Friday, January 15, 2010

Feature Friday: Cyberoptix TieLab

Ties That Don't Suck. That's what they make, that's what they sell. Etsy-fabulous silk screening company Cyberoptix TieLab opened up in 2006 "after noticing a void in creative yet sophisticated neckwear". Ties for little guys and groomsman packages are also offered, as well as screenprinted silk scarves.

Founded by the multi-talented Bethany Shorb (aka Toybreaker), East Coast native and creative champion, Cyberoptix is about so much more than ties. Bethany's art can be seen in exhibitions in Detroit and New York, and she describes her recent photography series Crash , based on the 1973 James Ballard novel of the same name, as "a hyper-saturated amalgamation exploring the interstitial space between the alluring and repulsive; hedonism and restraint...". Sometimes her fine art photography shows up in Etsy listings as she does the styling and props for all of her shots, and Cyberoptix is a main wardrobe contributor. She also comprises one-half of the Detroit-based dark techno dj performance project called Dethlab, in conjunction with fellow talent Michael Doyle. According to the April 2007 Metrotimes article by Walter Wasacz, "Dethlab is all about sonic and visual art. It has formal roots in design and sculpture — Doyle is an industrial graphic designer and Shorb is a sculptor with an MFA from Cranbrook — but the vibe created is pure pop culture mayhem and the duo's academic seams are hardly visible." A very interesting person to meet, I'd venture...

Bethany has reputation for style, variety, excellent customer service and sustainable business practices that have made her right at home in her well-feathered niche on Etsy. In addition to clear online success, she gets out of her downtown Detroit studio often enough to make regular appearances in paper and digital publications like New York Times Style Magazine, Bust, Adorn, indiefixx, and The Consumerist, as well as appearances on the likes of Martha Stewart.

Since Cyberoptix is practically in my own backyard, I knew I was going to be doing a little shopping there this past Christmas. One of my brothers was the lucky recipient of a Topographical Error TieLab tie. It's probably not the preferred tie, amongst so many more appropriate options, for the "to hell in a handbasket" type individual who may frequent Dethlab performances, but it might just add some eclectic style to a medical school wardrobe on a medical school budget.

While our styles are worlds apart on so many levels, I find Cyberoptix very inspiring and I'm sure the intriguing personality of Bethany Shorb will continue to evolve and grow as will all of her enterprising projects. Read more about her in the May 2008 Etsy Featured Seller interview here. Happy weekend!