So far on the blog, we have met the makers, our sponsors and seen quite a few Friday Favorites. But what about the people that set Feliz into motion? If you’ve browsed the site, you know a little about what Natalie and Abby do and why they started Feliz, but I wanted to know a little bit more about them. Read on to learn more about them!
1. There’s a lot of local pride in Austin, and of course, here at Feliz. What brought you down here?
Natalie: My husband and I moved to Austin in 2009 to be closer to family and launch a new business, Salt & Time. We also were looking to buy a house, and that wasn’t feasible in the Bay Area. Austin was the perfect city that had everything we wanted in a new town.
Abby: We came to Texas because this is where my husband found work. We moved here basically sight unseen! We’d heard a lot of good things about Austin. I’m a believer in supporting local where ever you may be-but just as importantly, supporting people and businesses with heart. There’s a lot of that here, so I feel really lucky.
2. And in that same vein, what keeps you here?
N: It’s easy to fall in love with Austin, and I fell hard! Between the growing food scene, live music, art, and entrepreneurs, Austin is a really welcoming place that supports creative types. Because it’s a smaller city, it’s very easy to get to know folks and find your community quickly.
A: I can’t tell what our future holds or where we’ll end up, but for now we are enjoying the big open spaces of Texas, the amazingly delicious and varied food scene of Austin and the nice attitudes of the Southern folks here.
3. Both of you are in the artisan/craftsman/maker field. What is the one tool you cannot live without?
N: The one thing I always have with me is my moleskin sketchbook. I feel completely unprepared for my day if I walk out the door without it.
A: A camera. Before my son was born, I carried around a super heavy vintage yashica and snapped away with film. Now it’s mostly my iphone that I have on hand, but that will do! I express myself in a visual way and it fulfills that for me as well as feeding my obsession to journal and document.
4. What is the number one thing you want someone who attends Feliz to walk away with?
N: I want folks to walk away feeling inspired by the designers they’ve met. I want them to learn the backstory behind the products and have a richer understanding of the art and craft behind their purchases.
A: With a good feeling! Sounds sappy, but true. It’s so easy to walk into a giant big box store, throw something in your cart, shell out cash and not even really know how or where the item is made. I’ve done it plenty of times and am sure I’m not alone on this. I want people to see these handcrafted items and the people who create them and feel good about buying something beautiful. Hey, even if they don’t buy a thing-just admire the creations and share in the good company. There is magic in this alone.
5. Ok, let’s say Feliz is here, and done, and it was all amazing! What is the first thing you’re going to do? Can be realistic or ludicrous.
N: Post-Feliz, I will most likely just collapse. But after that, I am hoping to celebrate with all the wonderful folks that helped make it happen.
A: I’m going to take a nice long media break and enjoy the mild Austin autumn! And then probably start on the next project…
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You can see Natalie in action, tooling leather ornaments at our kick off party with West Elm as well as browse her goods at our Sunday Sale. Abby is taking a break from her photography print shop but should return next year.
Thanks so much for reading. Remember-our big weekend kicks off tomorrow! Visit this page for details but be sure to come by our big finale-the FELIZ Holiday Sale this Sunday at the Palm Door from 12-6pm!