Business 2 Business: catstudio helping veterans and their families By Angie Avard Turner


For the traveling, doodling, music-loving duo of Carmel and Terrell Swan, naming their business, catstudio, which is located in Petaluma, California, seemed to evolve because of a “simpler is better” mindset. The name was developed as an anacronym C-A-T (Carmel And Terrell). The irony is that they are really dog people!

Terrell and Carmel Swan are the owners and founders of catstudio.

The company creates original geographical artwork with a bit of humor and nostalgia mixed into each handcrafted piece. In addition to over 200 designs – all 50 states, cities, regions, international, and even the North Pole and the Collegiate Collection – they also created the Military Collection as a way of honoring the men, women and families within the armed forces.

The catstudio Military Collection created a direct channel to give back to the military community through The Fisher House Foundation. The Fisher House is an organization that builds comfort homes where military and veteran families can stay free of charge, while a loved one is in the hospital. These homes are located at military and Veterans Affairs medical centers around the world. A catstudio pillow is presented during the ribbon cutting ceremony and is proudly featured in each of these homes.

The Fisher House in Dayton, Ohio, is a comfort home
where military and veteran families can stay free of charge
while a loved one is in the hospital.

“We just cut the ribbon and opened the doors to the new Fisher House in Dayton, Ohio,” Mary B. Considine, chief of staff of the Fisher House Foundation said. “It’s gorgeous, but what I really wanted to share is practically the first thing you see when you walk in is that awesome OHIO pillow,” she added.

The Ohio embroidered pillow was presented to the Fisher House in Dayton, Ohio at their ribbon cutting ceremony and is
proudly featured in the main living area of the home.

One of the greatest benefits of the collaboration is the atmosphere of caring catstudio’s pillows create in the family room of a Fisher House. This collaboration has introduced the Fisher House mission to a new audience and vice-versa. As a small nonprofit, raising awareness for the Fisher House in the general community is one of the most difficult challenges. The hope is that through partnerships like the one with Fisher House Foundation, catstudio customers have a glimpse into the life of families they may never meet but to who they can show their support and appreciation.

Both catstudio and Fisher House agree that there are many benefits to collaborating. One of the benefits is the realization that multiple small actions can make a huge impact in someone’s life. Additionally, great partnerships are all about a shared vision and about the change that can be made in the world. Working with good people to do good should be everyone’s collaboration goal.

The Military Collection embroidered pillows by catstudio honor the men and women within the armed forces.

Angie Avard Turner

Angie Avard Turner is an attorney who exclusively represents clients in the gift industry including retailers, wholesalers, artists and bloggers. She is licensed to practice law in the state of Georgia, but she is able to handle copyright and trademark issues nationally. For more information regarding her practice, visit

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