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Go Ask Mom

Made by Mom Gift Guide: Tiny Peepers features screen prints on towels, shirts, more

Posted November 6, 2011

A print making class at Pullen Art Center in Raleigh a few years ago eventually sparked the beginnings of Kelly Smith-Tilly's screen printing business Tiny Peepers.

When the instructor turned to screen printing, Smith-Tilly knew she might be on to something. It was a creative outlet where the Raleigh mom, who quit her job when her first child was born eight years ago, could combine her long-time passion for photography with her new found interest in screen printing. Kelly Smith-Tilly of Tiny Peepers at Raleigh's Epona & Oak Made by Mom Gift Guide: Tiny Peepers

"That's when I really felt like I found my place," said Smith-Tilly, now a mom of two. "After six years of not working outside the home, I felt like I needed some sort of creative outlet that was just me."

Tiny Peepers began in February 2010 after about a year of planning and research. Working from her small bungalow in downtown Raleigh, she prints on tea towels, scarves and kids T-shirts. Her designs are clean and modern with a nostalgic feel. They are often based on her own family's life.

A design of an Impala was a gift for her husband, who grew up riding in one. Her most popular design is a guitar and banjo series, a tribute to her favorite print shop, Hatch Show Print in Nashville, and her favorite band, The Avett Brothers from Concord. She just added a fiddle to the series.

And while design is important for Smith-Tilly, so is utility.

"They are not just for looks," she said. "It's really important to me that things are beautiful and useful at  the same time."

Tiny Peepers is sold on Etsy and at Epona & Oak in Raleigh's City Market where I interviewed Smith-Tilly and shot the video. She'll also be at some upcoming shows including The Handmade Market on Saturday in downtown Raleigh. Tiny Peepers' prices range between $14 and $28.

Tiny Peepers is part of our 2011 Made by Mom Gift Guide. We'll be featuring local moms and the products they create twice a week starting today. Click here to see the full list. Happy shopping!

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  • wuffpackNdahouse Nov 8, 2011

    this stuff is the best. useable AND cool looking. love me some tiny peepers gear. classes up my kitchen.