There was never a time when I said “Okay, I’m going into business for myself.” It just kinda happened. Little Things Studio grew from something very very VERY little. But if there was a defining moment of “I should pursue this. This is awesome,” then the Cotton District Arts Festival April 2010 was IT. Three school friends of mine split booth fees and setup a space. (Carl Carbonell, Mary Katherine Blackwell, and Lauren Buntin) My parents had a tent because they would tailgate at football games. We strung rope from sides of the tent and used clothespins to hang work. I had NO business cards and NO bags! I wrote on scraps of paper my email address for people because they wanted to buy more! And the crazy thing to me was that I sold OUT of some prints!!!! I can’t emphasize to you enough that I did not know what I was doing. But I knew I loved doing it.
I’m heading back up to Starkville this weekend for the Cotton District Festival again. I’ve just been thinking how amazing it is that I’m still doing what I love. I started with NO budget. The only reason I could print things is because I already owned a printer for school, and I had collected a lot of paper/scraps. I recycled and used everything. Then with the sales, I was able to buy more supplies (which to this day remains my business model.) I am so very thankful for all those first customers who supported a poor college student. Also I couldn’t have done it without my mom. (She and my dad were there in full force at the Cotton District supporting me.)
I’m saving 10-15 scarves to debut at Cotton District. I’m not putting them online (and some of them I really want to keep!!!) because Starkville is important to me. I wish I had time to make more work, but I kinda have a wedding to plan and prior commitments on work. This weekend will be very special for me. Dave and I are taking engagement photos on Friday night. Then a ton of our friends are coming into town so it’s going to be a huge reunion! For those going to Cotton District, I’ll be across the street from Bulldog Deli. And of course my favorite booth helper Dave will be with me.
Below are some pictures I pulled off from Facebook from my friend Allison (she is always so good at taking pics.) And she’ll be there again supporting her boyfriend (and one of my best friends) Tim Cook along with our friend Carl Carbonell in their booth “Dang Worthy.”
Love this pic with my mom on my right telling me something and my old boss, dear friend, big time support of LTS, Sally Hester.
Were you there my first year at Cotton District??? If so, do you remember anything?
My best friend of almost five years proposed to me on Monday, March 11, 2013. I met Dave Whitley in 3D Design and Painting 1 in August 2008. They were at 8:00 and 11:00. Of course I was the one that started the conversation, because I saw that we were gonna have the same schedule for 6 straight hours twice a week, and I just liked making friends in school! He was shy, not very talkative, nerdy, but REALLY talented. He put up with all my jokes and we started helping each other out in school with projects. We walked to the Union in between 3D and Painting to eat lunch. I brought a turkey sandwich and got Starbucks coffee. He got the same thing from Chic-Fil-A every single time – Grilled chicken sandwich with mustard, fries, and sweet tea. In the Spring, we (along with a bunch of new friends) started to plan to take all the same classes together. I knew he was really good and I wanted to learn from him. The summer of 2009, my grandfather died. Dave was there for me while I was going through one of the hardest times of my life. That summer he became my best friend.
It was BIG news that we started dating in November of 2011! (That’s a whole other blog post.) Well I guess that leads us to the proposal. One of our best friends Tim Cook sent me a text on Monday night “Are you with Dave?” This wasn’t out of the ordinary because Tim, Dave and I are always showing each other our work. I said yes (we had just finished eating supper). Tim said “Perfect! Can you go to http://tim-cook.com/newsite? I did some work on my website this weekend and want y’all to look at it.” Again, this is NORMAL. Tim has been redesigning his website for two years now and Dave and I have both been helping him with it. The weekend before I had told him “just get Dave to design it for you and finally finish it!” HA! So I tell Dave we have to go look at Tim’s test site. I ask him to pull it up on his laptop. He types in the address and it rolls over to http://katewhitley.com and this is the screen…
Clever, right? I first thought this was a mean joke from Tim. (Tim’s been teasing me for months on when we were gonna get engaged!) Then Dave reaches for his pocket then gets down on one knee. He asked me to marry him and I’m still a little in shock. Of course I said YES! And I never gave him any pictures or descriptions about a ring. But he picked out the most gorgeous antique 1920s Art Deco ring that I just love. And the thing I love the most about it is that he picked it out and knew what I would like.
The past year and a half has been filled with so much joy. I am thankful every single day for this man. I love him more everyday. I’m so thankful we have been in each other’s lives for SO long now. I can’t imagine my life without him. And I don’t want to! He is so wonderful to me. He brings me incalculable joy.
I can’t wait to marry him. I am looking so forward to all of our friends and family to share in our wedding day. Below are just a few pictures of the hundreds we have together from school and just a few of us dating. Our wedding website is not done yet. But when it is, I will be sure to let you know. (I’m marrying one heck of a web designer. Wedding bloggers are gonna be all over that! HA!) Oh! And yes, those are our two cats in the Save the Date (Eric and Weezie). AND the cutest thing – Weezie Thomas is going to become WEEZIE WHITLEY! oh. my. word. I actually had the idea for the Save-the-Dates almost a year ago. I have not fantasized about my dress or flowers, but don’t think for one second I haven’t given A LOT of thought what our invites would look like! Obviously it’s the most important thing to us.
I am a huge fan for everything that Kathryn Wiggins does. She’s a good friend of mine who lives in Jackson, Mississippi about five minutes away from our house. She is an amazing artist. She put this painting on etsy about a month ago and I flipped out. I still can’t stop looking at it. It reminds me of quilts and stained glass. And there is a lot of yellow warmth in there, so of course this would be a favorite of mine. I wanted to share it with you. Secretly I really wish my shop would just explode with sales so that I could buy this painting. ha! But I am such a fan of Kathryn’s work so I want her to continue painting. So please support her work and purchase one of her paintings on her etsy.
Description on “Great Day In The Mornin” • 40 inches x 40 inches • Oil and wax on linen • 2011 • Depth 1.5 inches (sides painted white) • Unframed but ready to hang, linen is stretched onto aluminum bars for a perfectly straight hang!
I graduated a semester early, which was great because I didn’t have to pay that tuition, but I was put ahead of my friends in working on portfolios. So that means I now get to just gaze at all their amazing work. The class website it called The Freak Show. Here are some of my personal favorites from their portfolios. Please visit their sites. And someone hire them! (Unless you are Target or Kate Spade, then you should hire ME!)
(Above) Cristina Jucan
Cristina Jucan & Sara Renfroe
Joey Brennan & Kayla Stone
Allison Parker & Rob Toombs
Tim Cook & Sara Renfroe
I’m so proud to say that I went to school with them. These are some pretty dang talented designers and some all around great friends.
I think Kathryn Wiggins is brilliant artist. I love how she thinks and processes. Her work feels fresh and new, yet reminds you of the ancient past. I really got to know Kathryn’s work when I worked on her website. I learned so much from just talking with her about her work. And I really studied her paintings when I was renaming/resizing. It was such an honor to do. I plan on doing several posts of hers. So this first post is about her latest series “Home.” She knows that I LOVE these paintings. And she is selling them on etsy. (***Side note – get a painting now while she is producing a lower-priced originals. She is going to be famous. You heard it here on Little Things Studio. Yep. FAMOUS.)
Above: Domestic 2
AND for all of you lucky folks who live near Jackson, Mississippi, Kathryn and I are sharing a booth at an art festival Art on the Greens. You can find more details on the facebook event we created! It’s THIS weekend. And you’ll LOVE seeing her work in person. And if that wasn’t enough, you can meet her CUTE baby Harris!