What’s your sign?
Kristie Thompson grew up in Savannah, where her father and grandfather ran a sign company. But she never planned on joining the family business — or starting her own — until last year after a move from Los Angeles to Atlanta.
While house hunting, the veteran set decorator for TV and film discovered that Atlanta neighborhoods had their own character, story and architecture — something she appreciated.
Soon after buying her condo in a 1910 building in Poncey Highland, Thompson was so motivated by Atlanta’s historic neighborhoods and her fond memories of the faded quality of old signs that she started a vintage-inspired sign company.
At the Patina Factory, popular signs include Virginia Highland, Inman Park, Buckhead and Decatur. But there are others, plus custom signs too. Priced at $149, the hand-painted metal signs are 24 inches by 24 inches and 2 inches deep. For $59, the new 8-inch-by-20-inch signs feature just a neighborhood name.
Find Patina Factory signs in the Atlanta area at Urban Cottage (www.urbancottageatlanta.com), 998 N. Highland Ave. and at Antiques and Beyond (antiquesandbeyond.com), 1853 Cheshire Bridge Road. For information about the company, all signs point to patinafactory.com
Gillian Stevens, founder of Dewdrop Designs in Charlotte, N.C., was once a lady of letterpress. But five years ago, the University of Georgia grad found a new love: designing and screen printing leather goods.
Using buttery-soft recycled leather, Dewdrop Designs creates modern bags, iPad/e-reader sleeves and home accessories ($20 to $200). The goods are illustrated with nature-inspired images, including fish and shells, which are year-round favorites. Color choices abound, but brights (fuchsia, aqua, mango) and whites are in demand as travelers skip town for the summer.
While the zippered folio ($48), a practical and stylish carry-all, has been a recent best-seller, Stevens is excited about the new kitchen line she has cooked up. It includes food diaries, blank journals and a handy, 9-inch-by-12-inch book with pages of clear sleeves for recipes. In the kitchen collection ($28 and up), the leather covers feature oversized images of food, such as an artichoke or strawberry.
To order, visit dewdropdesigns.com or stop by the new (and first) Dewdrop Shop, 21-A Market St. (in the Habersham Marketplace), in Beaufort, S.C.
While attending college, Juan Felipe Barreneche, Felipe Lopez, Daniel Schemel and Mateo Isaza came up with an idea to create wooden watches that were fashionable and eco-friendly. In 2005, they founded Mistura in Dallas, Texas.
Using exotic woods, hand-dyed leathers and other recyclable materials, the handcrafted watches ($140 to $255) can take 85 hours to make.
Artful options are available for every personality. But if you want to customize a unisex watch by choosing the color of the watch band or shape (and color) of the watch face, add $45. For added fun, choose the color of the watch hands.
Over the years, Mistura’s watches sold at various Atlanta festivals. Now you can find the statement watches at the Mistura store in Perimeter Mall or online at mistura.com. A second Atlanta-area store opens in July at Lenox Square.
Best of the South
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