STUDIO VISIT + SHOP THE LOOK: Cole Bush of Shepherdess Holistic Hides
Company: Shepherdess: Holistic Hides
Artist: Co-owner, Cole Bush
Shepherdess Holistic Hides is the collaborative project of designer Laura Schoorl (read Laura’s interview here) and modern-day, urban shepherdess Brittany Cole Bush. Together they purvey the beautiful hides of regionally raised sheep and goats, sourced from farms and ranches within the Bay Area, California. We visited with Cole in her studio in the LA area, talked to her about her deep passion for sustainability, and photographed her wearing some designs by Echo Park Craft Fair artists. Read her interview and shop her look below!
Tell us about your current collection.
Springtime is such an exhilarating season, especially in Southern California when we see the renewal of life and growth invigorated by our much needed winter rains. Laura and I have begun collaborating on a new home goods line that she has been dreaming of for many years. This new collection furthers our commitment to working with regional sheep farmers and ranchers who share our values. Our new collection incorporates Climate Beneficial wool batting that is produced by regenerative farming practices called Carbon Farming. This wool comes from the fiber flocks of Stemple Creek Ranch and Jensen Ranch from Tomales Bay, California. These family ranches are member-producers within the Fibershed community, a non-profit based out of the Bay Area whose mission is to develop regional and regenerative fiber systems.
By expanding to work with Fibershed and its community of sheep farmers and ranchers, we hope to continue growing Shepherdess Holistic Hides to create pathways for those living in the urban landscapes to contribute to positive work on the land with animals through conscious consumerism. Shepherdess’ spring collection of goods for the home will include pillows and poufs using shearling sourced from the American West, Climate Beneficial wool batting, recycled organic cotton and hemp fabric, and shredded organic cotton remnants from Pansy production, Laura’s other business. We can’t wait to show you our new line at the Echo Park Craft Fair this spring!
How long have you been participating in the Echo Park Craft Fair? Have you noticed any changes over the time you have been visiting or selling at the fair?
Shepherdess has been invited to participate in the EPCF since 2015 and every season has become increasingly rewarding as our relationships have grown within its inspiring community of artists, designers, and makers, many of which are women-owned businesses, as well as all of those behind the scenes who’ve supported to make EPCF happen for now a decade. It has also been lovely to visit with those who return each spring and winter fair to see and feel each season’s new hides. There is such a strong connection between people and the hides and for me, it is essential to share the background of why our hides are so special. I’ve also loved observing other inspiring creative entrepreneurs who are growing and thriving within their businesses, who are further developing their brand, designs, and craft, while expanding the weave of our EPFC community, tightly knit of talented and authentic people.
What does it mean to you to be part of the Echo Park Craft Fair?
I feel very grateful to be a part of the circle of incredible artists, designers, craftspeople and entrepreneurs who are defining and representing what the EPCF has supported to create.
Has EPCF been important to your creative and business growth?
EPCF has been important to our growth in many ways, namely for the ability to share our hides in-person as well as the opportunity to educate people on why they are so special. The broader exposure to do so has allowed for our small business, which was originally a side project, to develop into a larger creative and value-driven collaboration between Laura and me.
How does being a part of the EPCF community inspire you?
The EPCF community is teeming with thriving and inspiring women who are not only creative entrepreneurs, artists and designers, but many are also mothers, collaborators, leaders, employers, who are impacting a contemporary creative landscape. I’m inspired by our community of empowered women, who together create waves of fierce creativity, hustle, and beauty.
Are there other communities that have been instrumental in the development of your creative work?
I believe that collaboration is key to viability, resiliency, and relevance within today’s economic, environmental and cultural landscapes. Fibershed’s community has been certainly instrumental in our development of Shepherdess, setting the bar for ethical, mindful and impactful work in the space of climate change solutions through fiber production, the apparel industry, farming, ranching, land stewardship, and education. We are proud to be a part of a community of creative entrepreneurs within the Fibershed network and we’re dedicated to growing Shepherdess with the support of this community in our efforts to bring regionally sourced, ethical, and beautiful hides to the urban marketplace.
Website: Shepherdess Holistic Hides
Photos by Pavielle Garcia