Welcome to Take 60, quick one-minute stories about new faces in our industry that might help you move the needle toward future success. Retailers, designers, manufacturers, and more — Take 60 covers them all, so check back each week for a new addition to the mix
Parker Heath, Founder + Creative Artist of PAR KER Made, LLC
HAT: Tell me a bit about yourself and how you got involved in this industry.
Heath: I am a professional abstract artist, freestyle BMX athlete, and agency-signed male model from San Diego, Calif. I also produce home and living collections where I transform some of my original abstract art pieces into functional art and soft home blanket, throws, pillows and totes. My collections allow users to interact with my art in a less traditional way.
HAT: How did you get started in this industry?
Heath: I [took] a very grassroots approach by selling my artwork and manufacturing products on a small scale in between my final college semesters.
I learned how to implement my skills and education, which I gained from art school, into the professional world after college. I began experimenting with new styles and ways to introduce my art as different kinds of home and living collections, and first began selling them through my social media accounts, word of mouth, Etsy and at local farmers’ markets.
I work with a small textile manufacturer here in the USA, North Carolina specifically, that creates my woven art collections. They have been the first company I found to manufacture my woven throws at the highest quality, and now we’ve continued our work together by expanding our manufacturing capabilities into creating my woven pillows & tote bags.
HAT: What was your first product and what was the inspiration behind it?
Heath: My abstract art jacquard-woven throw blankets were my very first products. Seeing how I could translate my art into a new functional piece of art opened my eyes to how people interact with my art in a less traditional way. Having them constructed of woven cotton thread and not printed [highlights] the intricate up-close detail of the product, in my eyes, and reinforces the purist aspect of it being a new sculptural, functional work of art.
HAT: You’re exhibiting for the first time at Las Vegas Market in January. What can shoppers expect to see at your booth?
Heath: It’s always so exciting to have newcomers see our products’ intricate detail and top-quality construction in person. The blankets are completely double-sided due to their unique jacquard double-weave method of creation. The back side provides the same design in an alternate color scheme allowing the user to utilize two blankets in one. All of the blankets are manufactured with 100% cotton and constructed end-to-end here in the USA.
All of these elements are combined with a fair mid-range price point, which we believe to be very approachable for all kinds of shoppers, given that the product is based on original handmade art. My booth is located at: E-1321.
HAT: You’ve got a ton of great accomplishments for the young age of 24. What inspires you and keeps you driven?
Heath: Having such positive support from my friends and family [keeps] me motivated and moving forward. I always feel like I owe it to myself to continue progressing and working on reaching the top of the next step.
HAT: What about PAR KER Made will appeal to retailers and designers?
Heath: My artistic style is definitely influenced by my SoCal upbringing and studying art history with designs that evoke a sense of midcentury meets boho and beyond.
Riding freestyle BMX my whole life and competing on a professional level around the world, and growing up with a freestyle approach to life, has definitely shaped my perspective on the world and how I express myself. Exposure to the male modeling industry has shaped my way of expression and creation as well. Being in environments where I’m working collaboratively with other creatives and larger production companies, I’m able to see a bigger picture.
HAT: What is next for PAR KER Made? Where do you see yourself 5 to 10 years from now?
Heath: I will continue to expand my line with more original art and translating my home living collections into more product categories. I’m already in talks with an art company and a chic wallpaper manufacturer, so I will have some fun things debuting in the spring of 2023. I also love collaborating with a wide range of designers and brands to see how they envision and want to utilize my art, or if they want me to commission entirely new pieces into custom projects, that is something I really enjoy doing.
3 Fun Facts about Parker Heath:
- Where is your favorite place to travel? New York City is AMAZING. Spain is one of my other all-time favorites.
- What is your biggest goal in life? To do what makes me happy and create invaluable life experiences along the way that would’ve never happened if I hadn’t taken the risk.
- What is your favorite past time? Riding my BMX bike anywhere and everywhere!