Meet the Vendor: elSage Designs
Who are you and what do you do?
We are Phoebe and Jonathan, makers, adventure seekers, coffee drinkers. Lovers of great tshirts and hoodies, adorers of water based ink. Phoebe designs everything through a block print process, this gives our designs a little grit (which we love). Jonathan prints each piece in our studio in Mount Vernon, WA. When we’re not carving and printing we’re wrangling our two boys or packing up for adventure.
What’s the latest thing you’ve been working on?
We’ve been busy in the studio with new designs and combinations. Last week we pulled out a few old designs and printed them up on new apparel items. Our Adventure is a Family Value design made it’s way onto charcoal grey hoodies and Topknot Girl came out on sweatshirts.
We have expanded our kids zip hoodie line from babies to youth 8. We love the unique style, quality, and coziness for the bike loving kiddo.
What do you love most about craft show vending?
Craft show vending is a blast. From the insane lead up (Phoebe is always adding something crazy to our print queue right before the show), to meeting other makers, and shopping the show- we love it all. Our house is full of items made by actual people and that makes us smile. We always meet new friends, find new favorite products, and lots of inspiration from the shows that we do.
How did you get started in your business?
In 2009 our oldest son turned one, Phoebe wanted to create a birthday invitation that was unique and could be easily duplicated. She grabbed some linocut supplies from the craft store and went to work. The result was a really fun and unique invite that looked a bit like a band poster. She was hooked. Pretty soon she was carving art for our house, to give as gifts, and as a way to find sanity in her days home with a toddler.
She soon started an etsy shop and found her Pear print in Country Living’s “Get the Look” guide.
By late 2011 enough people had said, “you should put that on a tee shirt” and the first round of elSage apparel launched. The rest, as they say, is history.
Is this a full-time business for you?
elSage Designs is now our full time gig- both of us! We love the flexibility of owning a small business. We make our own hours and get to create everyday. Both of us taught middle school for years before going full time. Phoebe was a math and AVID teacher for 6 years and Jonathan taught science and AVID for 8 years. In 2012 Phoebe went full time with elSage and in 2014 Jonathan joined her. The excitement of making the best graphic apparel ever keeps us stoked to go to work everyday.
And check out the Urban Craft Uprising Instagram for a chance to win a kids’ tee from elSage Designs!