Ampersand Design Studio


Category Archives: fashion

Iris the film 04.30.2015


“Nothing I ever did I expected to do,” Iris Apfel, the eclectic New York style icon, explains in Iris, a new documentary by Albert Maysles. “It just kind of happened.” –

There’s just something about Iris Apfel that has always been intriguing to us. We’ve always been attracted to her eclectic, colorful style and curious about the woman behind the glasses! So, needless to say, we’re excited about this new documentary. Are you guys feeling the same?

If you’re wondering who she is…here’s a little excerpt from to give you a preview of the way Iris thinks. We just love her!

Apfel was well into her eighties when she became an It girl; it wasn’t until a 2005 exhibition at the Costume Institute that she became publicly known. Years before that, though, her style sense had earned her a quiet following among the arbiters of taste. Shortly after her marriage to her husband, Carl—“He was cool, he was cuddly, and he cooked Chinese, so I couldn’t do any better,” she said—the couple founded Old World Weavers, an interior-design firm that redecorated the White House under presidents Truman to Clinton. To source the unique art and fabrics for which they were known, they traveled widely. Even since retiring, Apfel continues to make rounds close to home. In Maysles’s film, we watch her haggling for bracelets in Harlem—she only wants the cheap ones, three for twenty dollars—and commuting between New York City and Florida, sometimes taking fifty phone calls a day. We learn how she arranges mannequins in her own image (layered jewelry, pattern contrasts) and sells accessories on the Home Shopping Network. (“Color can raise the dead!”) Most of all, we start to understand the mind behind the brazen taste. Where other style icons are sometimes prescriptive and arch, Apfel finds beauty in individuality, however offbeat. Real fashion isn’t about pleasing the people around you, she says, but about pleasing yourself: “It’s better to be happy than to be well-dressed.”

Also, can we discuss the ah-mazing movie poster! Incredible! Here are a couple more Iris shots just to get you excited for the movie! On the cover of Salt and in the latest Kate Spade campaign.

Holiday Pop-up Shop 11.12.2014

We are SOOO excited to kick off the holiday season with a little Pop-up shop in our own studio! We got to thinking it would be fun to pull together a few of our favorite local Kansas City makers to have a little shopping event, and before we knew it, we had what we think is a pretty killer group assembled. There are home goods, fine art prints, jewelry, leather goods, T-shirts, women’s wear, ceramics, accessories, and the list goes on and on! Plus, we will even have a fun Photo Booth by the talented One Sparrow Creative to capture some memories of the night! There will be some snacks and drinks to get you in the shopping mood, and what’s better than getting some shopping done early before madness of the holidays truly begins! We hope you can join us! Here’s a look at the fabulous vendors who will be there (scroll down for links to their websites):

1. Happy Habitat // 2. Jaime Rovenstine // 3. Janesko // 4. Prairie Goods // 5. Ampersand Design Studio // 6. Nickel & Suede // 7. Convivial Production // 8. Ocean and Sea // 9. Maddy Nash // 10. Alicia Janesko


Introducing the Kansas City Baseball Tee! 10.16.2014

WOOOOHOOO! We are so proud of Kansas City! Whether you were a baseball fan before or not, you are NOW — are we right?!!! The energy in this city is electric right now! We’ve been waiting 29 years for our Royals to head back to the World Series and we can’t wait to show our pride in the coming weeks!

We couldn’t resist, and after the release of our Kansas City totes, we’ve been wanting to put our hand-painted lettering on tee shirts also. Since, we wanted to make these for ourselves to wear, we thought you guys might want to wear them, too.

They will be hot off the presses and ready to pick up at our studio a week from today, Thursday Oct. 23rd from 10 – 4 or we can ship them out Wednesday. Head to the shop to get yours.

Be sure to celebrate along with us and post pics of your new tee at #ampersandheartskc and copy us @ampersanstudio



Back to School Fun: Girls 08.14.2014

We just posted about the boys heading back to school (including our own). But of course, we wouldn’t forget the little ladies headed back to school. Do they make that skirt in our size?

Girls: 1. Land of Nod Backpack  //  2. May Designs Customizable Notebook  //  3. Paper-Source Washi Tape  //  4. Danslashed Jump Rope  //  5. Target Reusable Snack Bag  //  6. Mighty Nest Lunch Bag  //  7. Native Slip-on and Puma Sneaker  //  Boden USA Skirt

  1. lexi @

    That customizable notebook is too cute!
    xx Lexi, Glitter, Inc.

    August 15, 2014 12:39 am

Back-to-School Fun: Boys 08.14.2014

Summer’s on it’s way out (boo), and school is in! At least in our world, it is. Our little guys are heading back to school (each of our boys is starting preschool) this week and next and that means it’s time for back to school gear! Is there anything better than a new box of crayons and that first day of school outfit? We spent some time hunting for some things that would make heading back to the classroom a little more fun. Happy school days! For Boys:

1. J. Crew Backpack  //  2. Paper-Source Journals  //  3. Giggle Helmet  //  4. Danslashed Hockey Stick  //  5. Mighty Nest Lunch Bag  //  6. Target Reusable Snack Bag  //  7. Cotton On Shoe and Shoe  //  8. Boden USA Shirt