Shawn Sargent Designs

After creating her first digital drawings in 2011, artist and owner Shawn Sargent could imagine her colorful characters and vibrant patterns on everyday products.

Inspired to create useful items using locally-sourced, eco-friendly materials, she began to make and sell products featuring her unique drawings and designs. 

Today, through her business and retail shop and studio, Shawn Sargent Designs offers beautifully handcrafted home decor, kitchen goods, bags, gifts and accessories featuring fresh, original designs with a quirky vibe. 
 

Artist • Designer • Educator

Shawn's background as an artist, writer and editor provides a unique perspective and approach to her surface and textile designs.

Her drawings, often spontaneous sketches that bring to life a quirky character or the beginnings of a pattern, come from years of practice as a fine artist and editor, and her designs and patterns reflect her unique aesthetic. 

On a completely different spectrum than when she collects found materials and and assembles mixed media and photo-based art pieces, her more colorful and whimsical (yet still "earthy") creative side emerges when she draws digitally.

Drawing with her finger to "feel" more connected to the process, Shawn creates lots of bright, quirky, abstract and sometimes oddly curious digital sketches to pull from later when developing select drawings into designs and patterns. 

The resulting images and designs are playful, fresh, modern yet slightly retro, addictive to create...and I visualize them on all kinds of products.

Where It All Started

With her first iPhone in 2011. And this amazing invention of drawing apps. And a whole new way to get lost in the creative process.

And, to be honest, it was a wonderful way to escape and find some joy after the sudden loss of her younger brother. The silly drawings and unexpected sketches made her smile and smiling kept her brother's joyful spirit alive and present. Sketching became a meditative process for her on so many levels.

She sketched. And sketched. And sketched. And she could visualize her creations on all kinds of home decor, clothing and accessory products. Opting for what she could make herself to get started, she found a fabric printer, ordered her first collection, and made her first Pillows and Snappy Bags (device covers and carry-alls) featuring her original designs. Wow.

Finding other products that could be printed with her designs, Shawn continued to create new patterns and drawings, then exhibited at local trade shows to see how they were received.

Even though I was new to this and only had a few months to prep, I couldn’t imagine waiting another year.

After experiencing positive response and success at the shows with her new products, she jumped right into one of the nation's largest annual retail shows, One of a Kind Show Chicago.

More success. And more motivation to continue.

Prepping for the One of a Kind Show and other events was more than she bargained for: her home was consumed by fabrics, sewing machines, cutting boards and amazing gals that just about setup camp there to help with the immense amount of sewing and production required.

She had launched her business in 2013, but now was ready to find a workspace outside of the home. It wouldn't just help home feel like home again, but she also found it very difficult to never be able to be away from the work (since "work stuff" was present in every room of the house!).

Searching for what she thought would be primarily a workspace for wholesale order production, she looked at everything from warehouses to large retail spaces. She settled on a quaint, 2-level shop inside the Banyan Tree Mall in downtown Glen Ellyn. Five minutes from home, enough space to work, and the opportunity for walk-in retail sales...she was off on another new venture.

Her retail shop and studio opened July 7, 2015, and it's been a crazy, non-stop learning experience ever since. Meeting new customers and hearing their feedback, participating in retail and downtown events, and working to establish and grow her business has inspired even more ideas for new products and designs and new directions.

Starting with just two products and a few designs, Shawn Sargent Designs now offers more than a dozen different products in a wide range of styles and unique designs that make your everyday a little brighter, happier and easier. 

And every item is designed and/or handmade in her local shop/studio. Shawn still does some of the sewing and production, especially on custom orders, but she has help from part-time staff to create her beautifully handcrafted eco-friendly and wonderfully fun and functional items, from organic pillows and unique kitchen goods, to creative bags, backpacks, paper goods and accessories.

In addition to her retail store and online business, Shawn Sargent Designs also offers creative classes, workshops and parties in design, sewing and mixed media for both kids and adults. Shawn's a teacher at heart, and after teaching mixed media art for many years, she loves that she can work with new groups of students through her store.  
 

Life Before the Store

Photo-based art • Teaching
website and portfolio

Design • Editing • Teaching
profile and background

I love the idea of sharing my creative vision with others through quality products they can use everyday.

Whether it’s drawing, making a pattern or designing a new product, I am happily lost for hours in the whole creative process. It’s a very meditative and rewarding experience for me. 

And bringing a bit of joy to someone’s day, hearing that they smile and feel good because they’re using, seeing or gifting one of my original products, quirky drawings or fresh designs...there’s nothing better than that!