Arkansas in the Making is a new series of interviews featuring local artisans, their workspaces and accoutrements. For the first post of the series, we wanted to learn more about Rascal & Betty, a duo from northwest Arkansas who makes handcrafted signs and decor. Olivia Trimble and Jesse Weegens are the creative minds behind Sleet City Decor and American Estates, respectively, and this is their latest venture.
At Home in Arkansas: Define your personal style in 6 words. Rascal & Betty: Old school craftsmanship and design with a contemporary spin.
AHIA: What are your current obsessions? R&B: Onyx Coffeelab, sweet salvage deals, and vintage luggage.
AHIA: What color could you not live without? R&B: Mustard yellow.
AHIA: Tell us a history or evolution of your current work. R&B: We first collaborated on a sandwich board sign for Onyx Coffeelab. Our styles, ideas and attitudes meshed well, so we decided to do a few more projects together. Eventually, we were working together so frequently that we just decided to officially create our own brand, Rascal & Betty.
AHIA: What is your ultimate goal for your brand? R&B: To take over the world.
AHIA: What’s your go-to for a quick burst of inspiration? Olivia: I look to antique, hand-painted signs. Jesse: I have no shortage of inspiration. I have more ideas than I know what to do with.
AHIA: Which of your tools is most important for your work? R&B: It’s definitely Olivia’s brushes and vintage tackle box that she keeps her paint and brushes in.
AHIA: What makes your workspace/studio uniquely yours? R&B: The studio is inside of Jesse’s woodshop and was built with both function and beauty in mind. We salvaged the tin together and used our favorite pieces of reclaimed wood for the mosaic wall. It’s meant to be a space where we can brainstorm and work without distraction or mess.
AHIA: To an aspiring artisan, what would you say is the most important part of doing creative work? R&B: Expect to work harder than you’ve ever imagined, and realize that you may have a few failures before you succeed.
AHIA: How does your lifestyle support your work? R&B: Working for ourselves and having non-traditional schedules has allowed Jesse time with his son, Simon, and Olivia time with her husband, Jon, and daughters, Calliope and Eleanor. Though we may never get a full 8 hours of sleep and we spend our days juggling the kids and our work, we’re supremely happy with how things are going and wouldn’t change it for the world.
AHIA: What do you want your customers to know about you and your work? R&B: We pride ourselves in our ability to work closely with our customers and to bring their visions to life. Whether it’s a sign for their business or a unique piece to add to their home, we are eager to create something beautiful for each of our customers.
AHIA: Within your field of work, who is your greatest inspiration? Jesse: I am most inspired by the makers of the past and the quality of their work. When I find an item that has survived through the ages, it sparks my drive to create. Olivia: I am inspired by Ross Trimmer of Sure Hand Signs in Richmond, VA.
Thank you, Olivia and Jesse! Do you love that 12″x12″ Arkansas-shaped wall hanging in the photo above? We do too! And that’s why we’re giving it away! To enter: go and “Like” the Rascal & Betty Facebook page, then “Like” the At Home in Arkansas Facebook page and let us know you’ve done so by leaving a comment below about how/where you would display this adorable piece! A winner will be selected at random on next Wednesday, April 2, at 4pm. Best of luck! [This giveaway is now closed. Thanks to all who entered and many thanks to Rascal & Betty!]
[Photography by Marie Darrin of Firefly Photography]