Meet the Artist by Lauren Jones.
At Clay Imports, being a valued partner in the community is something we 100 percent embrace, thus we work with local makers and artisans every chance we get. When we help and support one another, everyone wins. One such person is Allie Launius, founder of furniture and home goods brand Stampworthy Goods. She is the woman behind the New School Stampworthy Collection, an array of colorful equipales, and our travel partner for our annual tile travels to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, our Clay Imports tiles hub. Meet the Maker:
Q : What led to the creation of Stampworthy Goods?
A : I worked in the travel industry for 10 years and became burnt out and decided to move to Austin. I came across an old trunk that needed some refurbishing when I was decorating my house. And then I found a free box of tile on Craigslist and and made a tile inlay for the front. I had a lot of fun with it. At the same time, I began getting a lot of random requests from friends and family, and others around Austin. They all wanted me to make them one.
Q : How did you connect with Clay Imports?
A : After beginning my business, I researched where in Austin I could buy tile from and came across Clay Imports. The team is very passionate about their products and actually invested in the projects their customers are working on. They taught me a lot, so I kept coming back. Clay Imports would repost my stuff and help me grow my business.
Q : Tell us about your equipales collaboration.
A : I love furniture that has a lot of personality, patterns and colors. Most of the things I make are statement pieces, and when I went down to San Miguel, I was able to learn so much about the history behind equipales. Taking those chairs and adding a modern touch seemed like a perfect fit with what I do. Nick helped me make my vision come to life, and my studio mate at Lemon House, muralist Rebecca Borelli, helped me with the concept. We ended up going down to a tiny town where Equipales are made outside of Guadalajara. And did a photoshoot in a local’s cacti-filled backyard.
Q : How has traveling continued to be a part of your career?
A : When I started Stampworthy, I knew that travel still was going to be a part of what I did. My dad is a pilot and my mom is a travel agent, so it’s in my blood. I began going down to Oaxaca and leading trips and would help with itinerary planning. Clay Imports saw that I was doing this and approached me about teaming up for a trip to San Miguel de Allende.
Q. Tell us more about the SMA Tile Travels.
A : We launched our first trip in October of 2019 and it sold out in 11 days. But before we went down, we did a lot of research, as I don’t lead trips anywhere I haven’t been before. We went down to San Miguel so see where Clay Imports’ tile is made and the many things that area has to offer. It was so fun, great for anyone who enjoys tile or design, but participants don’t have to be in any specific field to come. We’re currently looking at dates for the summer or fall of 2020 for our next trip.
Q : What makes working with Clay Imports so special?
A : They are so entrepreneurial and look at everything as an opportunity. Working with them has taken my business in a lot of different ways I didn’t expect, but in a good way.