Sisters Katy and Liz Escher started their apparel brand, ARTichoke, in 2011 as a way to express their unique artistic style. Evolving their business from selling at festivals and pop up events, to a mobile boutique and now a brick & mortar store in Eastham, they have found success by connecting with the community, reflecting the Cape Cod sensibility through their designs, and in their authentic love of this place. Here we chat with them about their roots and why they think supporting local business is so important.
Tell us about your connection to the Cape and your business/profession.
Our connection to the Cape starts at Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis. We were both born and raised on the Cape and grew up in Brewster. From a young age we both knew this would always be our home. We knew we would seek new places, venture off to college and travel but probably always end up here, on Cape Cod. We started our silk-screening business in 2011, which has grown into our brand and boutique, ARTichoke. Our retail store is located in Eastham on RT. 6.
What do you love about the Cape Cod community?
The community that exists on Cape Cod is solid and multi faceted; it may be the corner stone that keeps this sand spit so strong and special. We have seen the community gather together at times to help support families and individuals dealing with loss, pain and health obstacles. Our community gathers to talk about situations affecting Cape Cod. For example, the newly high population of Great White Sharks and how to best deal with this very real and scary predator that swims in our ocean …but, also to spread knowledge and respect that they have every right to be here.
Our community has programs that strive to make Cape Cod more affordable for year round residents who are struggling. We have community members that make this place more fun… fun year round. Members to rally beach clean-ups. We have members who are advocates for our local businesses, including Love Live Local who create so many opportunities for local makers and businesses, not only to become more successful but to become part of a community of like minded business people.
Having a community that cares about the health, the reality and the opportunities of an area is pretty epic. It shows us that CC is filled with open-minded and optimistic people. We’re so lucky to have that.
What are some of the best parts of living here?
Beach, please…you for real? (LOL) At a young age it was always the beach (even only being able to swim there for a few months out of the year). But, there are so many reasons why living here is great. As mentioned before the community is strong, so many amazing people to make connections with. The art galleries, theaters and general appreciation for the Arts is special. Cape Cod has so much to offer for family and kid fun. There are great restaurants, cafes, boutiques, parks and amazing nature walks in every town on Cape Cod. Businesses make an effort to carry locally made or grown products over other brands. There are great bars, live music and fun events going on…especially in the summer. And yes, our beaches are amazing. We are so lucky to have mostly protected beaches, with no option to build huge buildings, boardwalks and hotels. There is no better feeling than swimming in the clean, cold, salty water. If the ocean isn’t your thing…Cape Cod is home to so many beautiful freshwater ponds, not to mention the bike trail is wonderful. There is a chill vibe that exists in most Cape Codders… we’re on Cape time and we appreciate that. Oh yeah…. there is also nothing like our oysters (biased to Wellfleet).
Why do you think it is important to shop local?
On Cape – shopping local is easy; there are so many independently owned business and options. Why wouldn’t you? Leaving a local business with whatever it is that you purchased feels so rewarding and as silly as that sounds… it’s true. It’s important to shop from our local businesses because those people and their families’ make up a huge piece of this tasty pie called Cape Cod. If our local business’ (even local big business) go out because people are only shopping online, then there will be no income for locals, no jobs and no reason to live here. Families will move, our younger generation of Cape Codders will not be raised here to love and respect it like so many of us. The seasonal economy for many business owners will not be enough to endure the slow months of winter. These people, these businesses are what make our community… the cornerstone of Cape Cod.
Describe your ideal Cape Cod day.
Tough one – Don’t know if we should go the family beach-day route, boat route or a town stroll route? Any route you choose, it always starts with an epic cup of coffee and breathing in that sweet ocean breeze.
Okay, lets dream here… follow along:
-Wake up early
-Get Coffee (our faves are Beanstock & Snowy Owl), sit outside and enjoy.
-Get to a yoga class… so many great studios to choose from.
-Beach time at Newcomb Hollow or Nauset, and hope for low tide for a body surfing/boogie boarding sesh, and castle building with the kiddos.
-Hungry- hit a local café
-Pond swim to cool back down.
-Music, shower and chill at home for a bit.
-Head up to P-Town to SHOP, WINE & DINE