Meet The Artists · Uncategorized

Meet The Artist – The Neighborgoods

*This post does not contain affiliate links.  All photos courtesy of The Neighborgoods, unless otherwise noted!

As we prepare to mail out June’s box next week and help you “Celebrate Summer”, we’re gearing up for another round of Meet The Artist introductions.

However, before we do all of that, there’s one more business that we featured in our May box that I want to make sure you have the chance to discover.

We included this awesome “Beet It” flour sack screen printed kitchen towel from a Washington DC based business called: The Neighborgoods.  They create handmade, Eco-friendly, hand-printed, food-themed, giftable goods for everyday life using water based inks.

Each piece is designed, hand screen printed, and packaged up with extra love and care to brighten up your home and make you smile.

You can visit

So without further ado…

Let’s meet:

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Tell us a little about yourself…

Hi, my name is Jodi!

I am the creator behind The Neighborgoods, a small business based in Washington DC making foodie-themed goods. I’m a one-gal show just trying to keep the hustle going every day, working out of my apartment where I live with my husband and my trusty sidekick, Frankie, our weiner dog.

Why open a store called The Neighborgoods?
Creating my Neighborgoods brand happened somewhat organically. In addition to my goods business I also run a design business, Hello Neighbor Designs, which I’ve been doing for the past 11 years. Four years ago I wanted to change the focus of my design business to work with food clients only, combining my two passions of food and design.

I didn’t have any food clients at the time, so in order to build up my portfolio to include the food-related work I wanted to be doing, I began illustrating recipes. I started with the cupcake recipe that I made for my husband every year for his birthday, and then moved on to his family’s pancake recipe that showed up on our breakfast table at least once a month.

This was in November of 2013 and with the holidays coming up I thought it would be fun to print my personalized cupcake and family pancake recipes onto dishtowels to give to family and friends that year. After discovering screen printing was a much more time consuming process than I had originally thought, I decided not to print the towels that year and to sign up for a full semester screen printing course in the beginning of 2014 to really learn the process and see where it took me.

My very first print was the cupcake recipe onto a dish towel and I never looked back. I began making new designs and kept printing more dish towels. As my inventory grew I decided to give myself a company name and see if I could make it work as a business starting to sell at local craft markets, and then online.

Since then, I have expanded my line to include baby onesies, greeting cards, art prints, buttons, and have plans to keep growing!

What is your specialty?

I specialize in food-themed giftable goods.

Where does your inspiration come from?

My products are inspired by my love of food (and food puns): whether it’s the natural beauty I find walking through the farmers market, the enjoyment I get when baking up sweet treats, or the smile on my face when hearing a punny food saying, it all inspires my work and keeps me wanting to create more.

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Who/what has been most influential in your career? Person? Book? Life experience?

This is a tricky question because there have been so many people and experiences along the way that all add up in helping me get to where I am today.

But I would say what started it all was when I attended a HOW design conference. There the idea of choosing a focus for my design business was planted. That started the whole trajectory of combining my love of food and design, which led to the food-focus transition of Hello Neighbor Designs and the creation of The Neighborgoods.

Where would you like to be in 5 years?

I have declared this year my “year of transition.” I have been running The Neighborgoods as my side hustle for three and a half years now and want it to be more of my main business one day, but never really change anything to make that happen.

So this year I’m consciously taking on a little less design work and putting more of that time into Neighborgood-ing to help it grow. I’m adding new products, working on gaining more stockists and press, and getting my goods out there more at local pop-ups and events.

I know this transition isn’t going to happen overnight, so hopefully in 5 years I’ll be slinging more foodie-themed goods on a daily basis while working on some dream design jobs…and who knows, maybe even have a small store front.

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What does handmade mean to you?

Handmade means not mass produced, having something that comes from a small business who puts so much love and care into each detail of every product.

What is the best part about doing what you do?

The best part about doing what I do is the freedom to be able to create products that I love, and share them with customers who love them as well. I get so much joy out of creating and making people happy.

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Photo courtesy of The Cut

If you could spend time with an influential designer/artist, who would it be?

I would love to meet and spend time with Lisa Congdon. If you don’t know her, you should definitely check out her work and listen to her speeches and interviews, very inspirational.

How do you primarily sell your products? Online, in store, etc?
A little bit of all of the above. I sell direct to customers at local craft and holiday markets, as well as pop-ups here and there. In addition, I am working on growing my presence in stores nationwide, and also sell online through my own website TheNeighborgoods.com, Etsy, Scoutmob, and handmade at Amazon.

If there are any stores in your local neighborhood you think our products would be a good fit in, let me know! 😉

What is one thing you wish people knew about “the handmade life”?

There is so much that goes into the creation of every product, every craft market, every online posting, and know there is a person behind the brand / product doing it all for you.

What would you like people to know about why it’s important to support the local community/local artists?

Each and every sale means so much to a small business and keeps them going and growing. Keeping local makers in business is what brings that special charm you love so much about your community.

Anything else you would like to add?

Thanks Courtney for supporting handmade businesses and giving us a chance to share our stories and products.

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Thank you Jodi for making such and fun and unique product and giving us the opportunity to feature you and your business in our May box!

I can’t believe it’s June 2nd!!  Another month in the books and another box off the shelves.

If you aren’t a monthly subscriber yet, sign-up HERE today!  Use coupon code HIVEFOR3 to get 10% off your 1st 3 months!

Last but not least, we announced some pretty exciting news yesterday…

NewBox

Yup!  That’s right!!  We’re getting ready to launch a new box.  The Handmade Hive Monthly Mini Box.  Over the course of the next few weeks, we’ll be revealing the full details, but for now you can join our mailing list and we’ll be sure to keep you in the loop.  Sign-up HERE!

Until next time,

Courtney

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