To understand the Belted Cow Company you have to understand Maine.
We live in Maine, manufacture in Maine and through the Belted Cow
Company, we’re trying to reflect the best features of our home state.
When you think Maine, you may think rocky coast, lobsters and pine
trees. Well, that’s true, but aside from physical beauty, it’s the
character and talent of “Mainers” that convinced us to start the Belted
Cow Company here in Maine. (By the way, you’re a “Native” only if you were born here…the rest of us ”washed in with the tide”.)
Why? Because creative artists abound in Maine. Skilled craftspeople
abound in Maine. And most of all, we found that people who live in
Maine honestly care. Care about their work, care about their customers
and care about getting a job done right.
So that’s why we don’t manufacture our product over there
and why we don’t take shortcuts with craftsmanship or selection of
We started the Belted Cow Company because we thought we could make
better belts and accessories. After 8 years in business, we think
you’ll agree that our designs and quality are first class. We also know
that being in business means a lot more than generating revenue. We’re
still a small company, but proud in a big way of giving back to our
community and to some great charitable organizations through sales of
Finally, we also live in Maine because it’s fun to be here. It’s
casual, it’s relaxed and after all, like our license plates say, it’s
“Vacationland.” We ski, bike, sail, fish, hike, run, and participate in
many of the activities our customers enjoy. We hope many of our
designs reflect the “fun factor” and will make you smile in addition to
looking sharp. (Or “shaaap” as we say here in Maine). We know that
we’re not in New York or London and our belts may never make it to the
haute couture runways, but hey, we doubt you could go for a sail or pull
a lobster trap wearing something from that runway anyhow.
Belted Cow Contributing Artists
Accomplished and versatile, Hopkins has
studied and taught at many places for the past 30-years including time
at University of Southern Maine, Montserrat School of Visual Arts,
Marlboro College, Haystack School of Crafts and the Rhode Island School
of Design, where he studied glass blowing with Dale Chihuly and
sculpture with Italo Scanga.
Energetic and thoughtful, Eric Hopkins is
widely known as a dynamic aerial landscape painter whose broad strokes
and bold color electrify paintings of Maine islands, the North Atlantic
coastline, nature and wide open spaces.
Art & Illustration
Over twenty-five years as an illustrator and graphic designer. Educated at the University of Iowa and Maricopa Tech.
I’m frequently asked by those who’ve seen my work, “Hey, what style do
you enjoy working in?” My response: “Hey, whatever style I’m working
in. Realistic, cartoony, loose, tight… I really do enjoy it all.” If
I’m asked to do something that I haven’t done before (that’s within my
realm), I say, “Ya, I can do it.” … then I figure out how. I really DO
enjoy it all!
Jennifer Paradee comes from an artistic
family. She has been drawing and painting for as long as she can
remember. She is a graduate from Hamilton College, and has taught mixed
media art classes to elementary aged children for ten years. Her works
have been exhibited in several galleries including The Pricilla Hartley
Gallery and the Mast Cove galleries of Kennebunkport Maine, and are
included in many private collections. She presently lives with her
husband and daughter in Westborough Mass.
Philip Frey is a Maine artist (American,
1967). He works in his Sullivan studio painting landscapes and seascapes
of coastal fishing villages like Monhegan Island, Winter Harbor and
South Bristol. Philip also paints some of the special interior
landscapes such the blueberry barrens of Downeast Maine, Borestone
Mountain and Mount Katahdin.
Kate Cleaves grew up in Maine, where she
also earned her BFA in Painting from the Maine College of Art. She has
been inspired by, and creating art since she was old enough to hold a
crayon. Her passion is creating beauty in the world – whether it’s
painting in her downtown studio, illustrating and designing belts for
the Belted Cow, making fairies, or teaching her students at the York
County Community College in Wells. Kate shows her work locally in many
galleries, including: The George Marshall Store Gallery, The Gallery at
the Eastland, and the Dodwell Gallery on Long Island, Maine.
Myers was born in Massachusetts, U.S.A. Graduated from Classical High
School, Providence, R.I. and Goddard College, Plainfield, Vermont.
Lavendier Myers later studied at Corcoran School of Art in, Washington,
D.C., with Hayes Friedman, Brockie Stevenson and Blaine Davis.
Lavendier Myers spent lengthy formative periods at Cape Cod, Vermont,
Greece, the U.K. and Mexico. Myers is influenced by the psyche and
colors of the aforementioned regions. The paintings aspire to
communicate a magic realism. Some major influences are the writing of
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the paintings of ancient China, the music of
Chopin and the ambiance of Maine island life. Summers, Myers paints
outdoors from direct observation. In colder weather the artist tends
toward figurative, non-objective painting and collage construction.
“Figure on Landscape” tends to be a dominant theme. Lavendier Myers has
exhibited locally, nationally and internationally. If not singing, Myers
works in silence. When not painting, the artist can be found restoring
Industrial Design/Graphic artist/Illustrator
Greg Benoit was born in Maine. He is
currently enrolled at Savannah College of Art and Design, where he is
studying Industrial Design and Accessory Design. Greg is expected to
graduate in the spring of 2011. Even though he is a designer he is very
interested in the fine arts and fashion design. During his time at
SCAD he has designed and constructed shoes, bags, belts, apparel,
furniture, along with some paintings and drawings. Being an Industrial
Designer he finds inspiration everywhere and is constantly searching for
a new project.
addition to teaching art, Christina Heiniger is a well-known artist in
the Down East Maine area. Her intention is to use art to create
happiness and make the world more beautiful. Born in Switzerland and
raised in Coastal Maine, she now lives and maintains a studio in Lamoine
Maine, between Ellsworth and Bar Harbor/ Acadia National Park.
Christina uses a delightfully unusual blend
of influences in her artwork. She studied painting and printmaking as a
studio art major at Smith College in Northampton, MA. Her bold,
cheerful and uplifting use of color is inspired in part by European
painters such as Henri Matisse and Johannes Itten, in part by the bright
and fearless use of color in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and in part
from her lifelong fascination with all the hues in her paintbox.
Similar in spirit to the work of Paul Klee (also Swiss-born artist),
Christina’s art is based in a playful and inventive use of materials and
Jim opened Mainely Labs studio in 2005 when
he embarked on a new career as an artist after a 22-year human
resources career in various corporate environments. Jim calls his
original art “Lab Art,” for the focus is on images of Labrador
Retrievers. He lives just outside Portland in Cape Elizabeth with his
wife Carol, their two cats, Fast Eddie and Lucinda, and their Black Lab,
Laurie’s work ranges from pure abstract to more figurative
landscapes, both inspired by the natural world around her as she sails
and rows along Maine’s shores or hikes and skis New England. Laurie
graduated from Maine College of Art with a BFA in photography. Her
paintings, prints, or photographs have been exhibited around the country
and beyond, including the KPK Contemporary Art in London and Thos.
Moser in Freeport. Her work is in the Portland Museum of
Art’s permamnent collection. She says, “I like to seize one moment in
time, an instant when a feeling sweeps through me. If I can capture it,
purely, simply, honestly, stripping away anything unnecessary and
leaving true form and/or color, then I am thrilled”.