Inside The Plastic Menagerie: William Sweetlove’s Designs

Just what are we supposed to make of William Sweetlove’s animal sculptures? While the realistic forms of dogs, cats, bunnies, pigs, and penguins speak to Sweetlove’s artistic skill, their undeniable cute-factor puts a smile on your face. But we’d be remiss to stop there when thinking of this Belgian artist’s instantly recognizable plastic animals, as these water-and-food toting wild ones are meant to disturb and motivate as well. Including sculptures, decorative plates, and supremely printed lithographs, Sweetlove’s work can be found on Fab for the next few days, so we thought we’d provide a primer to the work of this contemporary Pop Artist.

Read more

Studio Visit: Verameat

One look at VERAMEAT’s fantastical creations and the mind begins to drift. Vampires, monsters, mummies and strange animals…The cast of characters in the world of Ukraine-born and Utah-raised designer Vera Balyura is odd but enticing, and her strange, striking pieces are oh so covetable. We had a visit with Vera at her flagship store in New York’s East Village recently and found it hard to tear ourselves away. Luckily, her latest sale is right here.

What sorts of things influence your designs?

Filmmakers, comic writers, musicians, artists of all kinds. One of my sisters is a casting agent and the other is in law school, so their different interests inspire me. Last year I had the privilege of meeting Ronald Lauder at the Neue Gallery, which holds Egon Schiele’s work—that was really inspiring.   

Read more

Ways to Wear Your Wildlife and More with the Twins Behind Brat&Suzie

Dancing meerkats, dapper giraffes, and mice just chilling in teacups—Brat&Suzie’s realm of cute, quirky characters is like a fairytale Wonderland with a perky, modern twist. Excited to immerse ourselves in this imaginative realm, we decided to hop across the pond (in spirit) to chat with twin sisters Charlotte and Polly Vickerey about the vision behind their brand.

You describe your line as “young, fun, and British”. What does that mean exactly?

British folks are notoriously eccentric and the Brat&Suzie twins are no exception. We appeal to women of all ages, but we are a young brand with a fresh approach to fashion in the sense that we combine our love of animals, nature, and fun with our obsession with fashion and style. Our ethos is that fashion is all about having fun with your outfits—if you walk down the street today wearing a donkey in wellies or a hippy dog on your top, you’re bound to make someone smile. 

Read more

Q: What’s better than having a soft, snuggly puppy to cuddle with in bed at night?
A: Not having to wake up at 5AM to walk it, because it’s just as a cute as a real dog but comes with zero of the responsibility/allergens/potential to eat your favorite shoes. 
Visit the Fab Areaware sale to see more graphic print animal pillows today. From bunnies and mini pandas to elephants and an adorable ostrich, we’re hosting a whole menagerie of plush convenient pillow pets.

Q: What’s better than having a soft, snuggly puppy to cuddle with in bed at night?

A: Not having to wake up at 5AM to walk it, because it’s just as a cute as a real dog but comes with zero of the responsibility/allergens/potential to eat your favorite shoes. 

Visit the Fab Areaware sale to see more graphic print animal pillows today. From bunnies and mini pandas to elephants and an adorable ostrich, we’re hosting a whole menagerie of plush convenient pillow pets.

My Inspiration: Amanda Dimova of Vinca and Dimovi

Austin, Texas-based Vinca was one of our first partners way back when, just weeks after we launched Fab. Founded by Amanda Dimova, the studio makes adorable jewelry from wood, acrylic, leather…you name it! They put birds on things, and mustaches; they make housewares and all kinds of other fun stuff. (Amanda also makes shoes and bags under the Dimovi name.) We partnered with Vinca on our Words With Fab jewelry sale, but read here on to learn more about what inspires Amanda to create such happy, whimsical products. 

Nature documentaries.

Everyday nature does inspire people a great deal, but it’s the more ethereal, exotic, bizarre and unusual that I like best. Shows like “Blue Planet” have explosive imagery that burns itself into my mind, and suddenly I think, “That would make a great hairclip!”

This shoot was inspired by the odd schooling habits of hammerhead sharks—the sharks were cut from bits of leather too small to make shoes from. 


My kids’ drawings.

Kid art comes from a new perspective, and I mean new as in kids are actually new to the world, so any influences on their artistic expression are limited. SO…what is that tiny new mind thinking of?! Let’s see: candy, bows, kitties, ice cream, cupcakes, clouds—and lots of ‘em. How pleasant it must be to be only concerned with such sweet things! 

Makes me wonder what a possible collection for the Kids Shop would consist of!

My Idea Log.

Everyone has a friend or relative known who’s the “artistic” one, who usually has a vast collection of empty journals because that’s all they ever get as gifts. This is the only one I carry around (obsessively), in case I come up with a new idea. Instead of blank pages, which are notoriously difficult to begin with, it’s got a few little kick-starters on the page,  and doodle spots to keep your mind focused on regurgitating the details of your latest epiphany. This bright orange journal is easy to find in a messy office (ahem!), and allows me to keep everything organized so when the time comes to build a new collection or make that darn dollhouse I’ve been meaning to build, I can refer to its pages and be inspired all over again.

A good case study is this sketch for a fairy box: I wanted to make a box, but how to decorate the corners? With which shapes? Playing around and brainstorming leads to new products and techniques, but most often my sketches are decipherable only to myself…so here’s the finished product:

Roald Dahl.

While by no means did I ever have it in my childhood mind that I could ever be a writer, Roald Dahl was a big hero of mine. I didn’t have a TV growing up and lived in a small, boring town, so the intense imagery in his books lent itself to daydreaming about things much more exciting than my reality. Perhaps it was this early and frequent practice of daydreaming that evolved into an ability to see things where others don’t. Once I learned that non-fiction can be fun too, I read Dahl’s autobiography. It taught me so many things about being creative—from ignoring the grading system in school regarding subjective topics like writing and art, to how to treat great ideas (leave the page when the idea is half down—that way you’ll keep turning it over in your head, improving it). Plus his stories are so incredibly absurd and delightful! I can only hope my designs inspire a fraction of that feeling. 

Living, moving things you can stare at.

Leaves making shadows on windows, flames, wood grains, stained ceiling tiles…all of these are full of pictures if you just look!

This flame is actually a muscular parrot-dog looking over its shoulder:

And this wood grain is actually…

…a nun holding a chicken.

Fab.com.

I remember seeing an ad for Fab.com a little over a year ago on Facebook—it had a little Eames elephant—and I remember thinking, “Hey, that’s a cool idea. I should shop there! And I want that elephant!” For whatever reason it didn’t occur to me that it would be possible to sell my own stuff on Fab—I’ve been down a long, discouraging road when it comes to selling anywhere outside of Austin. But per my mom’s suggestion (thank you, Mom!) I emailed my catalog in, even as I didn’t expect to hear back. And now, less than a year later, Vinca is coming up fast on 10,000 pieces sold—that’s more than I’d sold since I started Vinca over six years ago. It’s inspirational indeed: of course I want to keep making stuff! Besides, where else would I have a chance to develop an entirely new collection based on phrases like this?