regional roundup

regional roundup: austin – part 2

by anne

you’ve got to love a city whose motto is “keep austin weird.” full of flavor (i’m talking amazing tex mex), color and character, austin is a city that seriously has it all. it also has one of the best vintage/design scenes full of incredible shops like uncommon objects and room service vintage – and these places keep popping up all over the roundup for austin inspiration (check out the d*s austin guide here for more great shopping). so without further ado, today’s talented roundup: joel mozersky (the designer behind the real world: austin house!), d’ette cole {etta industry}, melissa gable {one creative girl}, jennifer braham {brink design} and jaime jo fisher {jewelry}. in case you missed it don’t forget to check out the regional roundup: austin- part 1, and stay tuned next week for our third and final installment! [thanks, designers!] anne

CLICK HERE for the full post or just click “read more” below.


1. Where are you from? Where do you live now?
I grew up in San Antonio, Texas, but Austin has been my home for 22 years.

2. Describe your work.
I design residential and commercial spaces, such as restaurants, bars, retail stores, and hair salons. I also designed tour busses for the Dixie Chicks and the house for “The Real World-Austin.” I would describe my work as modern interpretations of classic design influences and eras. I’m much more interested with the history of decoration, and the relevance it has today, than what is happening “right now.” I think overtly contemporary design tends to look dated quickly and takes itself too seriously. I like my spaces to have a wink- a sense of humor and, most importantly, a soul.

3. How is your work influenced by where you live?
Austin has become very cosmopolitan in the past 10 years, but what is great about it’s growth is pretension is frowned upon. Austinites see right through it. It is an exciting place to be creatively- how can you move design forward, but maintain a foothold on what makes our city unique?

4. Where do you go in Austin when you want to feel inspired?
Uncommon Objects, Mercury Design Studio, Uptown Modern, and Room Service Vintage– I always find something I love at these stores, and they inspire my work tremendously.

5. How would you describe the Austin design scene?
We have an incredible creative community- architects, interior designers, artists, and craftsmen- who are a pretty tightly knit group. We also have clients who understand what makes a city great and unique is its culture of small businesses, and who support local talent.

6. If you could go anywhere where would you go?
There are so many places I haven’t been, but I would love to go to Thailand.

Click here for more of Joel’s work.

Etta Industry

1.  Where are you from? Where do you live now?
[From] Houston, Texas. [Now]  Austin ~ deep in the heart of Texas.

2.   Describe your work.
Working as an art director/designer/artist in a variety of mediums and arenas, my work combines a never ending love of color, a strong design sense, an eclectic aesthetic with a driving spirit of curiosity and wonder.

3.  How is your work influenced by where you live?
I think Texas is a really interesting combination of bold frontier independence, rich
cultural influences of Mexico and a vast landscape.  This region of Texas seems a
creative wellspring because Austin is an overgrown college town that embraces/
encourages diversity and individuality.

4.  Where do you go in Austin when you want to feel inspired?
Outside, it’s lovely here, sometimes kinda hot, but a lovely heat.

5.  How would you describe the Austin design scene?
I think it’s in its ‘tween’ stage, it’s just starting to stretch and grow and come into it’s own identity.

6.  If you could go anywhere where would you go?
Excluding time travel, if we’re talking places that I’ve never experienced, I’d like to see, eat and smell Cinque Terre.  If we’re talking favorite places, hands down that’d be Uzes, France.

Click here for more of D’Ette’s work.

One Creative Girl

1. Where are you from? Where do you live now?
I grew up in a big, old house in Columbus, New Jersey – surrounded by trees and fields and dairy farms, a mile from the “world famous” Columbus Farmer’s Market (and flea market). After graduating from Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, I moved to Austin looking to be “wowed” by a new city (and I was).

2. Describe your work
A colorful, quirky, mish-mash of vintage images, found objects and stuff I like, dissected and arranged One Creative Girl style.

3. How is your work influenced by where you live?
Austin is a very colorful and off-beat place with lots of art and design and plenty of places to hike and swim and stay grounded  – it’s a pretty great place to live and play, dream and create.

4. Where do you go in Austin when you want to feel inspired?
I love to roam my favorite shop –  Uncommon Objects – it is cram packed with vintage goodness and always gives my brain a good jump start. In addition to that, a long creekside hike to connect with my froggy friends also works.

5. How would you describe the Austin design scene?
Encouraging and supportive – i have lots of friends who find Austin to be a great place for a creative lifestyle. There are yearly studio tours in several different neighborhoods and it always amazes me when i see just how many artists are here creating fabulous stuff!

6. If you could go anywhere where would you go?
I would love to live and create in Mexico. It is such a colorful and dynamic culture, I think it would be a perfect environment for me. Whenever I visit, it is so hard to leave. I have been searching for a way to live between Austin and Mexico for a while now and am sure it won’t be long before I find it!

Click for Melissa’s website, blog and etsy shop.

Brink Creative

1. Where are you from? Where do you live now?
Until age 13: Pennsylvania. Ages 13-18 Los Angeles. Age 21: Santa Fe. Ages 13-30: The Bay Area: Santa Clara, San Francisco, Berkeley. I live in Austin now. South Austin.

2. Describe your work.
A product of intuition and channeling my clients. Assemblage of everything I absorb. Reflections of when, where, why…either the solution, posing the question, regardless, always a combination of as many emotions evocable. Japanese : retro : contemporary : interactive 2d : hand made pixels…lush, love : life : contemporary : familiar : redefined : color that shifts energy. As much as possible by hand and then the fascinating life the artwork takes on as it’s digitized and moves throughout it’s many applications.

I stay open to the discoveries in “mistakes”.

I still measure equidistant areas from left to right and top to bottom when treating typography…respecting my traditional design education, but hand made patterns may have a loop or twirly thing out of whack. Don’t stop the press! Instead, magnify and celebrate. Keeping craft alive. Attention to detail and allowing the process to allow the product to develop. Pushing and pulling these poles while staying committed to the task. Inspirational design that serves it’s function, has a strong foundation and expansive possibilities.

3. How is your work influenced by where you live? 4. Where do you go in Austin when you want to feel inspired? 5. How would you describe the Austin design scene?
Austin is a city in flux…more so than most. Just when I’ve seen the major transformations in the town in just a year and the resulting dichotomies are tense: Fluidity and resistance; sloooow and fast paced; limited with a whole world of possibilities…hence a culture that attracts and continually stimulates artists of many a genre. Here’s a way in which allowing the ever evolving process to flow while keeping a standard and integrity. The work comes from the constant combination of this tension. It’s exciting, sometimes painful, but always rewarding in an amazing end design, lesson and developed relationship with all the players involved (me, the client, printers, writer, programmers, sign vendors…all the people it takes to get the job done well).

In Austin, we’ve had a poor rap about our art/design scene and I feel that’s quickly changing. I push push push to help set a higher standard. Many push to keep the original Texan/Mexican spirit alive. That combined with an influx of people from everywhere is dynamic and keeps me designing around the clock. I lived in San Francisco and LA…I love both places, but I feel as though the gold (for me) has been found. Here, there are new discoveries abound!

A city undefined, although I hear many trying. The subjectivity of it all spurs interesting conversation and certainly influences my work as I push push push myself to levels beyond what I thought possible. I think I do the same to my clients. Much to some of their dismay…it’s never easy giving birth!

Physically, my word is influenced by found materials and I do my best sketching at my favorite restaurant. Now I prefer to go alone…hmm, I can’t believe I just admitted that. To feel inspired, I go to beautiful stores (preferably second-hand), my full flat files, my growing library and I hang out with my brilliant artist friends.

6. If you could go anywhere where would you go?

If I could anywhere: 1. I’d go back to my mom’s garden. A penny for every beetle I picked off the green beans. I’d make $3 a day sometimes! 2. In a hammock during the fall at dusk. My lifestyle doesn’t allow much sleep. 3. Camping with my significant other with nothing but a t-shirt, jeans, my toothbrush, water and my dogs.

Click here for more of Jennifer’s work.

Jaime Jo Fisher

1. Where are you from? Where do you live now?
I grew up in a small town in southern Illinois just east of St. Louis.  I currently live with my husband, Chris Campbell and our dog and cat, Brinkley and Tula in Austin, Texas. I work full time in my home studio making jewelry that I sell thru my website, galleries and a few juried art festivals.

2. Describe your work.
I make jewelry and sculptural boxes with sterling silver, mineral stones and a wide array of found, vintage or repurposed materials.  These commonly overlooked and typically discarded materials can be a piece of broken windshield glass, a fragment of plastic from a doll shoe, a found pebble or shell, or even a tiny stuffed pillow sewn from the plastic of a thrifted rain poncho. Many people who see my work for the first time assume the stones are all resin, enamel or beach glass and seem pleasantly surprised when I tell them it’s plastic from a bundle of rubber grapes or the sculptural box they see actually houses and displays a wearable ring.

3. How is your work influenced by where you live?
I have been living in Austin for over 2.5 years. Living in this progressive city directly influences my work.  Austin is about nostalgia, the DIY approach and green living including recycling and conservation. This is evident in the design, fashion and craft of local artists.  This idea is very much in keeping with my work as well.

4. Where do you go in Austin when you want to feel inspired?
Austin has a plethora of great thrift stores, from the high-end vintage stores to the more hardcore, not for the faint of heart, to scavenge about digging for potential new goods to incorporate in my work.  I am always looking on the ground, in thrift stores & flea markets as well as online. I enjoy finding things that will seem slightly bizarre when used in my jewelry, some of the more unexpected being bristles from a toothbrush and dryer lint from my lint trap. There is also a really great bead store in Austin, called Bead It, where I get some amazing vintage plastic and glass pieces that appear in my work as well.

5. How would you describe the Austin design scene?
I am part of an organization made up of an amazing group of women that live and work in Austin called Handmade Austin Women. The weekend show is a fun filled family event that offers some exquisitely designed and handmade items including paintings, pottery, jewelry, handmade clothing, hats & bags as well as some 2d & 3d collage work.   Another event on the art scene is the East Austin Studio Tour. My husband, who is a potter, and I turn our garage into a temporary gallery space for a weekend during the tour to show our work along with over 200 other studios that reside in East Austin.

When feeling uninspired or less than motivated, you may find me at any number of art galleries in Austin, at a friends studio to chat up their current work, at Book People or Domy flipping thru their amazing book collections, taking a Bikram Yoga class at Yogagroove, window shopping at a local vintage shop or digging around at a local thrift store.

6. If you could go anywhere where would you go?
If I could go anywhere my heart desired I would plan a road trip with my husband, with a tiny “fixer upper” trailer in tow, and discovery the sites one city at a time.

Click here for more of Jaime’s work.

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  • i’m a faithful reader – and a native austinite. so glad you chose to spotlight austin! but note that it’s called Room Service Vintage – not Vintage Room Service. keep up the exceptional blogging. :)

  • It’s so nice to see fellow Austinites featured on my favorite blog! And, I must say, nice to put a face to some of the designs I have seen in town and love!

  • Jen, every time you are published I get lost in your words, they are truly an art form in themselves. Not only is your art fun, inspiring and full of energy but it I feel as if I am in your presence as I read and look at your work. As much as I didn’t enjoy the weather when I went to visit you, I’m encouraged to give Austin another try after reading about the connection you and so many other talented people have with your city!
    Peace& Love.

  • What a fun round up! I have lived here over 10 years and am only familar with 3 of the designers, I need to get with it. Thanks for exposing me to the newness.