Kristen Ley was a creative child. Instead of dolls, she wanted craft kits. At camp, she chose ceramics over sports. After graduation in 2007 from Mississippi State University, Ley’s love of graphics, design and learning continued.
In 2011, after she bought a 1925 letterpress in Kentucky and learned how to sew, Ley opened Thimblepress in Jackson, Miss. The name comes from Ley’s lifetime collection of thimbles, found on her travels, that remind her of family and the places she has visited.
Like Ley, the designs are cheerful. They are also modern and fresh. Hand-printed cards ($4.50 to $5), tea towels ($22) and “It’s a Boy” (or girl) Banner Kit ($22) are part of her fun line. Current favorites include her state flower illustrations, which were inspired by a Lady Bird Johnson quote: “Where flowers bloom, so does hope.”
Purchase an individual state image (11 inches by 14 inches, $25), such as Georgia and the Cherokee rose. The illustrations combine the state shape and state flower. Or consider the four-color illustration (18 inches by 24 inches, $55) of all 50 U.S. states.
Each state print comes with a pack of plant-it-yourself wildflowers. To order visit etsy.com/shop/thimblepress. Also find several Thimblepress products, including the USA flower map, several state flower maps and the new Confetti Pops (for weddings and other celebrations) at Steve McKenzie’s, 996 Huff Road NW, Suite E, Atlanta (stevemckenzies.com).
As a former commercial interior designer, Atlanta’s Ellen Meier loved creating beautiful spaces and colorful interiors. But several years ago, the Emory University grad shifted her design focus.
With the help of a seamstress in Roswell, Meier decided to design, make and sell a unique, eco-friendly line of children’s clothes. In 2010, she started Emme boucou from her Druid Hills home. Using discontinued fabrics, new remnants and unused vintage textiles, the clothes have a fun, modern edge.
To reach fashion-minded families, Meier sold her children’s clothes sizes 0-8 at trunk shows. Then she tried selective holiday markets and weekend festivals. In April, she landed a spot at the Beehive in Atlanta’s Edgewood retail district.
The colorful, A-line dresses ($45 to $55) are top sellers. So are the kimono tops ($45 to $55) and the matching booty diaper shorts ($28). Other favorites include appliqué shirts ($15 to $22) with coordinating shorts ($15 to $30). New for fall: vintage-style coats and teepee tents.
On the putting green or the back nine, golfers want to look as good as the hotshot pro players. But what about your clubs? Not to worry. Stitch has you covered.
Based in Cary, N.C., Stitch designs leather head covers that are hand-cut and hand-sewn. The company was started in 2012 by Charlie Burgwyn and Steve Pena, friends and veterans of the golf and fashion industries. Burgwyn is a former PGA pro. Pena is a former designer for Callaway Golf.
In line with the trend toward smaller golf bags, Stitch head covers are designed with a slimmer fit. They also feature unisex lines and colors that are timeless and on-trend, such as gray, navy and black with pops of color. For women, Stitch also offers colors in Carolina blue and carnation (pink).
But among the various styles, the Roadster collection in black and white is a current favorite. Made of 100 percent leather, the custom-fitted, water-resistant covers are designed to fit 460cc drivers. The company recently finished custom covers for Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
Leather club covers range from $44.99 to $54.99. Putter covers run about $29.99. Head covers in techno wool are on tap for fall. To order, visit stitchgolf.com or find head covers in 500 green grass locations across the country. In the Atlanta area, check pro shops at the Atlanta Athletic Club, Atlanta Country Club, plus the Druid Hills and East Lake golf clubs.
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.