Meet The Artists · Uncategorized

Meet The Artists – Avery Alixander

Have you ever walked into a store to buy something and thought to yourself…“I wonder who made this?” From time-to-time we may make a conscience effort of doing this, but if we’re being honest, for most of us (myself included) we buy things out of ease, comfort, price-point, without ever really stopping to think about the person or the process behind that product. And most times, can we really do that?  Mass-produced items from foreign countries (and American companies) line the shelves of our favorite stores and if we’re not intentional seekers and purchasers, we miss out on the beautifully unique, one-of-a-kind treasures of the local, small business community of artists, designers, makers and crafters right around the corner.

And that is what Handmade Hive is all about…Supporting the small business community of local artists, designers, makers, and crafters by promoting their handcrafted goods and their handmade process so you get to experience deeper connections with these creative entrepreneurs!

In this installment of  Meet The Artists, you’ll get to learn more about the people and the process behind the shop – Avery Alixander!

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Jasmine & Taye are the owners, operators and sewists at Avery Alixander and they make adorable and sophisticated designer bow ties, suspenders and accessories for boys.

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image courtesy of Avery Alixander

I first met them at a craft show last month when I purchase a belt and a pair of suspenders for my 2 year old son.  What I loved about the belt, specifically, was that it had a Velcro closure that he can open and close instead of snaps or buckles and this was a big deal as we are in the process of potty training him and he is at an age where he wants to do everything by himself!  I also bought a pair of suspenders because they are super cute and he will look super in them :o)

Let’s meet these gals…Jasmine & Taye, the people behind the products:

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Jasmine & Taye met during summer orientation for college and were roommates all four years. They became best friends and now, they are both first time moms of boys born six month apart. (Guess you can say they are pretty close).

“Our love for designing and sewing came to us during college. Instead of partying, we design nerds learned to sew and crochet for something to do during down time.

When we had our sons we found it was very hard to find cute, classy and hip boys items. I {Jasmine} was often saddened by the lack of options for me to dress my little man. I loved dressing my little guy up to look like a little man but found it was hard to do when shopping in the stores.  There just wasn’t quite the selection of add-ons that you find in the girls section.

Up until our sons were born, we were children’s therapists and we really just see ourselves as moms who had an idea that other moms seemed to love.

At first, Taye and I had been sewing for quite a few years and thought we would try our hand at sewing for our own families and we started off sewing nap mats, blankets, aprons, and pillows as baby shower gifts for our family and friends.

Everything else came into play once we became moms. Now, bow ties, belts, and suspenders are what we are known for as a brand name.

Our store is named Avery Alixander, because we found our inspiration for starting this great adventure from our little men, and we only saw fit that we should name it after them!”

Jasmine & Taye find their creative inspiration from the desire to display gentleman like mannerism through the way they not only raise their sons, but also how they dress. “We never want the classic bow tie to go away and we believe that it is always a good day for a bow tie.”

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I personally love that…boys being taught how to be gentlemen, not only in their dress, but also in their mannerisms!  Yes mamas!!  Double High Five on that one!!

With little ones running around, the next five years look like this for Taye…”hoping to be over the terrible threes….lol!!  As far as the business is concerned, maybe we would be in smaller mom shops and have a girl accessories line.

In order to get there though, it means long nights knowing that you have to get up early, it’s time away from family, sacrifice of free time and the dream of being independent.  One thing we wish people knew about “the Handmade” life is that is a lot of hard work. You pour your soul into your work, you work so much harder than your regular job. There are late nights and early mornings, there is sacrifice and determination but, in the end there is immeasurable joy of completing a project and sending it to its new home!

Every one of our products is Made with Love and the best part though about doing this is the joy we feel when we have created an item and others love it as much as we do. It’s also seeing a pattern or color and seeing the potential of what it could be and how good it would look. It’s getting to see my creations in action and seeing how each individual styles and pairs the items with their clothing.”

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One of the reasons why I do these “Meet the Artist” write-ups is because I want the reader to be able to experience deeper connections with the person or people behind the products.  That you see you’re not just buying a product off a shelf, but that your purchase is truly making a difference in the life of a real person.

What Jasmine & Taye would like people to know about why it’s important to support the local community & local artist is this:

“We have heard it said several times that you Vote with your dollars. So when you shop local you are showing that you value not only the products you purchase but the families as well. When you shop local the money you spend goes directly back into the business or to help buy groceries or put children in extracurricular activities.  That’s not an everyday connection you can make when you shop at big box stores!”

You can find their adorable and sophisticated designer bow ties, suspenders and other accessories for your little gentleman in their Etsy Shop and you can also follow them on Instagram and Facebook.  You can also visit another small business located in Allentown PA called Ju-Ju Monkey and find some of their products there!

How about YOU!  Have you purchased from Avery Alixander?  Do you have a favorite accessory or theirs you love to dress your little man up in?  Give them a shout-out in the comments section below and be sure spread some love by sharing this post! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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