American Made Since 1999
2014 Design Finalist

Katharine Hable & Susan Hable

Athens, Georgia
Hable Construction is a design studio that creates totes, pillows, storage, rugs & artwork from motifs painted in our Athens, GA studio.
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Tell us about your business.

Sisters Susan Hable Smith & Katharine Hable Sweeney founded their textiles company Hable Construction in 1999. Named after their Texan great-grandfather’s 20th century road construction business, this new generation merged their expertise and talent to create distinctive and functional products for everyday living. Paving roads of a different sort, the Hable sisters have entered the 21st century as leaders in textile design while expanding their studio to create floor coverings, fine art, and custom work. Katharine is the born sales professional and Susan is the artist. Together they combine practicality, sophistication, and timelessness into all of their work. Operating on the belief that the layering of color, texture, and form inspires, Hable Construction creates bold and graphic designs dubbed with colorful, hand-drawn patterns that have become the hallmark of their aesthetic.

Tell us about your workspace, shop, or studio.

Our studio is a whitewashed & lofted 100-yr. old rescued & refurbished mill house with original heart pine floors, lots of natural light, & views of our garden for inspiration. We have a team that works really well together - we help each other when we're blocked, we paint through our stops. We don't give up. That's a big part of the creative process - persistence. We are always thinking about colors and textures here, and we paint every day.

What inspires you?

Susan’s fine art background in collaging, sculpture, welding, and painting, bound by an intuitive color sense, has lent an aesthetic that’s timeless and universally sophisticated. Travels to Italy, Asia, and South America also serve as a backdrop to Hable’s inspiration. After a 6-year residence in San Francisco working in the design field, she moved to New York City to capitalize on her strength of fine art and design, fusing her love of art’s industrial facets and applying that to textiles. In her world, whimsical forms are combined with a unique color palette inspired by nature, motherhood, and beauty, rather than trends. Susan’s design process begins with the most mundane of moments: “I get inspiration from the simplest things like the flower market, my aunt’s photos from the Big Thicket, my hometown, fabric swatches, or a knitted sweater. Happiness brings inspiration.”

What makes your business stand out?

Hable designs are always drawn & painted by hand, so in a sense we offer art to the masses! The canvas we use for our own line of totes, pillows, & desktop accessories is extremely durable. Our screenprinting dye process is second to none, keeping our colors rich and clear. And everything is made in the USA, from the design to the final stitch!

What advice would you give an aspiring creative entrepreneur?

"Stay in the road." That's what our dad says.

What does American Made mean to you?

Growing up in Corsicana, an old Texas town about an hour south of Dallas, we have a deep sense of pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps and getting to work. American Made is working hard at what you love.

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