New Jersey is home to countless artists that find inspiration in their home state. Our I HeART New Jersey series celebrates these amazing artists and their designs; giving them the opportunity to not only share their craft, but share their story. Each creator offers their unique take on a different style of art. This month, we’re once again featuring some of NJ’s best textile artists.
These Garden State greats work with textiles – designing everything from wearable items to home décor. Additionally, the artists we’ve spoken with this month share a common theme we call Art from the Heart. In other words, these makers focus on using responsibly-sourced textiles for their designs.
Amanda de Beaufort of adb_Botanical Color
Three years ago, after moving to New Jersey, Amanda de Beaufort came across the art of natural dyeing. Working full-time in a design office, she needed a creative outlet that didn’t involve a computer. As a result of devoting her free time to learning the process, she fell in love with one, specific idea: Nature provides all the color we need, whether it’s hidden inside trees, seeds, or leaves.
She then taught herself how to naturally dye items in her home; particularly, she practices bundle dyeing, natural indigo dyeing, and solid color dye baths. Using only 100% natural fibers, cotton, linen, silk, and sometimes wool, Amanda sells her creations through adb_Botanical Color.
The natural dye practice is both sustainable and ethical. But perhaps even more noteworthy are the materials themselves that Amanda uses. She creates one-of-a-kind mini artworks made with things that others tend to throw away. For example, her works can include anything from onion skins to old floral bouquets. As for what inspires Amanda, it’s all about just how truly amazing nature can be. For instance, the idea that the most brilliant, deep blue can come from the green leaf of an indigo plant.
Amanda hosts workshops about her craft in the Maplewood/South Orange area. She also sells her goods at various stores including Meus, Swoon, and Colly Flowers. For first looks at her newest textiles, follow her on Instagram @dyekween.
Crystal Kodada of Crystal Kodada LLC
Crystal Kodada’s interest in purses and handbags goes as far back as her high school years. She then went on to study accessory design at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in NYC. Now, she sells her works through her own brand, Crystal Kodada, LLC.
Just before graduation, Crystal found work designing for brands like Nicole Miller and Lucky. She learned a great deal during this time. In fact, her time working for successful brands made her realize there was a major void in the market. Specifically, companies were designing without the customer in mind.
Soon after, she debuted her own handbag brand during NYC’s Fashion Week. Crystal’s handbags combine mindful design and responsible fashion into a product her fans love. During the design process, she considers everything from strap placement to zipper and pocket location. Of course, her textile sourcing and production methods focus on being eco-friendly.
Crystal Kodada, LLC is a small company, offering products exclusively through the website and pop-up shops. Though Crystal prefers the shops, which allow her to interact directly with customers; feedback from shoppers helps her create new items such as the Freedom Backpack, as well as vegan leather options. You can see more on Instagram @crystalkodada.
Alyssa Thiel of PCB Home
In 2012, Alyssa Thiel fell in love with handmade home décor. It wasn’t long before her hobby turned into something more, resulting in an idea that soon became PCB Home. The business combines her love of designing, creating, and calligraphy. The results are handmade products that can turn any house into a cozy home.
Alyssa uses her calligraphy to enhance everything she offers, from tea towels and table runners to pillows and tote bags. She designs her products from her studio in Cranbury, NJ; plus, the calligraphy actually prints directly into the fabric, so there’s no vinyl that will peel or crack.
From her studio, Alyssa also offers workshops throughout the year. Attendees can learn the basics of calligraphy and take home their own calligraphy set to continue practicing. Meanwhile, PCB Home recently launched a brand new website featuring all of their designs and products.
To see more of the best artists in New Jersey, visit I HeART New Jersey: The Complete Series.
Hero (Top) Feature Image: © Crystal Kodada /Crystal Kodada, LLC
Additional Images (in Order) Courtesy:
Amanda de Beaufort / adb_Botanical Color
Crystal Kodada /Crystal Kodada, LLC
Alyssa Thiel / PCB Home