Artist of the Week: Audrey Elkis and Matt Tait
"We’re consistently inspired by spending time in nature, making a point to leave our screens and studio to be outside."
Presenting our Kindred Artist of the Week series! We are big fans of all the artists we work with and we are so excited to share their stories!
This week we are featuring TAIT Design Co! Audrey and Matt aspire to keep tangible art alive in this new digital age. They share our love of locally-produced goods and encourage people to step away from their screens and come together for some good old-fashioned fun.
Who are you?
We are Matt Tait and Audrey Elkus, the co-founders and owners of TAIT Design Co.
What do you do?
We are an independent product design studio in Detroit that specializes in designing and manufacturing toys and homewares. The work coming out of our studio exhibits a simplified graphic approach to form with an intense focus on detail, material, and experience. All of our products are made from materials sourced in the US and assembled by hand at our studio in Detroit.
Who/what inspires you?
We’re consistently inspired by spending time in nature, making a point to leave our screens and studio to be outside. Here in Detroit, we’re often on Belle Isle, a large island park located in the Detroit River between Detroit and Canada. Beyond that, we travel as much as possible and gain inspiration from visiting museums and design festivals. Most recently, we had the chance to go on a tour of The Eames House in Los Angeles, and found it very moving.
When it comes to designers, we admire the incredible weaver Anni Albers (who should receive more attention than she does!), as well as Eva Hesse, who was ahead of her time. Of course, we also are life-long admirers of Ray and Charles Eames, they played off of each other so well and broke through in so many mediums. They defined what good design meant in America well past their passing.
What’s your favorite moment in the process?
We’re most proud of the fact that we’re able to manufacture our products locally, as this allows us to support other Detroit businesses, many of whom have been in the city for generations. When each part comes together for a new product, especially as it’s often a team effort to get it to the finish line, this final step is extremely rewarding.
What’s a trick of your trade, or a piece of advice for other artists in your medium?
Our process is all about how the end user will interact with our product, and often we find we need to leave the studio to solve problems and come to the final solution we’re looking for. On a more practical note, we highly recommend using Quickbooks accounting software.
In the coming year, we plan to continue the internal work of streamlining and growing our business. You can follow along with us on Instagram at @taitdesignco, or sign up for our newsletter on our website if you’d like. Stay tuned for more!
See more of their Turbo Flyers here!