Inside the Artist’s Studio with Hillary

There’s just no other way to say it.  Hourglass artist Hillary Garrett regularly awes, surprises and delights us.

 Hillary and her family.

Don’t get me wrong. We always knew she was talented–that’s why we wanted her to work for Hourglass. I guess maybe we just didn’t realize how MULTI-talented she was.

It started when we were all brainstorming Hourglass into being. Hillary’s ideas, clear thinking, go-with-the-flow support and eternal optimism were a great big comfort in the early days. She made it clear that she was 100% on board.

Hillary then wow’d us by singlehandedly composing and recording the music that underscored our Kickstarter campaign. She totally blew us away with her talent, and helped make the video the huge success it was.

I think the biggest excitement for us, though, came as Hillary started to turn in her initial shoe collection for the Hourglass website. Holy cow, is she good. You can tell how inspired she is–each design is totally different from the last, and yet totally spot on. She GETS this, and we’re so very happy to have her on our team.


Hillary’s other designs include: Cotton ClubFalling to PiecesFlutter ByForce MajeureHey JudeHey There DelilahI Think I Love YouIn the Library with a RevolverLovesongMonarchy of RosesSo Long, Frank Lloyd WrightSuez to CalcuttaWalking Papers,You Give Me Butterflies, and Wild Night. Whew!

Here’s my informal interview with Miss Hillary herself:

When did you first realize you were an artist? 

Probably the first time I sat down with my older sister’s oil pastels and felt a need to put them to paper without knowing what I was making. I ended up with a simple series of colorful shapes and splotches that didn’t seem to outwardly amount to much of anything, but they made me extraordinarily happy.

How would you describe yourself as an artist?

Capricious but passionate. I’m always very in love with what I’m doing, but I get easily distracted if I see something shiny.

What medium do you typically work with?

I have a profound love for oil painting on large-scale canvass, but I also really enjoy creating wearable works of art on both shoes and clothing.


One of Hillary’s hand-painted t-shirt designs.

What have you learned from working with Hourglass?

Oh, so much! I’ve learned a lot about fashion and design and how my art can be translated into that realm. It has forced me to train my eyes to constantly absorb design ideas from everything in my surroundings at all times.


“Rose” by Hillary Garrett.

What are you doing when you’re not painting shoes?

Usually dancing around my living room with my three year old daughter or building killer living room forts. In my “spare time” (if you’re a mother, you’ll understand why that’s in quotations) I really enjoy running, gardening and composing music; mostly piano/vocal pieces. I was a former composition major with an emphasis on orchestral productions, so occasionally I’ll take on a small film scoring project here and there.


Hillary’s adorable, hysterical daughter, Arilyn.

What’s your favorite way to wear your Hourglass shoes? 

Usually with skinny jeans and a matching purse. But! I just started to paint dresses and blouses to match some of my designs, which is fun.

What inspires your shoe designs?

Oh goodness, everything! My mind gathers ideas from everywhere, but my fellow coworkers are always a great influence. It’s pretty hard not to be inspired when you’re working with a group of women who are as talented as they are.

What other art besides shoes do you have going on in your life right now?

Right now I’m working on a large canvas oil painting that might be considered industrial art. Other than that, I have a few small clothing and furniture projects I’m experimenting with.

Where can we see more of your art?


Butterfly painting by Hillary Garrett.

Is there anything unusual, interesting, surprising, etc. that you’d like to share with your adoring public?  

  • I have a profound hatred for diamonds
  • I like to dip french fries in chocolate milkshakes
  • Ironically (considering where I’m employed) I can’t walk two steps in stilettos without falling over. I’m more of a mid-heel or flats sort of girl!
  • I identify a lot with Socially Awkward Penguin. =)


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About hourglass footwear

Hourglass Footwear was founded by Kira Bundlie and Lisa Ström and features the work of ten very talented Seattle-area artists.
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