Texas is home to a number of noteworthy individuals who have shared their talents and work with the great state and beyond. From former United States Presidents to award-winning musicians, the Lone Star State has ties to several established professionals, bestowing the honorable title of Texan on their already long list of accolades. Here is a look at a few significant individuals in the art and design realm who have redesigned what it means to be made in Texas, specifically Dallas.
Mi Golondrina – Cristina Lynch
Founder and CEO, Cristina Lynch, began the Dallas-based Mi Golondrina in 2013 after drawing from a lifetime of personal cultural influence and her work in high-fashion couture. When the Dallas-native worked for fashion designer Oscar de la Renta in sales, she realized her Mexican heritage and culture could and should be designed for the world to see. Lynch drew inspiration close from home: growing up, the business owner’s mother shared her Mexican culture and Mexican art throughout her life and home.
Since then, the entrepreneur has made it her company’s mission to spread beauty. According to Mi Golondrina’s website, the company aims to “share the timeless beauty and traditions of artisan-made clothing with the world.” The company works with over 600 artisans based throughout Mexico. Mi Golondrina prides itself with the ability to offer the skilled artists fair wages for their craft. As a result, the brand offers authentic, handmade clothing for women and girls, as well as accessories, home gifts, and decor inspired by the traditional handiwork and embroidered designs from each community’s respective traditions. From blouses, dresses, belts, and table linens, Mi Golondrina has introduced a colorful way to honor tradition in 2020. The brand also designs several collections, from resort to mother and daughter to date night.
Mi Golondrina even offers an in-depth and thoughtful customization process, which begins with sleeve length selection and ends with a customer choosing from a wide variety of color pairings for the embroidered design. The company has even become part of weddings, too: the brand’s designs are worn by bridesmaids and featured in several engagement photo sessions. Designs can be viewed and purchased at the two storefront locations, open to the Dallas and Houston areas. Much like the family memory of small swallows, or golondrinas, Lynch witnessed while visiting her grandfather’s home in Mexico, the designer works to spread the art and beauty of Mexico with Texas and the world.
LoweCo. – Catherine Giudici Lowe
Catherine Giudici Lowe became known after being a contestant on ABC’s season 17 of The Bachelor. The Seattle, Washington native met current husband and season 17 star, Sean Lowe. Catherine, with graphic design experience, made a statement on the show by writing witty notes to her future husband, a precursor to her future. The rest, as they say, is history: the couple married on live television and moved to continue their lives off the small screen and into Dallas.
When the two discovered they were expecting their first child, the couple began LoweCo. The brand, inspired by Catherine’s penmanship performance on ABC, drafted a new way to send and receive greeting cards. With no occasion overlooked, LoweCo. offers cards in sizes 3×3 called “Poco” and 5×5 called “Macho” (a reference to the business owner’s Philipino culture). The cards are made from thick cotton card-stock, embossed with quick and creative messages written by Catherine herself. Each card is trimmed and laminated, offering customers the utmost of quality when it comes to greeting cards. LoweCo. created an even more unique way to receive a message. While a handwritten card is thoughtful, senders can personalize a card through Direct Card Delivery: a process where the penmanship and post office trip are taken care of by LoweCo.
The brand’s luxury cards and paper goods come in a variety of sizes, styles and purposes. For example, LoweCo. offers customers stationary that can be repurposed in a rather eco-friendly way. The brand’s Cards That Grow™ line launched high-end greeting cards made from recycled paper that are designed to be signed, sealed, delivered and planted after enjoying the message the sender crafted. The colorful cards are embedded with seeds, as the sender can choose from non-invasive wildflowers or a variety of herbs, like lemon mint or thyme, to deliver. Instructions on how to grow the plantable cards are included on recyclable paper within the biodegradable envelope. Eco and LoweCo. approved.
Artist – Deran Wright
If you have ever walked through a public park, you may have noticed a detailed sculpture dedicated to a public figure. Artists like Deran Wright are the creative minds behind the art. The Fort Worth/Dallas-native was born in 1961 and took to his artistic tendencies at a young age. By the time Wright was eight years old, the artist was composing original comic strips and selling them to classmates at school. Wright has been creating art for people around the state of Texas since.
On a trip to South Padre Island, the sculptor recalls a memory in which he stopped to create a sandcastle. Putting his artistic skills to the test, Wright attracted a crowd as he crafted an incredibly detailed mermaid from scratch. It was at that moment in time that his art became his career. In 1988, during the late President George H. W. Bush’s term, the leader unveiled one of Wright’s bronze sculptures in the Rose Garden at a White House event. The artist created the sculpture to depict three school children’s hands reaching toward the education’s Learning and Liberty flag. On the bronze figure the following is inscribed: “Reaching for Learning and Liberty,” and was presented to the president during American Education Week. Wright’s statue is now held at the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station.
Throughout the United States, the artist’s pieces were commissioned for both private and public pieces. For a lifetime, Wright has commissioned bronze sculptures and art around the state of Texas. In 2020, during his 41st year of working as a sculptor, the artist continues to hone in on his skills and craft pieces of art meant to be admired by many.
Person + Dog – Whitney Goellner
For design fanatics, achieving an aesthetically pleasing home from top to bottom can be a consuming process, as much of the art lies in the details. But when art meets reality through children or pets, the design aspect can lose its artistic appeal. A University of Texas at Austin graduate, Whitney Goellner, recognized this disconnect. The Dallas resident launched Person + Dog in 2018. Inspired by her trusty Australian Shepard named Kai, Goellner worked to create a line of accessories and products for pets, made with the homeowner in mind.
Described as dog accessories for the design conscious, Person + Dog’s carved out a niche in the design and pet industries by providing pet owners and their furry friends modern and minimalistic collars, leads, beds, and bowls. Made with authentic wool or genuine copper, each product sold is designed in Texas, inspired by current trends, and sourced from around the world. The dog beds and household, sold exclusively on Person +Dog’s website products, are designed to complement the owner’s personal style without disrupting the dog’s style. The brand works to grow into a respected one in both industries, as paw prints and white bone designs slowly fade into the past. In an interview conducted by D Magazine, Goellner said, “Ultimately, it’s a design company, so I want to be on top of different color trends.”
The designer works to continue the initiative of the brand: reaffirming that special connection between owner and dog. Through thoughtful design and attention to detail, Goellner and her dog Kai are changing the design sphere, one complementary collection of collars at a time.
Interior Desginer – Ken Blasingame
The name Kenneth Blasingame has become almost synonymous with interior design in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. In 1976, the young designer relocated to Fort Worth, opening his very own Blasingame Design after studying art in college. Thirteen years later, his career was launched into stardom after a mutual friend introduced him to two other well-known Texans: George W. Bush and his wife Laura. The couple hired the interior designer to decorate their home, beginning a relationship that would last a lifetime.
In 2002, then President George W. Bush appointed Kenneth Blasingame to the Committee for the Preservation of the White House during his administration. The prestigious committee was created by Executive Order in 1964, much to the then First Lady Jaqueline Kennedy Onnassis’s work in historic preservation of the White House. Blasingame worked alongside numerous esteemed historians and designers while on the committee, until 2008, leaving a lasting mark in Washington D.C. During this time, Blasingame was commissioned to design the new rug in honor of the 100th anniversary of the West Wing. The interior designer drew inspiration from United States history for the project, directly from antiquated pieces of china George Washington had.
Throughout the years, Blasingame worked closely with Mrs. Bush on personal and professional design efforts. The Fort Worth interior designer even helped to curate the creative efforts inside the Bushes personal home and personal living quarters inside the White House. In 2013, Blasingame helped to design the new George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas. The center, meant to memorialize and celebrate the former president’s efforts while in office, is open to the public by the Southern Methodist University campus.