Lane Huerta fell in love with screen printing while working with a poster artist in San Francisco. When she moved back to the South to be closer to family, Huerta continued to study and experiment with the printing and graphic design.
Five years ago, she was ready to launch Savannah-based Lovelane Designs, an eco-friendly collection of home accessories with kitschy themes and classic patterns.
Using bright colors and fun imagery of roosters and crawdads, Huerta started with tea towels ($14). As the towels took off, Huerta moved on to pillows. Her custom coordinate pillows ($105) have been popular, go-to wedding and housewarming gifts. Send the special address or location, and she creates a pillow with its unique latitude/longitude.
After the birth of her daughter, Huerta turned her attention to playtime, creating kid-size teepees. Easy to erect and fast to fold up and store (in a drawstring bag), the teepees are made of natural duck canvas and water-based, kid-friendly inks. As a pop-up play (or reading) space, these designer teepees fit up to three children. Teepees are $375 and include sturdy, 6-foot pine poles. At www.lovelanedesigns.com.
Fun with felt
Helen Greenstein is a fan of felt. Now. But for many years she was never aware of its use in art. But after the college-trained artist and sculptor found a book at Urban Outfitters on how to make felt stuffed animals, she was hooked. In 2008, the Greece-born artist took the next step and started Eleni (Helen in Greek) Creative.
In her home studio in Atlanta, Greenstein creates modern, hand-stitched felt art. Drawn to felt’s bold, simple colors, Greenstein likes how structural the soft yet sturdy textile can be. It is fine art you can squeeze, she likes to say.
The flying pigs mobile ($325) is popular with new parents. And dog owners like her custom dog sculptures ($130). Recently, Greenstein’s dolls have drawn attention. Based on photos and your personalization requests, the 10-inch to 12-inch dolls ($275) can be made to resemble whomever you like. Details, such as belts, eyeglasses, hair and eye color, make the difference. Learn more at www.elenicreative.com.
Tableware for tots
In 2008, Amy and Craig Shumway decided to re-direct their family business and go green. Their first collection of eco-friendly baby items was made overseas. Today, the Florida couple’s crayon-bright line of toddler tableware is made and molded in the South.
Made from recycled milk jugs, the Re-Play collection includes divided plates, bowls, spill-proof cups, utensils and teething rings. The divided plate ($7.99) is a best seller, but a starter set ($12.99), which includes a divided plate, bowl, spoon and fork, makes a fun and practical gift for tots or new parents. Available in five, fun-safe colors: lime green, yellow, pink, purple and aqua. A new assortment of play colors, including sky blue, is coming for spring.
Find Re-Play at Atlanta-area Wal-Mart stores or online at amazon.com or www.re-play.com. Starter sets are only available at the company’s website.
Best of the South
Do you have favorite finds from around the South that you give as gifts, buy for your home or rave about to friends? If so, please share them with us. Send your suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and contact number. Also find more Southern-made products, featured in the AJC, at Southernfinds on Facebook or on twitter@southernfinds1.