From coast to coast the Me and My Peeps characters are capturing the hearts of people everywhere. On their most recent excursion, these fun design-your-own-family characters, created by artist Laura Kelly, visited the team of U-Create in Anaheim, California at the Winter Craft & Hobby Association Show. Now, we are bringing Me and My Peeps to you with a special giveaway on the U-Create blog.
Simon + Kabuki creates their signature line of “sassy and modern” designs with the
mission of helping people live inspired lives. The founders, Erin Sarpa and Ilene Guy,
are firm believers that you do not have to be a designer to be stylish at home, work
and play. Their hip, fun, fashion-forward collections reflect their “love your style,
design your life” philosophy.
Based in Silicon Valley, Erin and Ilene each bring more than 20 years of proven
design experience including time spent working with fast-paced technology clients
including Google and Apple Computer. They know good design and—better yet—
they understand what happens during the design implementation stage of product
manufacturing and how design impacts consumer purchasing decisions. This expertise
allows Erin and Ilene to help their manufacturing and retail partners create products
that consumers crave. This powerhouse team has generated more than $10 million
in sales and their licensed designs are featured on a wide mix of products. Their
sassy and modern designs can be found on stationery, school supplies, notebooks,
party supplies, home decor and fabric at retailers across the U.S., Canada and Europe
including Target, Staples and KodakGallery.com, to name a few.
Simon + Kabuki offers a full range of on-trend, posh designs for lifestyle categories
including: bedding and home décor accessories; stationery (note cards, calendars,
journals); crafts (scrapbooking); apparel and accessories; home décor (rugs, artwork,
photo frames); office supplies; tabletop; kitchen textiles; fabric; partyware (napkins,
plates, cups); and gift wrap and gift bags.
Erin and Ilene originally met in design school and discovered that they share a mutual
appreciation for chic design, a modern color palette and fresh typography. This
launched a friendship and shortly after graduation, they launched a design firm. Since
then, they have been working to make the world a more stylish place one fabulous
design at a time.
They are also “mom-preneurs” who find inspiration from their children who know
everything about what’s cool in the world. This playful, charming point of view shines
through in their designs and even helped them to select a name for their firm. “Simon
+ Kabuki” pays homage to the artists’ first childhood pets, Erin’s cat (“Simon”) and
Ilene’s rat (“Kabuki”)
Monica Lee has a passion for people, creativity and business. As an illustrator and licensed artist she has crossed paths with many creative women over the years. She has managed to combine these passions into a web TV show called Smart Creative Women.
“As much as I enjoy making art, I found it to be a bit isolating,” says Monica. “I ended up combining my gift for gab and my genuine interest in how women run their businesses. I love how women carve their own paths on their own terms. This is how Smart Creative Women was born.”
Smart Creative Women is a web show where Monica Lee interviews today’s most inspiring and creative women. “I found myself introducing people to people all the time and sharing other people’s success stories.”
“I would say to a girlfriend who was going through a rough patch, ‘Hey, check out what this gal is doing! She’s rockin’ it, and so can you!’ I finally developed a platform where I could share stories and encourage other women to be bold and believe in themselves. And I do not have to repeat myself, you can just hit replay!” laughs Monica.
The web show is not only for artists but for any woman who wants to use her creative talents to their maximum potential. “I am intentionally bringing on a mixture of creative guests.”
There are resources and interviews that advise women how to think differently about themselves and what they have to offer. “I am thrilled about how quickly the show has grown and how well-received the interviews have been.”
Monica was a shy young girl whose military father moved every three years. “I had no choice but to make friends constantly. I have always been a visual person, and I lived in a house of extroverts. I never even considered myself that outgoing until I entered college.”
After college, Monica became a flight attendant, which enabled her to travel and enjoy people’s stories even more. She eventually started freelancing in illustration and licensing her artwork.
“My art was keeping me busy enough to stop flying, but I was surprised at how much I missed people energizing me. I found myself constantly looking forward to industry events and conferences so I could talk to other creative women!”
She has found her perfect sweet spot now, mixing art and being the host of Smart Creative Women. “I adore an energetic crowd of women and hope to do some speaking in the near future, but I also like to tuck back into the quiet of my studio and pull out my paintbrushes. It’s the perfect mix for me.”
In 2004 Courtney Cachet started her first business in the design world with $500 and her dining room table. She knew she had a great eye and a knack for scoring good deals on everything from fashion to home decor and figured she would give it her best shot without risking what savings she had (which wasn’t very much at the time).
She knew people had to like her before they liked anything else she had to say, and that was where she had an advantage. She has always been a people person and a jokester and had an ability to talk to anyone about – well – just about anything.
She appeared on a few home decor shows and then became a contributor on NBC in Miami. Around the same time, she got engaged. Just as her career was taking off, Courtney was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and everything came to a halt. It was a turning point in her life, both personally and professionally. More than anything, it gave her the drive to chase her dreams after having such a health scare and realizing life is too short and too precious not to do what you love to do.
After getting back to good health in 2005, Courtney’s career took off at lightning speed. She is now one of the country’s leading influencers in style and design with a focus on living a luxurious and meaningful life. She has designed celebrity homes, appeared in international magazines like Vogue Italia, Us Weekly, The Wall St Journal and Better Homes & Gardens and appears on television regularly with roughly 1000 appearances under her belt.
You can find her not only on TV and newsstands, but also all over the internet. She is a Huffington Post contributor and has several products in the global marketplace, including on Expressionery.com. She finds her inspiration through her travels and just walking around New York, where she grew up as a child. She loves big, bold color and elegant styles equally.
Currently, Courtney is working on several lines of products, corporate partnerships and more. As one of the most successful media personalities in the design world, Cachet is a living and breathing example that The American Dream of success is attainable by all of us, no matter what obstacles come across our path.
When she’s not working, Courtney can be found in her happiest place: Her New Jersey home with her family: husband Aaron and children, Brooke (5) and Ford (4). Her motto and tag line is evident in all she does: “Fabulous Lives Here.”
Bonnie Marcus launched her stylish stationery company, Bonnie Marcus Collection “where fashion meets paper” in 2002, while seven months pregnant with her first child. Whereas most moms-to-be take time to relax before the baby is born, Bonnie ambitiously decided to launch her own company!
As a noted wedding and special events planner in New York City, Bonnie served as the Director of Special Events at the prestigious 92nd Street Y, where she planned lavish weddings and special events for celebrities and notables. Bonnie’s upscale clients were looking for something unique for their invitations, but the designs available in the market ten years ago were very traditional, so Bonnie custom designed chic, trend-driven invitations for her clients. Bonnie’s prior experience in the fashion industry, working with top designers like Diane Von Furstenberg, helped her to combine her knowledge of event planning with her passion for fashion, and her successful stylish stationery collection was born!
Shortly after her launch, Bonnie’s glamorous, fashionable designs were featured in “O” the Oprah Magazine, New York Magazine, Modern Bride, Entrepreneur and even on the Today Show! Celebrities like Cindy Crawford, Marcia Cross, Angie Harmon, Katherine Heigl, Brittney Spears, Molly Sims and Christina Aguilera are all fans of the collection and have used Bonnie’s designs for their special events.
Currently in her tenth year of business, Bonnie has expanded beyond the world of invitations, and you can now find her chic, fashion-forward designs on melamine plates, tote bags, check books, note pads and even “couture” chocolate bars! Bonnie has been recognized as a pioneer for women in business and is a winner of the prestigious “Make Mine a Million Dollar Business” contest from American Express. Bonnie is an established partner of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and proudly donates a percentage of her proceeds to research and education.
Bonnie’s greatest accomplishments are her three little boys (ages 9, 8 and 4), who successfully balance out her very girly stationery business with dinosaurs, karate and superheroes.