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It’s so nice to meet you!

by Dressing On The Side on October 27, 2011

Did you know DOTS has some of the most talented people who make us who we are? We would like you to meet one of our artists, Stephanie Madewell, who creates many of the designs on the shirts you’re wearing. Ever wonder how we come up with some of our ideas? Read on:


(self portrait)


What city were you born in?

SM: Oxford, Ohio.

Where do you live now? 

SM: I live on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

At what age did you start designing?

Drawing has always been something I loved since I can remember. I wrote and illustrated a book about Halley’s Comet when I was seven or eight – that’s the first time I can recall consciously designing a real project. I loved it.

How did food come into it?

SM: DOTS is a business with a vision, and their vision is food. I just try and keep up!

Where do you find your inspiration?

SM: Inspiration is like a penny – hard to find when you need to use it, but prone to turning up when least expected. I’ve used everything from actual animal crackers to vintage menus in digital archives for ideas. I also keep stacks of postcards, old typography books and scraps of paper that have elements that catch my eye, and I’ll flip through them as a resource.

Do you do this full-time? If not, what else do you do?

SM: Illustrating is a fun sideline for me. Most of the work I do involves writing and editing.

What is the most joyful part of your job?

SM: Never knowing what is coming next.

What is the hardest part of your job?

SM: Figuring out ways to make a concept look good. DOTS usually has a pretty clear idea of what they want in an image, and the trick is finding the right combination of elements to get the idea across in an adorable and whimsical way. It can be surprisingly tricky.

What is your favourite design of yours? Why?

SM: I’m fond of ‘You Are What You Eat’. I really enjoyed working on that one.

How would you describe your wardrobe style?

SM: Tomboyish + preppy. I live in tortoiseshell glasses, button-down shirts, jeans and loafers.

If you didn’t have to worry money, how would you spend your time?

SM: Other than taking a little time off to travel, I don’t think I’d change a thing. I feel pretty lucky to have my life. 

Do you listen to music while you work? If so, what kind?

SM: I listen to everything from Bon Iver to Beethoven, but anything by The Smiths is my favorite music to draw to.

Burger or hot dog? Hot chocolate or latte? Cake or pie? 

SM: Burger, medium rare. Pie, but only if my mom makes it. No latte or hot chocolate for me – I’m not into sweet drinks or coffee – but I do love a cup of tea.

How do you wind down from the work day?

SM: My husband and I play ridiculous and cutthroat games of Scrabble, gin rummy or dominos. It’s my favorite way to end the day. That, or reading some poetry. Poems sit well right before bed.

What’s something about you that not many people know?

SM:I have a long-standing addiction to moccasins that started in infancy. To me, they are and will always be the perfect shoe.

Care to share anything else?

SM: I think that does it!

Many thanks to our artist extraordinaire, Stephanie Madewell (seriously; a self portrait?! amazing!) and our own DOTS reporter, Stephanie Dickison.


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