The Design Series // No. 04: Valley Cruise Press
Valley Cruise Press is an LA-based line of pins, patches, accessories and apparel owned by husband and wife, Ted and Kelley Feighan. Thanks to their collaborative spirit, it's also the backbone of many artists' pins you see all over. We caught up with Kelley to get the story behind their brand and artist collabs.
Asymmetric Magazine: How and when did you start Valley Cruise Press?
Valley Cruise Press: Valley Cruise Press was started in January 2014 as a fun hobby. We began as a zine publisher, putting out our founder, Ted’s book ‘Flower Arrangements’ and eventually expanded to include pins, patches and other accessories. What started out as a side project in our apartment quickly grew into an international brand within a year!
AM: What's your biggest inspiration?
VCP: We’re inspired by vintage California imagery. Growing up in dreary Ohio, the promise of sunshine and palm trees every day was like a little tropical oasis in a cold winter. We still love going to thrift stores and flea markets to look at old catalogues and postcards with sunny vintage imagery and have them all around our office.
AM: We love how you partner with so many different artists and brands! Can you tell us a bit about your collaboration process?
VCP: Sure! We love collaborating with artists, and it’s really the heart of our brand. We find artists in a couple different ways:
1. Reading up on art websites, magazines, Instagram etc. and reaching our to artists that we think we would be a good fit. This was how we originally found artists and has been a big part of building our brand identity.
2. We get hundreds of submissions each month, and a lot of our collaborations come from those submissions. Ted, our creative director, looks through his email weekly and considers each submission for new projects we have in the works
3. Referrals. Lots of the artist we work with know other artist and will recommend their friends.
AM: How would you best describe your style?
VCP: We love bold color and illustrations for all of our products. We try to create unique designs for each product, focusing on the artwork and bringing it to life in physical form. Valley Cruise Press is all about making wearable art and we try to reflect this in all of our designs.
AM: What themes do you typically pursue in your work?
VCP: Our themes really change with each season. We always look for bright colors and bold illustration, but with each new product line, we try to focus on a new theme. For example, last summer was vacation in the tropics and our upcoming spring line will be spring sunshine. We love that with product lines we’re always able to change and work on new themes that inspire us.
AM: What role does Los Angeles play in your work?
VCP: Valley Cruise Press is very much a reflection of our experience here in Los Angeles. Visually, the city and the landscape have a huge influence on our designs. The bright sun, the palm trees, the colors are all reflected in our products and our branding. One area where this is most prevalent is on our Instagram. Once or twice a month we try to take a picture trip to give us a chance to see how our brand fits in the greater landscape and experience new and exciting places around and outside the city.
Not only is Los Angeles visually inspirational, but socially as well. Almost everyone here works for themselves in some capacity, which gives the city a vibe of endless possibility. Owning our own business is a challenge that I’m not sure we would have been able to undertake without the drive and positivity that surrounds us every day here.
AM: What music is currently inspiring you?
VCP: Alton Ellis has been on repeat in our office nonstop lately.
AM: Where can our readers shop your products?
VCP: All of our products can be found on our website at valleycruisepress.com. You can also find us in Urban Outfitters, Pacsun, Amerian Apparel and about 250 other stores worldwide.
AM: What can we expect to see from you next?
VCP: So much! Most of it is top secret, but let’s just say we’re expanding way beyond pins and accessories for next year. Expect to use us on your phone and in your ears very soon.
AM: What's your best advice for aspiring designers?
VCP: Work hard, but enjoy what you do. Working for yourself is never easy and is going to require some seriously long hours, but make sure to still have fun. Otherwise, what’s the point!
Shop Valley Cruise Press: valleycruisepress.com.