Tell us a bit about yourself.
We are two girls in Santa Barbara who make simple, letterpress printed stationery.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
Sarah: I’m a freelance graphic designer, as well as the associate production manager for the Santa Barbara Independent. When I’m not working or making cards, I love to take walks with my husband and French bulldog, Stuart; sit with friends over coffee or cocktails; grab a nap (I’m really good at napping); take photos, catch up on Hulu (no cable tv…) or sit in the sunshine. My new year’s resolution is to bake more!
Karis: As a seventh- and eighth-grade history and English teacher, I have my hands full with grading essays and creating cards. I’m originally from Texas, so I’m always up for exploring Santa Barbara. Have you been here? It’s amazing. Come visit. There’s so much to do! I really love biking around town, baking cookies in my tiny kitchen, or soaking up the sun at the beach. I also am in love with my summer vacations. What teacher isn’t?
What would be the title of your memoir? Why?
We’re Really Doing It, Harry! That quote from Dumb and Dumber constantly rings true because sometimes we’re amazed with how far we’ve gotten. What started as a hobby has grown into a small business, almost unintentionally. To be honest, we are just figuring things out as we go. It’s an adventure!
Where does your inspiration come from?
Our inspiration comes from our Santa Barbara surroundings, friends and family, architecture, textiles, paper cut-outs… Really, anything and everything that’s bright, cheery and geometric. A lot of our cards’ short sayings are taken from simple things we find ourselves saying every day, like, “you’re a peach” or “I like you.”
What does handmade mean to you?
Handmade means fun, creative, imperfect and created with love. There’s beauty in the imperfections. None of our cards are exactly the same. It’s so cheap, easy and fast to print digitally these days that we’re seeing a real resurgence in the artisan art community and an appreciation for the handmade process. The end product is often more tactile and personal. We think people respond to that, and there’s a connection made between the crafter and the recipient.
Who has been most influential in your craft?
We’re fortunate to be surrounded by creative friends and supportive family members who have helped us along the way. They inspire us to keep creating and offer feedback (and sometimes gentle criticism), which has been truly a great thing.
And honestly, Etsy! It’s such a perfect resource that anyone and everyone can use! We think it’s been revolutionary for the independent artist. You don’t have to be computer/web savvy to have your own shop! What a wonderful, creative community it’s become.
When did you know you were an artist/maker?
Always! Both of us have always loved making things pretty, whether that’s decorating someone’s birthday present, taking photos, or rearranging the furniture.
How would you describe your creative process?
Our creative process is simple, easy, and tailored to what we like. It’s about knowing what you’re into and sticking with it.
If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
Richard Diebenkorn‘s use of colors and simplicity is amazing. We’re in love with his work. We could go on forever with favorite artists or designers: Frida Khalo, David Hockney, Anna Bond, Jessica Hische, Bjork, or Grady McFerrin… We’d also want to visit our friend Garrett Kautz‘s Strawfoot Handmade studio to steal some of his bags.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
Karis: A gold charm necklace my dad gave my mom in the ’70s. I wear it every day. It’s the perfect length with simple, sweet charms of two birds on top of a heart, a pearl and a starfish. I love it.
Sarah: My engagement ring. The diamond was my grandmother’s, and my husband and I worked with a local designer to create the setting.
How do you get out of your creative ruts?
The Internet is full of inspiration, and trips to the library help. Sometimes even just taking a break and doing something totally different is a great way to refresh when you’ve hit a roadblock.
Where would you like to be in ten years?
Still making things!