Today we’d like to introduce you to Ityng Deng.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Ityng. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I have always loved design. I remember flipping through interior design books when I was little and daydreaming about different layout plans. Then in high school, I wanted to study Architecture. But then, I discovered Graphic Design and I realized that what I had always wanted to do was Graphic Design and it actually existed! Though for a brief moment in freshman year at Massachusetts College of Art I had an internal conflict when deciding whether to major in Graphic Design or Fibers. I had taken an elective in Fibers that year and LOVED it. I’ve always loved to work with my hands and I had such a great time in that class.
Since then, I have been working as a Graphic Designer since graduating MassArt. And a few years ago, when I started Foxfire Creative Studio, I felt that those two worlds have finally come together. With my love to work with my hands and my skills as a designer, I have been able to exercise my creativity outside of the “nine-to-five.” I started with designing and printing shirts. That evolved to designing patterns and printing fabric to make pillows. I made cards, stationery and even hand-bound books!
Currently, I design and print flour sack towels, aprons and tote bags.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
When I started this new venture, I didn’t really know where it would take me. One of the challenges I’ve had was on finding a voice. I went through a series of different products and styles before finding what worked for me. But that’s all part of the growing process — not that it makes it any less frustrating! I mean, I never would have thought that I would be designing and printing vintage-inspired flour sack towels right now!
And I think there are always going to be struggles. Especially with owning a small business. The whole business side of a small business is a challenge on its own. I went to art school. I don’t know much about business! But I could have never imagined three years ago where I would be today. I have learned so much, met so many wonderful people and developed a kind of confidence I never thought I would have.
We’d love to hear more about Foxfire Creative Studio.
So right now I design and print mostly flour sack towels (I like to introduce them to people as dish towels). Flour sack towels have a lot of history going back to when food came in cotton sacks. The sacks would be cut up to make clothing and towels. It is a very durable material and is very absorbent (great for drying dishes!). Based on the history, I have been designing and printing vintage and vintage-inspired imagery on the towels. The latest is a series of original vintage-inspired brands I designed. The designs started out as sketches and then a final version is created on the computer. I purchase hemmed flour sack towels and use a direct to garment printer to print everything myself.
Last year, I started offering gift sets as well. The sets are packaged with a set of towels and products that are also made locally. The sets are either kitchen themed (with cutting boards, wooden utensils and spices) or self-care themed (with handmade soaps and soy wax candles).
I started printing on flour sack towels based on a suggestion a friend made. She is an avid cook and has an affinity for these towels. Since I’ve been printing these towels, I have found that people either do not know what they are or are completely obsessed with them!
- Website: www.foxfirecreativestudio.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/foxfirecreativestudio
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/foxfirecreativestudio