Husband-and-wife design team Jeff Barfoot and Shay Ometz (nicknamed “Bee” by her husband) share a harmonious studio and home life in Dallas. “Our dining room table is really a studio table with our computers, stacks of sketch paper and pencil jars,” Shay says. “We love creating all the time.” Raised in creative households, it’s no wonder how Bee Things came to be.
Shay, who knew she wanted to be an artist since age five, can remember painting alongside her mother who is a painter. “What kid can grow up in a home full of tubes of paint and jars of brushes, and possibly resist that?” Jeff says. Although his mother is a quilter and his father is a carpenter who built most of the furniture in their home, Jeff didn’t pursue a career in design until his third year of college when he was forced to take a design class. “After one class period, I knew that was it,” Jeff says. “I got up in the middle of an ecology class, changed my major and never looked back.” Jeff and Shay’s shared love of nature—particularly birds—is often expressed through their favorite medium of screenprinting. Shay observes: “Being designers, we love the challenge and beauty of simplifying a thing into a very stylized and modern form.”