About Judy Lichtenstein of Good Karma Tees

Judy Lichtenstein’s Good Karma t-shirts have been featured at Reach Yoga on-and-off for almost six years. Check out current inventory–available for only a limited time, including during this weekend’s sidewalk sale.  

Q: When did you start designing your own clothing/ where did your passion for design begin?

My path in art and design started when I went to college. I was an illustration major in art school at Washington University in St. Louis. I loved fabric and did any of my projects that I could on fabric. That is where my path in art began. As it was, anything that I made in art school I could sell.

So after college, I went home to Pittsburgh, which is where I am from, and started my business. At the time, I was painting on fabric and doing soft sculpture. That is what was in, in the late 70’s. So while I was in Pittsburgh, I met another woman who was an artist kinda doing what I was doing. We made objects that we sold to stores and galleries. She took me to New York my first time to try to sell my work.

While on that trip trying to sell, I ended up getting a New York rep with a showroom who would represent me and my work. I was very lucky. That was the beginning of my business 40 years ago.

Q: What inspires you when creating designs for your clothes?

Healthy everyday lifestyle and happy memories are my greatest inspiration. Starting from waking up in the morning very early, seeing the sunrise is my everyday start. I get on the floor and do my yoga stretches every morning to start my day; then I feed and walk my dog.

Being outside in nature also inspires me. I see the possibilities for designs everywhere.

Q: What are some of your favorite t-shirt designs from your Good Karma Tees line?

I love the lotus, tranquility trees, happy buddha, Ganesh with border, the henna hand and chakra chart to name a few.

Q: How does yoga help your creativity?

Starting my everyday getting on the floor and doing my yoga stretches and poses energizes me so I can meet the day’s challenges.

Q: What advice would you give someone who is struggling to find creative inspiration?

To help someone who was trying to start a business in the artistic field making a product to sell, my advice to them would be: Pick a store or gallery where you think your work would fit in. Call up the store and ask who does the buying and make an appointment to show them your work.

There is a good amount of rejection that goes along with being an artist. It is hard to not take what people say about your work personal. I have been very lucky in my years of business to end up selling to many great places. When I was 23, Barney’s New York invited me to be in all of their stores and I sold to them for over 15 years.

What really did help me was the woman who did what I did, but made different products. She was older and really was a mentor. I never would have gone to New York on my own for the first time and hit the streets trying to sell my products. A mentor who is willing to give you advice  is really quite helpful.

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