Iowa-based fiber artist and interior designer, Candice Luter, admits she never imagined she’d end up in the creative field. It was only after finishing college and taking a job in corporate America, that she would feel a tugging back to the creative parts of herself. “Growing up, ‘entrepreneur’ wasn’t a word that anyone was using—instead it was ‘starving artist,'” Luter said jokingly in an interview with the Etsy blog.
Her rediscovery of her creative side came gradually, after purchasing a house and making her own custom art for the walls. In 2014, she began creating one-of-a-kind designs using remnant scraps of wood and fabric from her home studio. What started as a hobby continued to build momentum and became Candice Luter | Art + Interiors, a collection of commercial art and approachable, unique home accents.
This led to her opening an Etsy shop in early 2019 where she now sells custom wood and fiber decor. A couple of years later and her side hustle turned into a full-time job that includes a team of creative women.
“I went into this business thinking of myself: What do I want to do? What designs do I want to put out?” says Luter. “Then one day, I looked at all these women in our workshop talking and laughing with each other and I said to myself, ‘This is what it’s about.’ It’s not just about the rope art. It’s about creating this community of women that’s growing, thriving, connecting, and learning from one another across backgrounds, age, culture, and color differences.”
Influenced by her travels to Europe, Luter skillfully blends mid-century modern, art deco, and minimalist styles. “I don’t have a specific design style, though I definitely have some Japanese and Scandinavian influences, and I love boho, modern, and mid-century decor,” she notes. “Sometimes I’m drawn to a shape or I’m addressing a specific need. I try to keep a lot of different styles, prices, and sizes in mind while I’m designing new pieces.”
Her pieces include macrame-inspired art installations and more practical pieces that marry design with art, such as half-moon mirrors and unique wall hangings. Her work, commissioned for major retailers and hotel chains all over the country, is also customizable, and Luter says she often counsels her clients regarding the sizes and colors best suited for their home.