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Natalie Davis and Abby Powell had a brilliantly simple idea: bring together their favorite makers and designers from Texas and around the country for a long weekend of celebrating handmade goods. And just like that, Austin’s FELIZ festival was born…

The first annual festivities kick off on Nov 2nd at west elm Austin, feature a day of workshops on Nov 3rd, and culminate with what might be the greatest flea market of all time on Nov 4th. Talking with Natalie and Abby only made us more excited to see their dream realized in Austin next month…

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What inspired you both to get together and organize FELIZ?

We felt that art and craft shows were evolving. Often they can be so large that you spend hours searching for a product to resonate with you. We wanted to host an intimate event, one where we could share the process and people behind quality handmade goods, and just have some fun. Knowing the story of how something was made brings a whole new significance to an object. We wanted FELIZ to share a bit of this magic.

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How would you describe your individual styles?

Natalie is definitely the editor, while Abby tends to be more of the collector. We both love industrial Americana, especially if there’s a Texas slant. Abby gravitates towards vintage, eclectic and sweet pieces. She also adores bright, fun colors. We are currently both loving everything Marfa-esque. That is to say stark landscapes, minimal architecture, pops of color and cacti. Can’t get enough cacti!

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Why do you think that Austin has such a strong community of people making handmade goods?

Texas in general seems to have some major entrepreneurial spirit. Austin has a bustling music scene as well as some really great universities and I think this combination attracts innovative thinkers and creative types. The beautiful weather and decent cost of living doesn’t hurt. We love how friendly the folks are here and how proud they are of their local businesses.

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Let’s talk about tacos! Any personal favorite spots around town?

Well, of course! Tacos are serious business in Austin. Some of our favorites are the breakfast tacos from Torchy’s, the woodfired veggie tacos from Dos Batos and anything from Taco Deli. For fancier taco fare and other delicious Mexican goodies we love El Naranjo and La Condessa.

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What products are particularly looking forward to featuring at FELIZ?

Honestly, we adore ALL of the artisans! We are lucky to have such a great bunch. In particular, we are excited to feature Austinite Maura Ambrose of Folk Fibers. She’s a maker in every sense of the word; growing the plants she uses to dye the fabrics that she then sews to create her home goods.

Stone & Honey will be here with their fabulous new Arcos line of jewelry.

Vitrified Studio will be showing elegant, minimal ceramics.

We are also over the moon that Shanna Murray is coming all the way from New York to share her gorgeous creations with us.

And Leah Duncan will be bringing her new line of illustrations which are just really fantastic. Needless to say we will be doing a lot of our holiday shopping at FELIZ…

(You can see a list of all the featured sellers here.)

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FELIZ kicks off with a party at the west elm Austin store on Friday, November 2nd! See the full FELIZ schedule here.

In the meantime you can get updates from Abby and Natalie on their FELIZ blog and Twitter account.

Images: FELIZ + Jen Causey. Profile photo by Aimee Wenske.

FELIZ + west elm Austin: Celebrating Handmade
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