Welcome to RIVTAK handmade!

Thanks for joining us on this new adventure. We're happy to be here, and hope you are too.  

Konichiwa, my name is River Takada-Capel.

RIVTAK is the brainchild of one woman, River Takada-Capel, forging a new path for herself everyday. The brand is a collaboration of the things she loves & her fascination for the craft of making all things.  At a young age, River discovered a passion for working with her hands. Born in Tokyo Japan and raised in Carrboro, NC, River grew up with an appreciation for the constant change in nature, & the beauty of functional art. River carefully crafts each piece around the thoughts of a purpose... adornment.  With as much creativity, confidence & musing thoughts as she has, the RIVTAK customer's requires playful adornment with the edge of an educated consumer.


WHAT IS RIVTAK handmade? This 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. RIVTAK, originally founded in 2007 as Riverbasin Outfitters, has since bloomed into something bigger, deeper and more passionate. River is incorpoating her social practice of teaching textile and business classes to kids and adults who are interested in be their own bosses.  

WHAT DOES THE NAME MEAN?  RIVTAK is short for my name; River Takada.

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 currently have friends and family working for me and helping the dream come alive.

My mom, Kazuko Allen, sews my home goods, napkins and tea towels.
Kristen Mack is my assistant, doing work-study with me in the studio.  As Kristen works for me tagging things and more, I am teaching her to sew her own clothing and screen print!
Lee Crawford Moore is my champion and collaborator, creating new projects together, encouraging me and writing copy for my online store and website.

I work with local photographers, to capture the styles I put together with handmade and vintage items.  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 and Salvaged.  I get my materials from thrift stores, yard sales, flea markets, clothing swaps, factory remnants from Spoonflower in Durham and donations from the giving hands of 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 20 years!  I learned how to screen print, weave and dye fabric in college.

DID YOU GO TO SCHOOL FOR THIS?  I learned how to sew in 3rd grade!  But college education wise, I went to SCAD for my first year of college, then continued 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 4 stores,  3 in NC (Durham, Chapel Hill and Greensboro) and 1 in Brooklyn, NY.  Check out the stockist 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 @rivtakhandmade 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?  I 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 I 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.  I am self-employed and  practicing making and teaching around the triangle and central NC.



instagram: @rivtak, instagram.com/rivtak

pinterest:  pinterest.com/rivert/

photo by Holly Rose Mann

photo by Holly Rose Mann

You may have heard of GypsyWitch Collective or Riverbasin Outfitters before, well that's me too!  

Riverbasin Outfitters was established in 2007.  I started off selling handmade clothing I made for myself at Roulette Vintage, a vintage and handmade clothing boutique in Carrboro, NC (closed Feb. 2011).  It started out as a petite clothing line and resale vintage, but has since turned into a career and business offering an array of services.  Stalk me online:

Gypsy Witch Collective was established in October 2011 as a marketing platform to spread the word of the upcycled movement and join forces of many talented, local crafters.  I teamed up with fellow makers: Andrea Lacobucci of Mi Scusi Handmade and TheCosmicCircle, and Buffy Maske of Reciprocities; to create an array of quality handmade items that are accessible and affordable for our customers.  We opened and ran The GypsyWitch Upcycle Pop-Up Shop for 6 months in the East End Gallery space (now a radio station) in front of the ArtsCenter in Carrboro, NC.  We collectively sold at handmade emporium, Design Archives (Elm Street, Greensboro, NC).  Each Gypsy Witch member creates their own line of unique, limited edition items and together we created a mix of accessories designed to use every last scrap of fabric.  Our portfolio website is still up:   www.Gypsy-Witch.com


Thank You for your support!  Stayed tuned for more adventures.  instagram/twitter: @rivtak, instagram.com/rivtak