Home Grown: The Shopkeepers
ALYSON FOX'S WEST ELM COLLECTION
Artist Alyson Fox knows no limitations when it comes to medium. After working as a visual director for Anthropologie, she began to create her own, fantastical illustrations, which earned her the attention of Design Sponge and the New York Times. She soon began expanding into dinnerware, photography, textiles and jewelry, developing a distinctive, feminine aesthetic with a masculine edge. “I found myself really excited about products and wanted to explore that side of design,” Fox says. “Taking my drawings from paper to objects seemed like a fun next step.” In 2008, she launched A Small Collection, a website that showcases her perpetually evolving body of work. This holiday season, Fox looks forward to the debut of her collaboration with West Elm, featuring patterns inspired by the sunset viewed from her Spicewood home. The collection will feature pillows, rugs, a chair and canvas pendant light, each bursting with beautiful, geometric shapes. “I like making products that have an interesting story behind them,” Fox says. “It’s inspiring to take something two-dimensional and see it come to life.”
Jeff and Laura Daly, the husband-and-wife team behind Mockingbird Domestics, have developed a love of craftsmanship ever since they met in high school, when Jeff bought and rebuilt a 66’ Mustang, while Laura worked on the interior. “We’ve been building and renovating together ever since,” Laura says. With their combined experience in furniture building and interior design, the Dalys decided to create a space to showcase their love of artisan craftsmanship. “It’s a much bigger concept than just a store selling items,” Jeff notes. “There’s a story behind every piece.” Featuring the work of over 50 craftsmen, Mockingbird Domestics offers Austinites a range of elegant and timeless pieces for the home, from an approachable, plywood collection by Andrew Danziger to a luxury, walnut wood table by Michael Yates. In addition to its array of furniture, lighting fixtures, vintage pieces and more, the store serves as a forum for artisans to connect with the customer and with each other. “Mockingbird Domestics is about representing these craftsmen and the passion for what they do,” Jeff says. “And that’s our passion.”
A native of Los Angeles, Amber Abramson had curated art galleries along the West Coast for over a decade before moving to Austin, where she transformed her online shop, Busy-Being, into a brick-and-mortar haven for unforgettable artwork. Turning her curator’s eye for engaging pieces toward her East Austin store, Abramson thinks of Busy-Being as her own “living art installation,” which she stocks with handcrafted work by artists she has come to know over the years. “It’s filled with things I love by people I love,” she says. In addition to clothing, books and accessories, Busy-Being offers an eclectic home décor collection, including whimsical wall hangings, rugs and hand-dyed quilts. “I don’t stick to any rules,” Abramson observes. “I pull from everything and everywhere.” Busy-Being has recently expanded to include a workshop series that will introduce guests to the crafts of indigo dyeing, organic skincare and everything in between. “I hope that people feel like they’ve stepped into a little part of my world,” Abramson says.