Women in Business: Austin Designs
Island Made What began as a part-time career for Rachel Baumrin owner of Austin Designs has morphed into a full-time career in 2013. In 2020, when the pandemic hit and forced us all to reconsider how we will do business, Baumrin and her friend and web designer started to discuss a long time, back burner project for a website that hosts multiple artists, makers, and farmers in one spot. They blended two existing businesses into one, and using Baumrin’s wholesale rep company business name as the brand, they launched marthasvineyardmade.com on November 1st, 2020. Austin Designs, named after her grandmother who she describes as “an incredible woman who raised six intelligent and creative children,” includes a myriad of handcrafted fabric items, including totes, wallets, scarves, and, of course, her signature eye pillows and heat packs. She explains the heat packs were born out of necessity, “I had purchased one in Arizona years ago for a back issue I had and I used it religiously.” When that heat pack became stained, she removed the outside cloth and replaced it herself. In doing so, she made a pack that was larger and needed more fill. She used natural herbs which enhanced the pain relief. The seeds of a business were planted. While open air markets on Martha’s Vineyard is where she started out, since 2016 she has also been selling her products wholesale at various trade shows along the East Coast. Baumrin’s products can be found in over 40 stores and galleries nationwide. Between making the products and attending the shows to sell them, she has been happily busy growing her company. One of her proudest moments, came in 2019 when Night Heron Gallery offered a partnership to show her products there. “It was just such an honor being asked to join,” she says. In…
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