. Prices range from $34-$161
We get a lot of questions about our Catstudio products. Who are the geniuses behind the design, where are they from, where is it made and why are their products such gosh darn perfect gifts?! Well, the story is a good one, here it goes:
Terrell and Carmel Swan, the principals of catstudio, are a husband and wife design team who bring with them interesting and varied experiences. Both have anthropology backgrounds, because of a shared love for world culture. Terrell did a stint at law school and then attended graduate school in anthropology, while Carmel majored in anthropology, then switched to art.
Carmel, a native of Hawaii, grew up in a family who liked to travel. By the age of 18, she had visited Canada, Mexico, Europe and Asia with frequent trips to the US “mainland.” When she settled down in Los Angeles after college, she pursued a career with Arista and CBS recording companies, on jobs that took her to exotic locations. While in the Artist Development department, she managed staging, costuming, TV and video appearances for talent including The Jacksons, Charlie Daniels, Patti Labelle, and Ozzie Osbourne, among others.
Born in California, Terrell grew up in Texas and Mississippi. At an early age he experienced a strong wanderlust (which has yet to be sated), and this urge carried him to many places around the globe (India, the Far East, Galapagos Islands, to mention a few). He rode camels and elephants, caught old steam engine trains, swam with seals, and hauled Murano glass and Persian carpets halfway around the world. Eventually, when it was time to come home, he found himself in New Orleans, where he opened the third Earth Shoe store in the United States. Then, in 1975, he added a Roots Store in Houston. Three years later, in 1978, he opened a retail clothing store in Houston that sold the then-revolutionary concept of garment dyed clothing. According to an article in Esquire magazine, his was the first modern store in the U.S.A. to carry all cotton merchandise.
In 1988, Terrell and Carmel created Swan & Swan Design, a women’s sportswear company, so they could pursue their first loves: for Terrell, drawing and design; for Carmel, art and textiles. Their clothing was sold internationally under the Swan Magic label, and it quickly became the premiere resource for original, whimsical designs, and high quality hand embroidery. They established a niche market that developed a cult following.
It was during this time that the Swans decided to put their mutual love for travel onto cloth, in the form of hand embroidered maps. Not just any maps, mind you, but extraordinary, breathtaking works of art that were also fun and colorful decorative pillows. Each one took weeks of research, drawing and redrawing, coloring and re-coloring, sampling and resampling. Finally, being very pleased with their new project, the Swans decided it was time to get serious about it. It was then that they moved on from apparel to the home furnishings & giftware markets. The new company, catstudio (Carmel and Terrell - CAT), took off immediately. They seemed to have invented another significant niche market, and their customers’ pleas for “more and more” keep the Swans very busy.
The Geography Collection presently encompasses all 50 states, plus many cities, regions, resorts, national parks and countries. Taking their inspiration from the vintage souvenir pillows of the 30’s and 40’s, the Swans have tried to keep the integrity of a locale, while featuring both historical figures and kitsch local icons, and points of interest. Of course most major cities can be found on their maps, but if they like a name, for instance, “Loveland” in Colorado, they’re likely to include it. Based on the market response, they soon knew these pillows had hit a chord in the hearts of the public. Not only are they mementos of a past you don’t want to forget, like a sun-kissed summer spent in Martha’s Vineyard, or your honeymoon in San Francisco, they also represent the places you hope to visit, like the vacation you’re saving up for to see real cowboys in Montana, or the dream of going to Ireland. They also happen to make fantastic gifts, and are quite the conversation piece!
Today you’ll find the Swans living in picturesque Petaluma, a quiet Northern California town nestled amongst dairy farms and rolling hills. Of course, they continue to travel to all parts of the world - you could say it is their business, and you would be right. Besides the iconoclastic Pillows, there are drinking glasses, dish towels, totes, trays, aprons and rugs in the product mix. Tees and beach towels are the newest exciting additions. Believe you me, think of any surface at all, and the Swans have thought about how they could incorporate that into the life of catstudio designs.
Drinking glasses: $12
Dish towels: $18.95
20x20 hand stiched pillows: $149
Plate sets: $54
Kitchen mats: $58
2x3 rugs: $48
3x5 rugs: $98
4x6 rugs: $162