Eugene Weekly's Gift Guide 2010:
Reduce, Reconnect, Rejoice! More ideas than just “coupon good for one massage”
Organic on Your Skin Soaps made with love and garden herbs
Caffeine Up Get through the holidays with the rituals of tea and coffee
Birds of a Feather Art and fashion in Poppy & Moe
Between Children and Young Adults Gifts for tweens straddle the line
Wood from the Heart Bad economy leads to lovely toys
Life, Death and Water Soothing fountains arise from crises
Drool-Worthy and Local Start a new, natural tradition
Kiss the Cook Better yet, get the cook one of these great holiday gifts
Genius Gift: Make your own Fizzy Water
Birds of a Feather
Art and fashion in Poppy & Moe
by Suzi Steffen
Sabrina Ridge (pictured top) and Kelsie McGee (bottom) weren’t sure what would happen when they decided to start a screenprinting company. Now, their urban, vintage-with-a-modern-twist, nature-inspired, possibly indie T-shirts have shipped out from Eugene all over the world. “We’ve shipped to South Africa, Canada, Australia,” Ridge says, adding, “Quite a few to Australia.”
Eugeneans can see the shirts, designed by painter Ridge and fashion designer McGee, at the Holiday Market this year and at the annual Meet Your Maker holiday sale (which moved to Cozmic Pizza after DIVA announced its closure).
The women, who met after both had lived in large cities and moved to Eugene (Ridge went to high school here and moved to Portland and Wisconsin for a while before ending up back in Eugene), clicked as friends and business partners almost right away, they say. The urban look they want, they say, comes about from their city time. “There’s a lot of stuff that’s happening in Eugene along these lines musically or artistically, so we’re trying to create a look around that,” says Ridge.
Both sound excited about the markets. “I would go to the Holiday Market every year that I was in Eugene during the holidays,” says Ridge, whose family lives in Eugene, “to shop — and specifically to eat because there’s lots of yummy food there!”
Their shirts, which they buy right now from Alternative Apparel and American Apparel, boast many animal screenprints, which, Ridge says, are the best sellers. “Our owl piece; that’s been really big,” she says. McGee adds, “People can’t get enough animals printed on clothing.”
But they’re not designing animals as sales gimmicks. McGee, who lived all of her life in Seattle until she got married and moved with her husband to Eugene four years ago, says, “We do what we want to do, and we don’t know if it is going to sell.” Ridge says that as they’ve worked on Poppy & Moe during the past year, they’ve also learned more about what the Eugene — and Australia! — public wants to wear.
As they prep for the first couple of weekends at the Holiday Market and for the holiday season in general, they’re spending more and more time in McGee’s garage, where the studio has taken over. They’d like to expand into a new space, and they’d like to start making their own T-shirts and other clothing using McGee’s design experience. “That would be having more creative expression, living in a more artistic way,” Ridge says.
They’re printing not only women’s T-shirts but also tea towels, pillowcases, placemats, napkins, men’s shirts and some sweatshirts for this year’s sales, and their goal is to keep on expanding the line with sustainable and artistic business practices.
“We really love the Saturday Market and all of the creativity there,” Ridge says. “It’s great to be around other creative people as well and get out into the public sphere. It’s been really positive.” GG
Poppy & Moe will be at the Holiday Market Nov. 26-28 & Dec. 22-24; they’ll also be at the Meet Your Maker fair 1 pm-5 pm Sunday, Dec. 5.