My name is Erin Dollar, and I’m the founder, designer, and maker-in-chief at Cotton & Flax. I’m obsessed with creating beautiful handmade textiles, and my silkscreen-printed home goods are all created with my original hand-drawn patterns. I currently live in Los Angeles, California.
I’m a printmaker by trade, and Cotton & Flax started as a side project. After years of creating fine art prints on paper, I got curious about printing on fabric and started experimenting. I became hooked on the process; designing for Cotton & Flax was so much fun, and I loved the idea of designing more utilitarian items that would beautify a home and be enjoyed for many seasons.
Each pattern design starts as a sketch in one of my many notebooks. I spend some time fine-tuning them using sumi ink and my favorite brushes. This approach has led to a more unique look than if I were to design using Illustrator or Photoshop alone; it’s the traces of the maker that I find most appealing in handmade work. I’m also obsessed with using only the highest quality materials, which means that I source my gorgeous linen fabrics locally and sew each product myself. Each piece is screenprinted by hand in my home studio, and then cut and sewn into the final design.
Moving to LA from Portland, Oregon, in 2010 marked a big shift in the things that inspire me. The colors of LA are so different than the colors of the Pacific Northwest, so that change alone has influenced the way I approach color in my work. I’m inspired by fine art, patterns from around the world, as well as the little details that often go unnoticed in our busy lives. Many of my patterns have evolved from things I’ve spotted as I walk around the wild chaos of LA or enjoy a quiet moment in my studio.
Etsy is a wonderful place to meet creative people. I met one of my first local LA friends via the Etsy Forums – we were both looking for someone to share a booth with at the Renegade Craft Fair. Four years, and several booth shares later, Keiko from Small Adventure has become a great friend. In the first year after launching Cotton & Flax, I joined a few Etsy teams, which were an incredible resource! My teammates were always available with words of encouragement or advice when I’d hit those inevitable bumps along the road, and I know I could not have made it this far without their support.