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53 cohabit

with the antique, the vintage, and the hand-made, making the store an oasis that simultaneously encourages a collaboration of styles while supporting the work of other artist friends. The harmony of the shop ensures that nothing is ever too new or too perfect, always a little bit off kilter and always interesting. Collaboration is a key component of life with Hable. Their line of wool felt pillows and holiday items is produced by a women's cooperative in Hungary that utilizes traditional hammer-and-chisel techniques to portray Susan's bold imagery in unusual colours. This partnership has proved to be a vital, sustaining elements of both the cooperative and Hable and has led to licensing opportunities that unite Hable with other successful US companies that need their creative hand. Before starting their own business, both Katharine and Susan worked with other creative, entrepreneurial women that inspired the two of them to “do something”. Today, in their own studio they work with a group of (mostly) women who participate in the design process with them, and who, in turn, certainly are inspired by their creative work ethic. Both working mothers, Katharine and Susan balance family life and work with grace, poise and a smile, making this trapeze act seem effortless. Much inspiration comes from their children's own smiling faces, in the fabrics that are well suited for a child's crib, or in their product design. Many of Hable's storage items grew out of the needs that arise in a home with young ones running around. Susan relies on everyday moments of beauty: an outing with her daughter, a falling leaf, an antique treasure, and a family keepsake... the memory of her Texan childhood. Organic forms and gorgeous colours are inspired by life's unexpected moments, nature, and emotions, rather than current trends. Her design process still begins with sketches, watercolours, and the occasional doodle, which gives the fabrics a more relaxed, human, and free-flowing quality. Each season, designs and colours are carefully selected and then translated into different mediums, whether on cotton or linen, in a woven jacquard, or in felt appliqué. Or, in the same season, a motif may simultaneously decorate a bag, a fabric and a wool felt pillow. The one constant is the feeling of life and happiness in viewing their fabrics. These sisters have combined the best of their past to pave the way for a bright, sunny future. ••• Lucy Allen

Rinne Allen

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