WHAT IS RIVERBASIN OUTFITTERS? Riverbasin Outfitters (RbO) is a growing lifestyle brand and the progression of clothing and accessories designed and hand crafted by River Takada-Capel. This brand is a on-going project for my love of craft, fashion and photography. RbO, originally founded in 2007, and has since bloomed into something bigger, deeper and more passionate. Now RbO is not only limited to recycled-gab and inspirations, but DIY features at local shops, sewing classes and camps, photo shoots, online shopping and lookbooks.
WHAT DOES THE NAME MEAN? My name is River, so my brand name, Riverbasin, is a play on words. Up here (in my head) there are a lot of ideas, but everything that settles to the bottom, the things I actually make and sell, that is the Riverbasin. I have chosen “outfitters” since I make lifestyle items like bags, pillows, dream catchers, terrariums, etc.
HOW DO YOU PRONOUNCE YOUR LAST NAME? “TA-KA-DA_C-AA-PELL”. This is my Japanese mother’s name and my Scotch-Irish father’s name. I like to go by “TC” or “TAK” for short on the internet.
WHO IS THE TEAM BEHIND THE BRAND? I, River, am the executive designer behind the brand. I design, re-design, sew, screen print, dye, source fabric and materials, cast models and photographers, style lookboooks, design and make shop displays and equipment, edit photographs, guerilla market, etc. I work with local photographers, mainly Adam Graetz and Eric Waters, to capture the styles I put together with handmade and vintage items. I am fortune to have a team of dedicated, talented, and competent interns that assist me with marketing, screen printing and selling online. I pull a lot of inspiration from my friends/model muses, and love collaborating with my stylist friends.
WHERE DO YOU SOURCE YOUR MATERIALS? My goods are made from materials that are recycled, found, and reclaimed> Upcycled. I get my materials from thrift stores, yard sales, flea markets, clothing swaps, and donations from the giving hands of so many people.
WHEN DID YOU START MAKING THINGS? HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN MAKING THINGS? For as long as I can remember I have loved clothing, dressing up, collecting little trinkets and making things. I started making clothing for my dolls and was taught how to sew on a machine in 3rd grade by my mother, who is also a textile enthusiast. Now I have been sewing for nearly 17 years! I learned how to screen print, weave and dye fabric in college.
DID YOU GO TO SCHOOL FOR THIS? My travels, and the good advice of a friend, took me to Haywood Community College (Clyde, NC) where I immersed myself in an intense 2 year study in fibers; weaving, dyeing, printing and small business. I was fortunate to learn about textiles from Catherine Ellis and Amy Putansu- amazing instructors and inspiring textile artists. I also received support from the Fiber Handweavers Guild of Western North Carolina and the Asheville Quilt Guild.
WHERE CAN I FIND YOUR THINGS FOR SALE? I currently sell my jewelry, handmade and vintage clothing in 3 stores, 2 in NC (Chapel Hill and Greensboro) and 1 in Brooklyn, NY. Check out the stocklist page for addresses and hours. I also sell online on my Etsy.com shop and select street fairs and music festivals. The best way to keep up with our schedule is to follow us on facebook.com/RiverbasinOutfitters to get updates about events, sales and new projects. You can learn how to sew like me at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro> Sign Up for a variety of classes and kids camps.
WHAT MAKES YOU ECO.ECO FRIENDLY? Here at Riverbasin Outfitters HQ- we practice an Eco.Eco (Economical.Ecological) business style where we recycle everything and source as many things second hand or discounted as possible. We make an effort to reuse every fabric scrap in new products like turban headbands, coin pouches, gift cards, etc. By being economically conscious of our overhead, we can pass those savings on to you, our supportive customer! That is how we can bring you handmade and affordable products with a small footprint. With our economy on the midst of a recession, it is more important than ever to be kind, thoughtful and sharing with the people around us. I believe in sharing knowledge of my craft and educating people so that in small ways we, together are making a big difference. I believe in actively supporting other artists, musicians, farmers and businesses in the local area. Join me in supporting Independent and Local – it makes our economy go around! Please share this website with a friend. You are the best advertisement and support Riverbasin Outfitters can have. Thank You!
WHERE ARE YOU FROM? Born in Tokyo and raised in Carrboro, NC, I have come to love and appreciate the buzz of the city and ease of a small town. I have collected inspiration from high fashion and art of Tokyo and gained support in my ever growing community in North Carolina. I grew up in Carrboro, NC, went to Chapel Hill High School, and graduated in 2004. I have lived in Tokyo, Japan, Savannah, GA and Waynesville, NC.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU? When I was 17, I moved to Tokyo to live with my grandparents and worked at a cake and tea house called Christie in Toshimaen. This gave me a serge of freedom, independence and adventure. When I wasn’t working, I was walking around Tokyo, riding the subway to random locations, exploring back alley ways, sightseeing and window shopping. I saw the most influential art, fashion and beauty of life that were scattered all over the place. Now in Durham, NC, I am inspired by the other entrepreneurs and artist making their mark on the community. I combine trendy inspirations from my style muse friends, magazines, online style blogs and the call of the outdoors along with the use of found materials and draping on a dress form to design my clothing and accessories. I am inspired by organic shapes, geometric designs and textiles with a history. With wonderfully artistic parents who gave me Monet poster art, a hand built doll house, hand sewn clothing and delicious food from this earth; I have had the ideal up bringing of a creative mind. I combine my education in textiles, weaving, dyeing, screen printing, and sewing; with my interest in fashion to make trendy, eco-conscious, ready-to-wear clothing, jewelry and home goods.
WHERE ARE YOU CURRENTLY BASED OUT OF? My path has brought me full circle back to the area I grew up, the Triangle of North Carolina, where I live in Durham and work out of my home studio.