"We make Portland awesome" is a weekly series. I’m interested building our community of artists by helping us all find out more about each other.
This week: Barbi & Aaron of Urban Lace
Who are you?
Barbi Touron and Aaron Shear are the owners/designers for Urban Lace. Barbi Touron started out in a small garage below her apartment in St. John's (North Portland) making jewelry for friends in 2006. As more and more people wore her jewelry and word of mouth spread, so did the demand for these unique creations. With orders growing beyond her ability to keep up, Barbi partnered with Aaron Shear and Urban Lace was born. They have been working together since September 2011 making new designs for the up coming year 2014.
What do you make?
Urban Lace specializes in making unique Eco-friendly designer jewelry. Our one of a kind jewelry is created from recycled bicycle inner tubes collected from local bike shops. Our goal is to make high quality, high fashion, environmentally friendly products that people love to wear. We create elegant design with the planet in mind.
Inner tubes are not only durable, flexible, and waterproof, they can also be beautiful. Each year thousands of inner tubes are thrown into landfills in the US alone, where they will sit for hundreds of years. Urban Lace is committed to renewing those discarded tubes into wearable art.
Besides making things, what do you do?
Aaron Shear is also a musician as well as a designer/business owner. He has been playing the ukulele and singing baritone for at least 10 years. During which he was traveling and preforming with his band The Mighty Ghosts.
Barbi Touron is an art photographer, fiber installation artist and a poet, as well as a designer/business owner. Most of her art work deals with the environment, as well as cause and effect. Her work tends to be autobiographical and reflective.
Apparently we can't help but make things, whether it's music or art :)
What inspires you?
Nature! Nature! Nature! We believe that a business should be environmentally, animal and people friendly. We believe that you should love what you do and do it without harm. Without pollutants and with happy healthy employees. We strive to create Earth friendly products that not only people will love to wear, but will allow others to think about items in there everyday life a little differently. We hope that our jewelry will make people see a new way of living, a world where everything isn't disposable, but reusable.
Where can your work be found?
Our work can be found online as well as in numerous boutiques and stores in the US, Canada, and South Korea. Here is a list of online retailers as well as boutiques and stores where you can find our products.
T-spot, Manzanita, OR
Redux, Portland, OR
Salty Teacup,Portland, OR
Say Say Boutique,Portland,OR
PSU Bike Hub,Portland,OR
Natural Clothing Co.,Snohomish,WA
Remedy Skin Care,Boise,ID
JP Selects,West Hollywood,CA
Side Show Studios,Sacramento,CA
The Wooden Hanger,Urbana,IL
Art For Good,Port Huron,MI
The Legacy General Store, Nikomis, FL
Honolulu Museum of Art, Honolulu,HI
Mind & Kind, Seoul, Korea
What do you love about Portland?
What's not to love about Portland! There are trees everywhere, people actually smile at you here, the air is clean, the food is amazing, The streets are not full of garbage, our mass transportation system works and you can bike just about anywhere. We have both lived in many different places, but nothing tops Portland. To us, we are finally home.