Cardinal House is a line of jewelry and accessories based in Pensacola, Florida that has an eclectic mix of a nostalgic vibe with a modern look. Designs often utilize a technique (embroidery, cross stitch) or supply (vintage beads, charms) that evoke memories of a special moment or person.
blah, blah...candid owner takeover moment here: Don't believe me?!
I've had the most amazing stories from my customers telling me why they bought pieces. As an example: a plane charm necklace because their grandfather was a pilot (and helped as a consultant to Tom Cruise while filming Top Gun). Wow!
Or, say from my perspective. There's a family pact agreed upon involving the vintage beads used in Cardinal House designs: none of the supplies passed down from my grandmother's business could be sold as "supply only"; they could only be incorporated into a craft and sold that way. It was an agreed nod of respect to the woman that raised a family of makers. And every piece I make using those beads are a reminder of my time with her.
So, yeah. I absolutely love hearing that the keychain you bought reminds you of your mom or grandma because, guess what?! Same here! Mission. Accomplished. (*wink* you see what I did there?!)
Every Kat Has a Story
Hi there! I'm Kat Miller, owner and designer of Cardinal House. In a former life, I worked at a hospitality design firm in Atlanta and started selling jewelry made from reclaimed fabric sample books used in the industry. Since then, I've had my designs featured in Bead Trends magazines and products carried in West Elm stores throughout Florida. Woot!
When I first began playing around with name ideas and product designs, I was immediately inspired by my grandmother, Edie.
Edie was essentially the craft mafia boss of a family of makers. She ran her own business, Lienhart Dollhouse, for decades here in Pensacola. I grew up touring the Southeast working arts & craft shows, visiting wholesale showrooms and learning how to make my own creations with her. She'd even let me sell my creations in her booth (yeah, she loved me)!
We also spent a lot of time in her garden & greenhouse. All of the gardening inspired so much of her work and, apparently, mine too! When I was brainstorming with the reclaimed fabric swatches, I kept coming back to flowers.
Within the garden & elsewhere on her property, Edie placed many bird feeders and baths. Her absolute favorite birds to watch were cardinals. Now that she's gone, my family & I always think of her when we see cardinals. Hence the name, Cardinal House, in honor of her. It seemed only fitting as without her influence, I would never have started the shop.