Meet Casey Gordon of Tupelo Jo

Meet Casey Gordon of Tupelo Jo

Here at Tula we love that we get to work with artists around the world to create beautiful pieces of arts that parents can use to carry their children. 
We got to work with Casey Gordon from Tupelo Jo to create our Lush Fields and Seedling carriers and learn a bit about what inspires her as a mom and an artist.

What inspired you to get started with design?

I was actually an Art Teacher for 10 years before making a switch to design. When I began designing, I recently had boy/girl twins and had a difficult time finding clothes or crib sheets for them that I loved, more specifically for my daughter. I began designing to learn how to make patterns for her that were beautiful and feminine and sweet.

How did your design change once you became a parent?

My design style is what it is because I am a parent. I am always designing patterns that I could see complimenting my children, mostly my girls. Sorry to my son..but flowers are so much prettier to draw than excavators!

Introduce us to your baby. How does she move through the world? How would they describe you?

My youngest baby’s name is Reese Taylor and she will be 2 years old in November. She wants to do everything that her older siblings do! She waves hello to everyone, she eats pickles and olives and a whole nectarine, she loves baby dolls, she is completely pure and doesn’t know fear of any kind. I think she would describe me as calm, safe, patient and creative.

What are you reading, watching and seeing that inspires you IRL?

I’ve been sharing sketches, patterns, new fabric collections, design progress, and how all of those things fold  in with my children and being a mother. I love sharing what I’m reading on my Instagram stories.  I will read anything from Reese Witherspoon’s book club list and some of those books make their way into new pattern inspiration. I think one of my biggest inspirations for design work has been finding female personalities that I admire, and trying to capture that essence through a pattern. Some of those have included Daisy Jones (from Daisy Jones and the Six), Beth Dutton (from Yellowstone), and Joanna Gaines. Another big inspiration for me has been my first flower garden I planted this year. I’ll also take a lot of photos of flowers I see around parks that I take my children to and try to turn those into patterns.

What’s it been like for you as a parent and how do you involve your child in your creative pursuits?

I really had to jump in with both feet into parenting when I found out I was pregnant with twins. That stage was overwhelming and a literal whirlwind. I didn’t realize there was a design volcano inside me though until I had children. Having children exposes so much about who you are, including what it is that really matters and what truly makes you happy. I started designing to solve a problem for them, to find patterns that I felt accurately represented who they were. Once I learned to do that, I felt like the next problem to solve was how to design for more mamas and more children. After my third child was born, I quit teaching art in public school to be there for all of my children. So nowadays, my children help me garden so that I can draw my flowers and they help me go on little scavenger hunts at the park for things to draw. I design when they sleep for now, but that makes it all the more rewarding sometimes. When I lay my youngest down with the Tula blanket I designed, I could look at each flower and remember designing this while she slept. Now she sleeps with that blanket. How amazing is that?

What drew you in to partner with Tula on carrier designs?

When my twins were born in 2018, two Tula carriers were on my registry from the get-go! These Tula carriers were how my husband and I soothed “double baby meltdowns,” as we called them. These Tula carriers were how we grocery shopped, went for walks, and got babies to sleep that wouldn’t sleep. We could not have done the infant stage without our Tula’s. Some of my other favorite registry items back then were some cute, soft baby blankets that my dear cousin picked out for the twins. When I started designing my own patterns, I really wanted to design more of those soft adorable baby blankets like what I had when they were tiny tiny babies. I really wanted to design a pattern on a carrier for moms that wanted a good pattern. I wrote on a slip of paper “license a baby carrier” and I stuck it in my phone case. I reached out to Tula with some of my designs and included a picture of my husband and I with our Tula carriers on with our 2 month old twins. After some of my work got accepted for Tula, I found out I was pregnant, with a girl! When my first carrier with Tula came out, I got to use it to carry my own child. I mean, the full circle feeling of it all brings me to tears. This experience with Tula since 2018 has been so fulfilling as a mother and a designer.

What’s the future look like for you and your small business?! What are your hopes and dreams for the future of your designs?

I would love to continue to partner with Tula to create beautiful designs for carriers and blankets. I plan to continue designing fabric and build onto my current fabric design collections that are already available to buy. I also plan to take my designs to more companies that create other baby products like crib sheets, curtains, or pajamas. It brings me such overwhelming joy to know that a Mom out there is picking out my designs to use with her baby, her world. I can almost feel a little bit of that love wherever that Mama is out there, and I’m so honored to be a part of it.

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