The crosbie is three designers: Sari and Darra are textile designers and Richard is an industrial designer and sculptor. They met and worked together in Savannah, Georgia and moved to Portland to put their heads together to make things they love. They combine their talents in screen printing, surface design and welding to make home accessories in their studio, completely by hand. They also do custom work: furniture, garden accessories, screen printing projects, classes, and much more.
Tell me about how you originally got into your craft, Sari.
We met in Savannah, where we all went to school (Savannah College of Art and Design) and then worked at a design studio together. We realized we loved working together and had lots in common, but weren't too satisfied with the amount of creative freedom we had in our jobs. Our studio mass-produced products overseas and sold them to hundreds of stores across the country. We all liked the design process but missed working with our hands and wanted to be makers again. We moved to Portland, the land of entrepreneurship and creativity, to put our skills to the test and start our own biz.
What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
Too many to name...but when we are in our studio, screen printing and welding, listening to great music with the big garage door open to the sun, we all say we are at our happiest.
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
Finding the right customer. Our products hover in an unusual cross-section of the handmade sector because many things are actually functional accessories for the home like coat racks and furniture. Buying something from the crosbie requires a commitment from the buyer in that this becomes an architectural feature, a semi-permanent fixture. Our products don't really fall into the "impulse buy" category, especially in this economic climate.
What item in your shop would you most like to receive as a gift if someone were shopping for you?
The whimsical wonder coat rack: plasma cut steel in a fun botanical outline
When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
I knew I would be an artist or designer of some sort but it took a while to find the niche of textile design. I always paid more attention to color and pattern than the average kid, but didn't know how that would play out til later.
What other shops or artists out there do you love?
What does your future hold?
Hopefully the crosbie will expand its focus to interiors, more custom projects, and more representation in stores across the country. Our company is only about 7 months old, so we are very new in relative terms and plan to keep expanding our horizons.
Visit the crosbie at Etsy or www.thecrosbie.com. For those in the area, they are offering screen printing classes in their studio in Portland...participants learn the process from beginning to end and walk out with a finished product.