Date: November 9, 2018 | Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Beth Hall |
Meet Bea Apple & Trisha Logan: This pair of entrepreneurial-minded women recently opened Hillfolk, a destination textile studio and shop
Q. Prior to opening Hillfolk, you two met through your experiences as entrepreneurs in Northwest Arkansas. Tell us a bit about these endeavors.
Trisha Logan: I am the current owner and founder of a paper store and invitation studio in Fayetteville known as Shindig Paperie. Shindig is now in its sixth year, and I have been feeling the pull to do something new for a few years and follow another passion of mine, textiles. I really love coming up with concepts for new businesses and brands and hope to continue to create them.
Bea Apple: I never thought of myself as an entrepreneur! I graduated with an electrical engineering degree and worked in that field for 10 years. After I had my first kid, I started toying with the idea of striking out on my own with the intention of spending more time at home, which eventually led me and my husband to open Pressroom, a restaurant, coffee shop, bar, and community hangout on the Bentonville town square.
Q. Why did a textiles business seem like the next natural fit for you?
Trisha: Textiles have always been my first true love. I studied apparel and textiles at the University of Arkansas for undergrad and continued with a graduate degree in design and merchandising with a focus on textiles at Colorado State University. My background is not as focused in the maker area but more on textile design, history, and cultural traditions. We feel that Hillfolk is a great fit for the community because textile and fiber art traditions are woven into the fabric of the Ozarks. Through our studies and travel, commonalities between cultures and traditional fiber arts begin to emerge, which excite us. We want to preserve the traditions of our area while celebrating the common threads shared by all cultures.
Q. Have you always had a fascination with textiles or crafting too, Bea?
Bea: I was a shy, bookish kid growing up in the Bronx, and I was fascinated by The Little House on the Prairie series. Growing up in poverty, I was so drawn to the idea that you could make something beautiful with something so basic as a needle and thread. I would walk to our local library, check out all kinds of crafting books, and struggle through teaching myself how to knit, crochet, and sew. I never stopped making things. In college, I made hats for my friends, and have made dozens of creations for my family.
Q. How does this translate into the offerings you have at Hillfolk?
Bea: Trisha and I laugh all the time about our eclectic assortment of goods. Our main ethos is we want to carry lines that are produced ethically by small companies and artisans. In the maker space, we are carrying a line of Hillfolk-exclusive yarn that we worked with ranchers and mills in Colorado and Wyoming to develop. We are also carrying a small assortment of beautiful fabric by the bolt and a variety of notions so that you can pick up everything you need for your project right at the shop.
Trisha: We also carry a curated and inspiring mix of handcrafted goods and textiles for the home by some of our favorite local and international artisans. This includes quilts, candles, apothecary goods, ceramics, books, and more.
Q. Tell us a bit about the community and educational opportunities at Hillfolk. We hear you’ll be offering workshops in addition to wares.
Trisha: Yes, we will be hosting weekly craft nights at the store where anyone can drop in after work, hang out, and make things together. We feel that as society grows more digital, the value of human experience increases. We want to offer a deep maker experience that is practical, traditional, and contemporary all at once, and we believe that fits well with the emerging cultural hub of 8th Street Market, where our shop is located. While a food theme dominates the market currently, our mission dovetails nicely with what’s happening there. Food, textiles, and fiber arts—they all make up the folkways of a culture. We want to teach people how to make, give them options for sourcing sustainably and locally, and showcase the people around the U.S. and the world who are carrying on those traditions.
Q. OK, you have to tell us where you got the name “Hillfolk.”
Trisha: We came across the name “Hillfolk” in a book about the Ozarks, and it resonated with us. It’s evocative of the people in this particular region, but the name is also universal because every country has “hillfolk” that have passed down textile traditions for centuries. You’ve got backstrap weavers in Central and South America, indigo dyers in Mali and Japan, block printers in Jaipur, the quilters of Gee’s Bend, and so on.
Connect with Trisha and Bea to learn more about Hillfolk (including the shop’s address and hours) at hillfolk.com or on Instagram (@hillfolkshop).