A few weeks ago Andrew Bayer gave me arguably one of the best gifts ever. It’s currently tied for first with a pink Christmas tree and the birth of my two children. It was a handmade rug that measured two feet by two-and-one-half feet. It’s almost as big as my son and that’s going to play into it in a hot minute. The rug features a superhero named Tall Man surrounded by buildings for scale and clouds because … CLOUDS.
After I dried my emotional mom eyes, I posted the original Tall Man (a creation from my son and his sidekick, crayons) and the rug on social media and people lost their dang minds. With the holidays coming up, it’s kind of prime time to talk about this joker, Bayer, and what he can do for you. Number one, he can help cement your place in the gift-giving hall of fame because he is officially open for commissions. If you don’t have any kid art you need crafted into an heirloom rug, no sweat, he has a deep bench of fan favorites that he keeps in stock at all times.
We’ve already identified the maker — Andrew Bayer — and the fact that he’s a joker, but Nikki, tell us more. OKAY.
All in The Family
Bayer is one of four kids. His mom is an artist and his dad was a master craftsman. His sister, Lisa, is a stylist to the stars, and his brothers, Joel and Scott, formed Bayer Brothers set and event design years ago. If you don’t think you know them, you actually do. They’re largely responsible for the photo-op-filled stunner SnowDay. (Andrew lends his two very capable hands crafting for those vignettes as well.)
“If you can think of it, I can create it,” Bayer said. “I’m real good at making stuff.”
In high school, Bayer was voted most popular and he definitely asked me to NOT include that, but too late. It’s already typed. After graduation, he headed to Dallas, went to school, and then became a stylist, creative, and entrepreneur. His first side hustle was House of Dang, a retail store that felt like a pop-up and sold vintage and original clothing. Up next, Vacation Fund, an exclusive t-shirt line that was named for the very thing it was funding — vacations. The shirts were the softest, hand-dyed, and had the snarkiest statements.
It’s All Art
Nowadays he hangs his hat at Apothicc, a shop he runs with his husband and fellow mega talent, Renato Bodeman. Bayer started the shop with hand-poured candles in simple black vessels with the most colorful, fun labels created by Bodeman. The whole idea was to create something that looked as good as it smelled — art you can burn.
Bayer has since branched into ye olde textile arts — hand-tufted vases, non-kid art rugs that are so freaking cool they’re really wall art, needle-felted side tables — what the whaaat? — and more. It’s a real hodge-podge of hip and happening filled with things that will make your house (and occasionally your lapel) even cooler.
So on this fourteenth day of November when pumpkins are still on the porch, let’s not pretend we’re not all already shopping for the holidays. Do yourself a solid, check out apothicc.com, and call it a day. Or if you’re feeling really frisker-risker, head to Bayer and Bodeman’s side-side project groupartproject.com. They have home stuff, too.