Meet Madison! A designer and artist for creative and playful brands, Madison co-founded collaborative design studio Mad & Dusty with her husband. She also founded Reformation Brewery‘s Maker’s Mash, connecting local artists to their communities in Woodstock and Canton. As a personal project, Madison creates lettering and paintings around themes like love and encouragement, because we could all use a little more of both, don’t ya think? She likes to adventure, watch tv, and practice yoga. Madison lives and works in her sweet hometown, Woodstock, GA, with Dusty, pup Murphy, and twins Theodore and Arthur.
How long have you lived or worked in Woodstock?
I grew up here. We moved here from Fresno, back when there was nothing. I remember shopping at Cub Foods with my mom! I went away to college and got a degree in art marketing, graphic design business minor at the University of North Georgia, Dahlonega. That’s where I met my husband Dusty. He grew up in Winder, outside of Athens. We met at school, and I dragged him back here, then we started a graphic design business. We’ve been married for five years. We’re both graphic designers and artists, and we have always worked on our projects together.
What inspired you or led you to your current career?
My first job out of college – I was a waitress for a while, which was amazing if you ever want to build people skills – and then I worked for a marketing agency that worked with non-profits. I always wanted to work for a non-profit, so that was fun. After that job ended, I worked with Paint Love. They’re a non-profit that does arts programming for kids in Atlanta, I hit the jackpot of jobs all along, that was amazing. And from there, we started our design company, Mad & Dusty.
We create logos, websites, marketing collateral, all that kind of stuff. We mostly like to work with small businesses and non-profits. We are able to use part of that income to fund other projects like our greeting card line, and we are trying to launch a screen-printing business. The most recent thing we’ve started doing is Maker’s Mash. It’s like artist pop-up shops at breweries. Right now, we’re at Reformation, but I would love to eventually expand to other local breweries.
I had many creative / small-business / artist friends that I either worked with through design, or just knew, and they had amazing products, but no vehicle to get them to market. Reformation has all this fantastic space, so I was like, oh man, let’s connect! It’s been going on for about a year, and we’re working on our 2020 schedule.
What is your favorite restaurant in Woodstock, and what do you love there?
Queenie’s BBQ opening up in Reformation, and anything! I’m like, there goes all of our money forever [laughs].
Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in Woodstock? Who would you like to see nominated as a Face of Woodstock?
Tom Cox, the designer behind so many great brands or Rob McClurkan the children’s book illustrator. They are really good friends and started Small Town Creatives. It’s a meetup every quarter for designers, photographers, and artists. It’s a cool group.
If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
My husband and I have a National Parks passport, and we are trying to get all the stamps, and we want to go to Hawaii. Maybe we’ll Airbnb our house and live in Hawaii for a month [laughs].
What is your favorite movie OR what is the first movie you remember seeing in a theater?
My favorite movie is Hunt for the Wilderpeople, a film from New Zealand. Sam Neill is in it. Basically, anything with Sam Neil I’m there for. And I love the film Jurassic Park(!)
What advice would you give a crowd of people?
You’re not the only person in the world. Laugh as much as you can because life can be a hilarious series of events if you choose to look at it that way. There is hard stuff, too, but try to find the humor in life. And stay curious.
What is something on your bucket list
I want to hike the Appalachian Trail. But the faster I try to go, the slower I am. So, I’d take my time and enjoy the views.
What is your favorite music/ three bands you would like to see (dead or alive)?
I like The Avett Brothers, Samuel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, and then Sia! This is Acting is my favorite album of hers.
What current / former local business makes you the most nostalgic about Woodstock?
Hot Dog Heaven! I remember it being on the corner forever. I think that’s the one I’m most nostalgic about.
Choosing anyone alive and a non-relative: with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? Where in Woodstock would you have lunch?
Right now, I’m thinking Zooey Deschanel. I feel like she would have good business advice. She’s a singer, an actress. She’s got it figured out. We’d go to Tea Leaves and Thyme for sure.
What is your favorite thing or something unique about Woodstock?
I love our nature trails, the Greenprints Trail System! Pre-kids, my husband and I would ride our bikes on the trail so much. Now we are going to get one of those trailers to put our babies in so we can take them too.
Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?
I’d like my life to be a little more predictable sometimes. Let’s grow our businesses, let’s grow the Maker’s Mash, let’s have a storefront shop – that’s been a dream for a while – to sell all local handmade products. That is the dream.
(Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
My eyes are two different colors, blue and green. It’s funny when someone notices because I can see them go, whoa!
What three words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
Family, comfort, and creativity.
If you were cast into a major motion picture and had your choice of anyone to be your co-star, who would you choose?
Sam Neill! Dusty would have to be in it also. I think Sam would have to be our narrator.
If you had a full-time staff member that was fully paid for, who would you choose? Chef, Housekeeper, Driver, Coach, Physical Fitness Trainer, or Nanny?
Housekeeper. I was just cleaning my house today and thinking – housekeeper for sure!
Madison in Community
Photo Credit: Angie Webb @angiewebbcreative