Megan Owdom-Weitz is the Megan behind Megan Lee Designs. She creates quirky, state themed, hand-printed goods that are classics here at the shop. Read on to learn about her passion and her process, and stop by to check out some of her lovely (and funny) creations in person!
1| How do you describe your work to people who don’t know anything about crafting/art?
This is actually really hard for us — we are constantly trying to figure out a way for people to understand what we do. We often say that we are a screenprinting company, but really we are a design company that chooses to print our designs using silkscreens. I like to also think we could use the terms fashion and illustration to describe our business.
2| Why do you make/design things?
I have always been a maker since I was young, I’m one of those weird people that likes to put together IKEA furniture. In college I got a design degree at Kent State and learned so much about the importance of negative space and many more design concepts like training your eye. It took me awhile to realize that I was happier making and designing by hand than just moving objects and type around on a computer.
3| What do you love about your job?
I love the flexibility most of all, but seeing smiles on peoples faces when they are shopping in person and finding shoppers that “get” my designs is the best feeling.
4| Was being a working artist always your plan or was there an “aha” moment?
In college I had decided that I was going to work at a design firm and work on things like Annual Reports — which I did for awhile, and then I discovered the DIY movement in Chicago and began selling things that I had just been making on the side as a hobby. This was all before I learned to screenprint, but it planted the seed that I could possibly work for myself and started to change my ideas about what success could mean to me.
5| How do you work, and where?
This is always changing — we have a studio in Berwyn, but we actually just moved to Ohio (Westerville just north of Columbus) a few months ago and will eventually move our studio here. I used to do all of the printing and now I do almost none of it. I would like to do a bit more, but right now I am focusing on design and lots of day to day business tasks, along with taking care of a new baby and a toddler.
6| You are the maker behind our popular “I’m IN Love” tees- do you make a design for all 50 states?
I DO have designs for all 50 states, and a few of the states have more than one option. I started with the Midwest and then branched out when Nordstrom picked up our line and wanted to sell all 50 states online.
7| Tell us about your design aesthetic. What words would you use to describe your drawings?
I would say fun, quick, sketchy, whimsical…I try not to try too hard because I feel like that’s when they don’t work for me. Often its my first go at a new subject that looks the best.
8| If you could swap lives with another artist, who would that person be?
I think it would be fun to be a “REAL” fashion designer for a bit — maybe Betsey Johnson? She always seems like she is having so much fun and I love her style.
9| What makes a handmade object valuable?
I think just the intrinsic fact that it IS handmade — I am obsessed with handmade plush and cute art that almost always involves animals or everday objects with a face…I know there’s a word for that but its not coming to me (I need more coffee).
10| Using that definition, what’s the most valuable object you own?
Hmmm…I don’t know that I could narrow it down to one, but I love all of the items that I have gotten from craft shows over the years, whether its jewelry, clothing, art or even food.
11| Tell us one true thing about yourself that people don’t believe when you tell them.
People probably would not believe that I can deadlift more than 200 pounds.
12| Give us three more non-crafting-related details about you or your life.
Well in the same vein, I am an avid crossfitter and LOVE to lift. I also love to cook, especially Mexican food. I love to dye and cut my own hair, its a bit of an obsession.
13| Where do you see Megan Lee Designs in the next 5 years?
Wellllll…we moved to Ohio recently to be closer to family, and actually just signed a lease on a new studio space that has a retail component. Its located in Westerville, Ohio, where we bought our house, so we are super excited about finally having a location where people can shop in person. If you ever come to Columbus be sure to look us up, there are some surprisingly hip bars/restaurants/shops in Uptown Westerville — I’m proud to now call it home!