Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Q&A: the girls of UrbanPosture

I met the girls of UrbanPosture at a recent event here in Des Moines. They were super friendly and I love their style, so I thought it would be fun to do a tag team Q&A. Here's a bit from them about what they do.

Where do you live? Ankeny, IA

Tell me a little bit about what you make. Sarah and I focus on creating practical products for everyday use in the home, office and for apparel. All of our merchandise has been designed and printed by hand. Our office line is made from products that are post consumer and the binders are also 100% recyclable as well. The idea behind our motifs that we print is "The Black Forest'. Sarah grew up in Austria and Germany and has a Bavarian background. The Black forest is known for the woodlands, cuckoo clocks, and cake making our line a cohesive mix of different motifs.

How did you decide to start the line? We both have separate businesses that were very similar and because we work well together and were moving in the same direction with ideas we decided we would be better as a team than as two different identities. Sarah and I both have similar taste we love similar motifs and colors and were experimenting with different printing techniques so we decided to have a line of merchandise that was all screen and block printed.

Did you have any teachers who became mentors along the way? Not any vocational teachers but, how odd is this that my younger brother was the one who got me interested in screen printing and also helped me learn the skill? He had been screen printing t-shirts for his business and I wanted to give it a try.

Where do you find your inspiration? Nature, morning light, thrift shopping, vintage items, design blogs and magazines, and Sarah.

Is this your full time work? No, but would love to make it my full time job some day. I am a kitchen and bath designer full time.

Where do you live? My husband, Jacob, and I bought our first house last year. It’s a 1940’s, New England Colonial-style house on the east side of Des Moines. It came with creaky stairs, chipped paint and scratched hardwood floors - all of which I absolutely love!

Tell me a little bit about what you make. Well, we make lots of stuff, but only sell the hand-printed goods. Our main focus is office and home goods, but apparel is definitely a big part too. Leslie and I have found that there are so many things we use everyday and why not give them a touch of our personality by printing on them. Our goal is to make practical things more lovely. The process starts with a sketch, usually on a sticky note or the back of receipt, and ends as a print, with lots of trial and error between. We've experimented printing on all sorts of surfaces including cardboard, paper, wood, fabric and, of course, shirts. It's ridiculous how excited we get when we complete a design and successfully print it for the first time!

What's the best part of your day? Waking up on my day off, being inspired by the morning light, as well as, morning breakfast. I was never a morning person until about a year or two ago and now I love how everything looks at that time of day.

How did you decide to start the line? Leslie and I have always collaborated on our creative endeavors. Although in the past, we have always had our separate lines: Urbanestics and GoodPosture. We’ve known each other for over 3 years now and spend at least 50% of our time together, whether at work or play. It was only a matter of time before we realized that we should combine forces. As the saying goes: 'Two heads are better than one!" ...and that's when UrbanPosture started. Although we have similar taste and ambitions, we still have our strength and weaknesses. It's so nice to be able to rely on Leslie to do the things I'm not good at and visa versa. I think we make a pretty good team!

Did you have any teachers who became mentors along the way? I credit all of my talent and creativity to my mom. (Mom’s count as teachers, don’t they?) She is one of the most resourceful people I know. She used to make me dresses out of sheets and raincoats out of shower curtains. She is absolutely brilliant and has never wasted a minute showing me how it’s done. Even now, she gives me guidance when I get stuck on a project.
Where do you find your inspiration? Well, I think we all surround ourselves with things we love, which in return inspire everyday living. I also love reading blogs and looking through magazines, but traveling is a great source of inspiration as well. Our current line has an obvious woodland theme, which I would trace that back to my childhood.

Is this your full time work? Nope, I’m a full time Kitchen and Bath Designer, as well. We'll see what the future has in store!

What's the best part of your day? I tend to be satisfied with the little things in life, like a glass of chocolate milk in the morning, making dinner for my husband in the evening or getting a laugh out of something that really isn't that funny!

What do you like to do when you're not making things for Urban Posture? Jacob, my husband, is a singer/song writer and I play keys and sing with him when I can. We started recording our first full length in February, so we are in the studio 2-3 times a week, in addition to playing several shows a month. Other than that, I’m constantly working on our little house, whether it’s remodeling or just rearranging.


  1. What a great interview! These ladies sound fab. I just went and checked out all of their etsy shops. So many cool ideas. I am going to have to create an etsy wish list starting right here.

  2. Cute binders! Nice stuff in their other shops too! Thanks for introducing us to them!