Artist Profiles

Meet SOURCE Denim Founder Soo-Rae Hong

Local Universe visits Soo-Rae Hong, founder of SOURCE Denim in Seattle.
[SEATTLE] It was early evening, and I was wandering a relatively industrial area of Seattle called SoDo (South of Downtown). Perhaps wandering is the wrong term; I was a few minutes behind after hustling off the Bainbridge Ferry and onto the Link Light Rail, so I was semi-sprinting, phone in hand to navigate to the SoDo MakerSpace where I was to meet Soo-Rae Hong, founder of SOURCE Denim. 

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Meet Deb Kraemer of Abbey Brown Soap Artisan

Curls left behind after shaving soap blocks at Abbey Brown. Read our Chicago travel blog and shop the collection of locally made, sustainably made goods at

[CHICAGO] You’d expect a shop filled with soaps to smell nice. 

But Abbey Brown Soap Artisan, tucked into a historic storefront in the West Loop neighborhood of Chicago, engages all of the senses. 

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Meet Tim Gillengerten of Transit Tees

Meet Chicago Transit Tees founder Tim Gillengerten. Shop Transit Tees sustainably made greeting cards and posters at

[CHICAGO] There’s a synergistic swirl of entrepreneurial energy and creative vision behind Transit Tees founder Tim Gillengerten’s kind and quiet façade.

Over the years he’s demonstrated a gift for spying opportunity and the drive to act upon it. Tim can see design potential in the ordinary objects around him and craft something hip and interesting from that. But it doesn’t stop there—he pursues the steps needed to bring those hip and interesting projects successfully to market.

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It looks good on paper

New paper drying at Paperworks Studio during Local Universe's visit.

Those acid-washed jeans that you’ve finally decided to part with could become the next series of greeting cards from Paperworks Studio.

The social enterprise in Traverse City, Michigan, produces beautifully handmade paper with ethereal whirls and swirls, tints and textures. You’d never guess that it all began as a squishy soup of discarded pants and shirts, sheets and curtains, or even dried flowers and coffee grounds. 

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