October 22, 2012 /

Featured Vendor of the Month, Imaginary Animal and a Giveaway!

Congratulations Grace!  You are the winner of the handsoap!  Please contact me with your mailing info to receive your gift! Yes!  My website it back up and running and I am ready to go with my Octo...

Congratulations Grace!  You are the winner of the handsoap!  Please contact me with your mailing info to receive your gift!

Yes!  My website it back up and running and I am ready to go with my October vendor!

Today I am featuring the amazing duo, Marie Gardeski and David Birkey, who make up Imaginary Animal.  First a little bit about how this duo came about and how we (my husband Tim and I)  know these two fabulous artists.  Tim and I both met in grad school, at Cranbrook Academy of Art, where we both met Marie.  Tim has been friends with David for many, many years.  Tim and I got married, oh about 6 years ago and invited both David and Marie to our wedding.  I think they pretty much fell in love at first sight, or at least that’s what I like to think, and they dated for a while and then decided to tie their own knot as well!  Ah, the romance of it all!  They live now in Fort Wayne Indiana (where David and Tim are from) where they live amongst their art (their apartment is like a piece of art itself) and come up with some of the most wildly fantastical creations!  Please read the little interview I did with them and be sure to visit their shop, Imaginary Animal.  If you are looking for super creative favor or gift ideas, this is the place to go!  Also, after you read the interview, please leave a comment below because one random person will be chosen to receive a satchel of their signature handsoap!  They are super adorable!

How long have you been in business?

This January we’ll be celebrating the one year anniversary of our new shop/brand, Imaginary Animal.  Marie opened her first online shop (Foliage) in 2005.

What inspires you?
We are inspired by all sorts of things…  Nature, music, movies, hairstyles, mysterious objects, strange stories and experiences, etc.  We like to make products that we find useful and funny, so often something that inspires us also makes us laugh.  An idea or experiment usually leads to another…   The more we create the more ideas we get!
Where did you grow up? 
Marie:   Grand Rapids, Michigan
David:  Fort Wayne, Indiana
Where did you go to college?
Marie:  Maryland Institute College of Art and the Cranbrook Academy of Art
David:  The Art Academy of Cincinnati
Do you have a favorite thing that you make?
Our favorite products are ones that make us laugh.  Right now we’re having fun playing with Old Friends Magnets and doodling on Sad Puppy Notepads.   We’re pretty pumped about our new Imaginary Animal Logo totes, which will be available very soon.
What is your favorite movie?
David Byrne’s “True Stories” or anything by Wes Anderson.  We’ve recently been re-watching Hitchcock movies and Buster Keaton’s earlier work.  We’ve also watched and enjoyed most of Werner Hertzog’s films.
What is your favorite book?
Hmmm.  Marie’s recently read favorites are East of Eden (Steinbeck) and The Woman in White (Wilkie Collins).  When in doubt, David chooses something by Philip K. Dick and Marie grabs a Patricia Highsmith novel.
What is your favorite type of music or band?
 Where to start…  Talking Heads, Fiery Furnaces, Dirty Projectors, John Vanderslice, Silver Jews, Animal Collective, Destroyer, Euros Childs, Sonic Elf, Marshmallow Coast, Juana Molina, Stereolab, White Magic, Magnetic Fields,  Of Montreal, XTC, The Teardrop Explodes… 
What do you enjoy most about having your own business?  The ability to make our own schedule, even if it’s usually a busy one, spending most of each day making our own original products and having a really good chance of being voted “Employee of the Month”.
What is the hardest part about having your own business? 
Keeping up with many projects in progress, staying organized and finding enough time to get everything done. 
Is there anything else about yourself or your work that you would like to share?

Nope, that’s everything.  :-)

*All photos taken by Marie and David.

Don’t forget to leave a comment!  And please do so before 8:00AM Wednesday morning!


I just love hand soap! I have one piece in my kitchen right now and its little fingers are getting stubby. Looks like you’re making tons of neat stuff, Marie and David. :)

Their products are so unique and great to give as a gift when you don’t know the person very well. I was given the hand soaps as a gift and think they’re so creative.

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