Although these ladies are debuting their lines at Feliz, I almost feel like they need no introduction. The amount of thought and consideration they've put into every aspect of their design speaks for itself. We asked them both questions, and decided to line up their answers for an easier peek into each of their process and inspiration.
Name: Clarissa "Clar" (like Claire) Mapes
Business: What To Do
Product: Throw pillows/soft objects, pillow shams for bed, kitchen utility textiles, soft goods for the home
Location: Home studio in South Austin
Astrological sign: Pisces (the Fishes, the Dreamers)
What you had for breakfast: Coffee fuels my mornings!
Describe how y'all met, and how you decided to collaborate together. Nora and I met ages ago and have some common buddies. We became more friendly through my sweet boyfriend - those two have known each other dearly for some time. While our personal styles and expressions are divergent, (I am maximal with pattern and color at home) I know we appreciate a lot of similar modes and intentions of art-making and design. Nora's ideas for working together on Feliz touched on some previous sketches I'd made. She's an excellent artist, maker, and stylist. Thanks so much for the collab Nora!
Where are you guys going for inspiration - any websites/magazines/books you frequent when looking for something to motivate/inspire you?
I collect vintage interior design and architecture books, focusing on the 1960s-90s. This period produced radical angles on living systems and solutions. I love re-hashing these images and suggestions over and over - there's always a new detail to discover. The Charles Moore House in Austin is delightful - a real must-see! Nest magazine was a big part of my visual life. Favorite Tumblrs include Zonkout, and i visit InsideInside, aqqdesign frequently. I'm a super fan of Matthew Sullivan! Constant stimulation wells from 1970s -80s furniture and fashion, and fabric warehouse scores (Dallas, LA, Mexico City have been especially fruitful). Radio Jiro plays often while I sew. I'm a sucker for a dollar import store.
You both have busy lives outside of what you're bringing to Feliz - how do you stay focused when switching between different projects or just life projects?
I do custom sewing for others' homes, which always takes priority over my own projects. I write to-do lists constantly and keeping a project queue list is helpful. I tend to squeeze my person projects into the schedule as an afterthought. or work on my stuff at the end of a big rush, as a reward for hard work completed. I'm working toward giving my own projects a bit more space and time, which they deserve!
Name: Eleanore (Nora) Frank
Business: Eponymous line
Product: handmade garments, sturdy tees, 'objects of interest', drawings and prints
Location: East Austin
Astrological sign: Aries, the infant
What you had for breakfast: goat's milk kefir, dried mango, rye toast and (too much) butter. a huge glass of ice water and about 1/4 cup coffee with 3/4 cup almond milk.
HOW WE MET?
Happenstance, friendly chats, mutual acquaintances, dear friends. The story of how i seem to have met everyone in austin. We had to ask each other-- "how did we meet, or exactly how?"
ON WORKING TOGETHER: I have been a fan of Clar's aesthetic and admired her attention to detail and talent for some time. When we had our daughter, she re-upholstered the cushions on our rocking chair as a gift and the level of skill and precision is impressive! Much later, I asked if she could help me construct this idea I had for a very fitted/sculptural couch cover/bolster and the result is wonderful. That project specifically got my gears turning about collaborating, the ease of working with Clar, and the amount of fun I have just talking with her about ideas and construction/techniques.
ON INSPIRATION: I frequent the library, and fall down the rabbit hole there. For purely visual distraction/ form and color inspiration tumblrs like Gottlund, Intelligent Clashing, M75 and drawing diary +others are fun for me to scroll through-- always something there. I have a lot of very talented close friends-- artists, designers, craftspeople, writers, teachers--deeply thoughtful people that live for what they do and are always enriching my life with their ideas just by proximity.
ON FOCUS: It seems like I have become an altogether "organized"/ scheduled person, but out of pure necessity. I have so many plates spinning in the air at once sometimes I need reminders to slow down and let the least pressing thing fall. I parcel and negotiate time like never before. It is definitely a challenge to make sure I have everything completed and the quality and communication are up to par while balancing self-care and the needs of my family. I prioritize and delegate tasks. I also stay up too late often writing emails or working on projects. There are times I grumble about having so many different types of things to manage but in actuality I think it is good for me, for my productivity and continued momentum. I think it is also good for my daughter (2) to see me as multi-faceted and focused/impassioned.
ON BEING HUMAN: Sometimes I think I am visual to the point of pathology. Who wants to document the piles of dirty dishes and laundry (currently there are both here)? I want to document quiet moments of sublimity--- to reference for myself--- and to get me through burdensome tasks. I had a pretty complicated/messy emotional life when I was younger, and I think it is sort of a visualization thing-- putting tranquil images and compositions into the world begets tranquility, etc. At least it is often what works for me. I tend to believe that tenet about receiving or attracting what you put out there.
all photos via Alyson Fox