Shop Local: Scout & Indiana
Emily Ullo Steigler's creative wearables include fun kids' clothes and personalized denim jackets.
Emily Ullo Steigler launched Scout & Indiana in 2014, right around the time her identical twin daughters (those are their names) were born. She started with a line of T-shirts and onesies bearing the phrases “Rad Like Dad” and “Bomb Like Mom,” but soon expanded her repertoire to include customized apparel.
“I really like making things,” says the entrepreneur, who holds a master’s degree in medical illustration and spent a decade in that field before shifting her focus to clothing.
These days, she’s applying her talents to personalized denim jackets for kids and adults, hand-painted with whimsical motifs like dandelions, paper airplanes and song lyrics.
“My mom was a quilter and a sewer. She made jean jackets that were incredibly ’80s, complete with puff paint and glitter,” she says with a certain pride. “I basically took that idea and modernized it.”
At first, Steigler was buying and customizing new jackets, but she’s since begun modifying upcycled denim pieces from vintage wholesalers and fashion resale websites like thredUp. (Pieces are priced at $65 and up, though she offers a lower rate if you provide the jacket.)
“I don’t want to be wearing what everyone else is wearing,” says the artist, who lives in Arlington Ridge with her husband and daughters. Her clients feel the same way. Prior to the pandemic, Steigler sold her wares at pop-up events—notably, through the artist collective Femme Fatale DC—but more recently she’s been selling apparel online, via her own website as well as through local retail collaboratives like Steadfast Supply, Shop Made in DC, Gift & Gather, and the soon-to-launch Shop Made in Virginia.
She’s now collaborating with Vienna-based screen printer Chitra Sharma of Noctiluna on a line of kids wear that includes tank tops, skirts, face masks and reversible bomber jackets. “It’s super small-run, one-of-a-kind stuff,” she says. “The pandemic has been tough. We’ve pulled each other out of the stress and had a really good time being creative.”