MAKER: EMILY DUNN
With an obsession for crystals and succulents, Emily has created Boho Grit, the ultimate bohemian lifestyle brand from jewelry to home decor and planters. We connected at a local makers market months ago when I walked by her booth and immediately fell in love with her crystal succulent planters. Each piece my eyes drifted towards looked unique and special, making the decision to choose just one impossible! We share a mutual love for all things Curry Beth, because she's brilliant at designing for the minimalist at heart, and I'm surprised we haven't ran into each other at Radio Coffee as much as I crave their cappuccino + Veracruz taco combination.
Prepare to have major design inspiration after seeing Emily's creations below!
WHY DO YOU CALL AUSTIN HOME?
The first time I visited Austin I knew I wanted to live here for some amount of time. I was in town for a friend’s birthday and did the typical tourist things like go to Mount Bonnell and South Congress. I was stunned by the natural beauty and diversity of the landscape as well as the bustling feel of the city. It made me think of NYC but with a more relaxed pace. Since moving here I have been pushed to grow creatively by people who see more in me than I could see, and that is invaluable. I may not live here forever, but I am definitely happy that I can call it home.
FAVORITE SONG/ARTIST/ALBUM FOR A SPARK OF CREATIVITY
I get most of my creative energy from exercising, so I guess my work out music would be the answer to this. Jamiroquai is funky enough while also being upbeat, which is perfect for getting in a productive groove. Portugal the Man and Pharrell have featured largely in the mix recently too. But it’s always changing.
BIGGEST DEBATE OF ALL: COFFEE OR TEA, BE SPECIFIC ;)
I come from a line of fervent coffee drinkers, so definitely coffee. Sometimes I want to drink more tea, and I will when I’m sick or trying to be calm. But there is nothing like a big iced coffee or a cappuccino to make me feel like I can conquer anything.
WHO DO YOU FOLLOW FOR INSTAGRAM INSPIRATION
I follow a lot of other artists, both local and worldwide. I will follow anyone who is positive and creatively inspiring, whether they have similar or different styles and interests to me. @kindandbrave is a local graphic artist who always has a good message to put out there, and I like @krystal_lee_artist for the same reason. My Instagram feed is full of art and good vibes, so I think it is silly when people say they don’t like Instagram because they don’t want to see certain content. Make it what you want and be inspired!
FAVORITE LOCAL FOOD TRUCK
VeraCruz tacos at Radio Coffee and Beer. Their quesadilla is AMAZING, and their salsas are ridiculously good. Actually everything on the menu is awesome. And their chunky salsa has avocado pieces in it. YUM.
FAVORITE LOCAL BOUTIQUE
It’s a tie between Slavonk and Hortus and The Fox Den/ Lovecraft Vintage. Slavonk and Hortus has very happy plants, and I love talking about plants with the owner Keri. She knows so much! At the Fox Den, the plants are all healthy and beautiful, and the vintage clothes are perfectly curated. They also have Curry Beth clothes, who I want to design my whole wardrobe. I want to live there.
MID-DAY SNACK OR ROUTINE FOR CREATIVE FUEL
I try to go for something light and protein-packed. A banana and peanut butter chased with iced coffee is my favorite. And maybe a little downward dog for some added stress relief.
WHERE DO YOU CREATE BEST
All of my work gets done at home. This is mostly out of necessity because I don’t have a studio. But I am often sporadic about when I get things done, and this allows me to run errands, relax, eat, and create when I need to.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO BE A MAKER
This may be a cliché, but I don’t think it’s a choice. I am constantly re-arranging and creating things in my head, and I think if I didn’t let them out I’d go insane.
MOST EXCITING MOMENT SO FAR FOR YOUR CRAFT
I think the most exciting moment so far was meeting Lynnie, who runs Art For the People. I live down the street from her beautiful store (it’s on south 1st—go check it out), and I was too intimidated to go in until I met her. I felt like I would see all of the great artists she displays and not feel like I was good enough. She contacted me and placed an order for my planters and has since put me in contact with other wonderful people in Austin. She helped me realize my own value, and that is so huge.
AS A SMALL BUSINESS, HOW DO YOU MAKE YOUR BRAND STAND OUT
I think the way to stand out is to really be yourself. I get excited about things when they are truly my own, and I think that shows. The biggest example of this is my crystal planters. The book “Steal Like an Artist” summarizes how I feel pretty well. We all take inspiration from each other, but take those things you learn and make it yours. I don’t have the biggest following, but I am happy knowing that people are interested in something that is truly mine.
WHO HAS HAD THE MOST CREATIVE INFLUENCE ON YOUR LIFE
100% my mom and dad. My mother is a quilt maker and all around artist, and my dad is a cinematographer and musician as well as visual artist. They were creating things my whole life, and it always just seemed like what you are supposed to do in your free time.
HOW HAS SOCIAL MEDIA HELPED YOUR BUSINESS
I mostly use instagram, and it is a great platform for getting my work in front of people who can’t see it in person.
WHAT OTHER ARTISTS HAVE YOU LOVED COLLABORATING WITH
I haven’t yet :)
HOW IMPORTANT IS SHOPPING LOCAL TO YOU
Knowing how easily talented designers have their work pilfered by large corporations makes it a no-brainer. I will always look to other makers before I search elsewhere.
HOW HAS THE AUSTIN COMMUNITY SUPPORTED YOU
See first answer :)
WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WISH PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT YOUR DESIGNS
I can’t think of anything. I think interpretation is crucial to art, so I love seeing what personal value people impart on my work.
MUST-SEE RECOMMENDATION FOR THOSE TRAVELING TO AUSTIN
I always tell people to visit Barton Springs on the spillway side where you can just wade in. It’s close to downtown and a quick detour from most other tourist attractions. Even if you just stick your feet in it’s worth it.
WHERE CAN SUPPORTERS FIND YOUR CREATIONS
My work is in Art For the People & Slavonk and Hortus. I always post on Instagram @boho.grit when I will be at local markets or teaching workshops. Link to Etsy Store here.