Artikal founder, Holly Slayton, was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in northern Virginia. From a young age she was inspired to create; growing up with her grandmother, an award-winning dressmaker who loved to crochet, and her entrepreneurial, crafts woman, mother.
Like many other young designers, Holly Slayton, spent her formative years exploring and defining her creative impulse. “As a teenager I was always making jewelry and sewing. In high school I was passionate about couture and beauty; taking cosmetology and fashion merchandising classes.” After completing her secondary education, Holly chose to pursue cosmetology and began her first carrier as a colorist in an upscale Georgetown salon. “I loved being able to make people feel beautiful. I loved the craft and skill involved but I felt that something was missing.” Inspired by her artisan legacy, Holly checked out a few books from her local library and taught herself to crochet. Her first project was hat for a supportive friend. Soon, other friends and family were clamoring for her hats and the seeds of Artikal were sown.
Bolstered by her success, Holly, moved to New York to launch her brand, but uncertain of how to go about it, Artikal incubated for a few years while Holly got her New York footing. “I met a designer who had his own label and store. We taught each other quite a few things. While he taught me to hand knit I taught him how to use the knitting machine.” Holly was inspired by her friend and turned that zeal towards making Artikal a success. “I started my own line and selling at boutiques in the East Village. In 2002 I began to master millinery techniques incorporated them in my line. I finally was able to get a workshop space” Bolstered by her success Holly ambitiously pursued expanding the reach of Artikal. “ I taught my self to build a website. My line was carried at more and more boutiques. I built my own online clientele and now I am shipping my hats all over the world.”
“I’m really excited about the future of my craft. ‘Handmade’ is becoming more and more popular, Artikal is being featured in fashion shows and designer showcases and I’ll be doing some great trunk shows this spring.” Holly has been working with other hot young New York designers to get their craft to the public. She has recently been featured in the Daily News and has been hosting her own designer get togethers, Happy Hour Bartique and The Urban Designer Collective, every month. Look for Artikal to release more millinery innovations in in the up coming season.