Our makers never fail to motivate us, encourage our creativity, and fill us with inspiration. So, when a new design enters our assortment, we’re always excited to learn more about the people behind the product.
What gets an artist going and keeps them creating is certainly worth sharing, and every great connection starts with a simple introduction. Meet Christie Little, the artist behind our new I Love Hearts Large Canvas Market Bag.
When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I don’t consider myself an artist. Maybe, I am a designer but mostly I am an entrepreneur. My first business venture was a recycled clothing line I started at age 15. My passion for reuse and repurposed goods inspired my first line. I would buy clothing and accessories at garage sales and thrift stores around the country, then take those items, reconstruct/repurpose them, add my label and resell them to local stores. Creating and selling opened up a whole new world for me. Whether it was going on scouting adventures to strange towns to sift through thrift stores or pitching products to buyers from my vending booth. Either way, I knew “future me” was not going to be satisfied with a quiet 9 to 5 desk job.
What was the most exciting thing about becoming a professional designer?
Seeing people wearing my label…I get so excited! I created Vine Street Market, USA bags because I felt there was a need for a more fashionable alternative to the typical reusable market bag. So many times I see people pulling dozens of ugly tattered reusable bags out of their car trunks and then later I see them walking out of the store, hands full of tiny flimsy handled bags with groceries falling out. They look miserable. I started VSM to spread the trend of using crossbody carryalls and to encourage people to leave the car parked, get out, walk around, shop, explore, and fill up your bag…be present! So when I see someone walking around wearing one of my totes, I think, “They totally get it!” and that makes me smile.
What does your typical day in the studio look like?
This is a great question and we always laugh about this in the office! Somehow movies and TV always portray the fashion world as this all glitz and glam posh lifestyle. In reality, we are all in our yoga clothes, yelling at our cell phones, lugging boxes to and from our warehouses. But on the fun side we do take group breaks to watch our favorite Buzzfeed videos and we crack jokes all day.
The best days are beach shoot days though. A photo shoot is a great excuse to get out of the studio and hit the sand. We try and schedule as many of those days as possible!
Is there a trinket, talisman, or other inspirational object you keep near? If so, what is it and what does it mean to you?
Does my laptop count? My head of Sales, Aida, is shaking her head no. Then I guess I would have to say my sunglasses. I never leave the house without them. They are my constant reminder that every day is sunny in Los Angeles.
Imagine you just showed your work to a kindergartner for the first time. What do you think they would say?
Actually, I recently spoke with a kindergartner at the Muse School Lavender Fair in the Malibu Hills. The young girl was trying to haggle with me and pay for an I Love Hearts bag with her lunch tokens. Kids these days!
We did a great program with the school providing reusable market totes for the students K-5. The kids took their totes and went on a field trip to the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market where they each got to purchase an organic produce item for the school cafeteria to use to make school lunches that week. In answer to your question, I think young children are sometimes more eco-friendly and aware then most grown ups nowadays. They have a great love and respect for this planet. That and they really like our stylish prints and colors.
What quote or mantra keeps you motivated?
Ah yes, my mantra! I like to keep it simple; it’s my 3-step program:
- Get up!
- Get it done!