When you step onto the front porch of Allie Hill and Jayme and Michel Ditto’s house, all the neon-painted pots and plants are so perfectly arranged, you’d swear they were styled by professionals, because they were — Allie, Jayme and Mitchell.
They’re graphic designers by trade, but they’ve come together to work on a side hustle that kind of kicks ass – Yeti & The Beast. (Rachel Hale is the fourth member and though she’s not a designer, she does something equally important — keeps them all organized and on track.)
Yeti is a design collective. Yes, a design collective. The four members are emphatic on the term because they’ve debated it seemingly forever. What else would you call a group of designers plus a project manager that can create themed events right down to the most delicate gold-embossed detail, but can also turn around and create branding, posters and even make the occasional picnic table? A design collective. That’s what.
The table making came in handy when they threw their first event – Whiskey & Wine. Jayme explained that when you’re first starting out, you need events to build your portfolio so you end up hosting events like, a lot. All the work paid off and Yeti & The Beast has grown to the point where it’s easier to all live together than to pass materials back and forth and commute all over the city. Which is how they came to live and work in the most adorable old house on Flagpole Hill – a house that’s home to three designers, one cat, one dog and all their favorite things.
Rachel had a hard time picking one favorite thing, so she settled on a theme – animals. One wall of her house is filled with portraits of her two dogs taken by her husband, Zach. Her other favorites are all gifts – A ceramic rabbit planter with a special meaning, an Anthropologie rabbit head vase from Jayme and Allie, alabaster eggs from her grandmother and a little fox cross stitch sampler from her sister-in-law which represents her own latest hobby.
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Mitchell may look like a city kid, but he’s pure East Texas with an accent to prove it. When you’re from the country, your grandparents do country things, like ironworking. Mitchell’s grandfather eventually began working with bronze and in the 1960s, he turned it into the family business. Though there are several bronze pieces in the Yeti House, the starburst has always been Mitchell’s favorite.
Jayme’s father is an artist, a painter and a wood turner that always encouraged Jayme to explore her creativity. Over the years he’s passed on countless bowls, incense burners and one solid piece of advice – If you don’t have something, make it. Don’t buy it.
On her travels, Allie collects art instead of souvenirs. She picked up the framed red fabric in the San Blas Islands of Panama. It was woven by a group of tribal women that lounge in hammocks and freehand the most amazing geometric designs. The whole process fascinated Allie, as does her true most favorite thing – the spiked yellow wall art created by a friend. As we wandered into Allie’s room, Margie followed us in. She’s a kind, gentle rescue that will crate herself if anyone raises their voice, even though the raised voice is most likely directed at Yeti. As we were leaving Allie’s room, a pillow caught our eye. Allie said, “Yeah, I don’t know, I love boob stuff.”
When Jayme and Allie lived together in college, they rescued Yeti from under their house. At first all they could see were overgrown furry paws that looked like they belonged to a yeti which is, of course, is how the cat got his name. The foursome refers to Yeti as their mascot and a reminder of their higher purpose even though they admit he’s kind of an a-hole. His favorite things include eating plants and bullying Margie.