14 KCAD Alumni-Owned Businesses to Shop and Support This Holiday Season
Posted December 17, 2021 in Alumni
Tis' the season! There is no shortage of creatives, makers, and artists to shop and support this year. Explore this gift guide featuring 14 Kendall College of Art and Design alumni-owned small businesses for creative gift ideas sure to please anyone on your list.
K studio, founded by artist/designer Shelly Klein ('94, BFA Painting) and her mother,
Mary Klein, offers contemporary, sustainable, hand-crafted products for the home.
Since 2004, k studio's collection of graphic patterns and family of evocative characters
has expanded its way onto pillows, ceramics, pouches, and wall art. Every item from
k studio takes inspiration from Shelly's paintings, reflecting themes of family, chance,
Shop Online: kstudiohome.com
Discover handmade terrazzo goods like planters, candles, vases, and more from Speckl
Goods, founded by KCAD alums Erika Townsley and Matthew Provoast (‘16, BFA Photography).
Made here in Grand Rapids, Speckl offers a variety of fun and functional products
for the home.
Shop Online: specklgoods.com
CLOTHING AND APPAREL
Woosah Outfitters, a naturally inspired art and apparel brand, features the artwork
of founder and owner Erica Lang ('14, BFA Printmaking). The designs behind Woosah
revolve primarily around woodcuts, an artistic medium that Lang learned during her
time as a KCAD student. With a storefront in Uptown GR, Woosah has grown into a sought-after place to purchase
limited edition art, apparel, travel gear, home accessories, and more. Lang, along
with her partner, also co-owns Outside Coffee Co., a four-season outdoor coffee shop
situated in the garden next to the shop.
Shop Online: spreadingthewoosah.com
Location: 738 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids, MI
Lee & Birch
For something fashionable, check out clothing boutique Lee & Birch to find classic
closet staples, high-quality accessories, and on-trend styles they'll love. Founded
by Nikki Gillette ('03, BFA Interior Design) in 2007, Lee & Birch takes pride in creating
a personalized shopping experience for every customer.
Shop Online: leeandbirch.com
Locations: Grand Rapids, Rockford, Grand Haven, and Kalamazoo
Golden Rule Jewelry
Golden Rule Jewelry, founded by Sidnee Bancroft (‘19, BFA Metals and Jewelry Design),
designs intricate pieces that strike a balance between timeless and modern. Check
out the collection of earrings, necklaces, and rings to find a unique gift for someone
Shop Online: thegoldenrulejewelry.shop
Location: 24 N Whittaker Street New Buffalo, MI
Transfigure Print Co.
Transfigure Print Co., founded by Bailey Sell ('20, BFA Printmaking), has been creating
LGBTQ+ centered screen-printed apparel since 2017. All of Transfigure's one-of-a-kind
products are screen-printed by Sell, who learned to leverage the craft as a medium
for self-expression during his studies at KCAD. Thanks to Sell’s DIY mindset, Transfigure remains
focused on local and grassroots resources for queer people and other small businesses. You can also find Transfigure Print Co. products for sale at shopUICA, located on the KCAD Campus at 17 Pearl Street NW, during regular open hours.
Shop and Support Online: transfigureprintco.com
ART, PRINTS, AND PAPER GOODS
Nestology Shop & Studio
Nestology Shop & Studio in Grand Rapids' East Hills neighborhood carries various eco-friendly
and handmade gift options perfect for the nature lovers in your life, from woodworking
and ceramics to body care and children's items. Founded by Stephanie Trompen ('07, BFA Art Education), Nestology serves as a hub for
the creative community, providing a place for artists to sell their handcrafted wares
and collaborate through events and classes. Nestology also carries Trompen's popular
line of jewelry, Sugar Vibe, which she's been creating and selling for over a decade.
Shop Instagram: instagram.com/nestologyshopgr
Location: 141 Diamond Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, MI
Lydia Writes Good
As a freelance copywriter with a love of hand lettering, Lydia VanHoven Cook ('11,
BFA Graphic Design) offers colorful paper goods with colorful language through her
online shop, Lydia Writes Good. With framed art and prints to greeting cards, gift
tags, and more, you're sure to find something cheeky for any occasion. In addition to her online shop, you can also find a selection of Lydia's work available
for purchase on campus at shopUICA during regular open hours.
Shop Online: etsy.com/shop/lydiawritesgood
Solstice Handmade, developed by artist Dayna Walton (‘19, BFA Printmaking), offers
plenty of nature-inspired gifts, including artwork, hand-printed goods, and apparel.
Walton’s deep-rooted passion for the natural world shows throughout her collection
of organic designs, available to shop online and select locations in Grand Rapids
(including Nestology and shopUICA).
Shop Online: solsticehandmade.com
Hattie Darling Paper & Design
Founded by Heather Duffy ('12, MFA Painting), Hattie Darling Paper & Design offers
monogram art prints and stationery sets—perfect for gift giving!
Shop Online: hattiedarling.com
Sofía Draws Every Day
Sofía Ramírez Hernández (’14, BFA Printmaking) started her daily drawing project,
#SofiaDrawsEveryDay, in 2013. Know for her sharp wit, Sofía’s drawings show the complexity
of life as a queer immigrant living in West Michigan. Nearly eight years later, Sofía
has continued her non-negotiable drawing practice, sharing her process on Instagram
under the handle @sofiadrawseveryday and selling a selection of these prints online.
Shop Online: society6.com/sofiaramirezhernandez
Pet Portraits by Katie Moore
For the animal lovers in your life, consider commissioning a pet portrait by artist
Katie Moore ('15, MFA Painting)—a great gift for any time of year!
Commission a Pet Portrait: katiemmoore.com
DINING AND ENTERTAINMENT
The Sovengard Restaurant and Biergarten
For a break from all the holiday cooking, visit The Sovengard on Grand Rapids’ West
Side and experience the farms, seasons, and flavors of Michigan. Connecting a love
of quality food and hospitality with artistic creativity, alum Rick Muschiana ('06,
BFA Illustration) founded The Sovengard in 2016 with a farm-to-table approach that
encourages environmental sustainability. Serving Scandinavian-inspired cuisine, The
Sovengard sources local, seasonal food from farmers and uses a constantly shifting
menu to create traditional food in new ways.
Purchase a gift card, reserve a table, or order takeout: sovengard.com
Joules Molly House
Founded by Bux Dhyne (‘21, MFA Painting), Joule’s Molly House is a dry venue committed
to providing a safe, fun venue for LGBTQIA+ youth to meet, practice the performing
arts, and create healthy habits around social gatherings. Check out the Thrift Hauls
and Disco Balls event happening this Sunday, Dec. 19, to do some last-minute shopping!
Learn More and Support: joulesmollyhouse.com
Are you a KCAD alumni-owned business interested in being included in future Gift Guides? Please contact [email protected] to submit your information.