House Works: Popular Sandhills Artist

You can find talented people all over the state of Nebraska. We found a Sandhills man who is taking his talents and using them to sell unique designs around the country.

In this House Works, we introduce to Cody Foster, and learn more about his vintage collections that are so popular with consumers.

Valentine, Nebraska, the heart of Cherry County...filled with beautiful scenery, cows and one pretty famous artist.

Cody Foster is the owner and designer of Cody Foster and Company. He says his business sticks out a little bit up in beef country in Valentine. But, he says it's unique there, and it's a great place to work.

Cody has definitely found his niche in cattle country. Some of his neighbors may scratch their heads trying to figure out this artsy stuff that has a big time appeal on the coasts. But the roots of it all began at home...

Both of Cody's grandmothers were craft-oriented. One was a quilter and the other did ceramics. So working with them got him interested in making things. He started making a collection of things and taking them to local craft shows when he was a teenager. He did a small gift show in Kansas City, and then started selling to retailers across the country.

Cody Foster and Company, is really a "company" of family and friends...getting the benefits of small town life, but delivering nationally, thanks to technology. Cody's mom helps out at their Valentine distribution center.

Diane Foster says, "Cody started out with dolls and right now our main thing is Christmas. And we try to work in some everyday product."

The best way to describe Cody's work is handmade, vintage and a little quirky.

Some of the items Cody makes with his own hands, like theses boxes and this globe. He uses vintage elements or antique elements and makes something from those.

Cody starts with a theme and builds on that collection. He thinks about the trends, reads blogs and magazines and does a lot of antiquing. He then sends the ideas to the suppliers and vendors to see if they can make his inspiration.

"We actually do a lot of nautical stuff right now," says Cody.

"As far as Christmas is concerned, we do a lot of whales and anchors and a lot of arctic related stuff if really popular for us. We have a good collection of paper mache animal heads that we do that are all made out of recycle materials kind of an alternative form of taxidermy."

The business also has a garden collection with planters and statuary. And they make photo frames, candlesticks, pillows and other soft goods.

The future looks bright for Cody as he plans to open a showroom in a major U.S. city. You can find his products at locally owned stores and even at national chains like Anthropologie. And even though Cody is expanding his business, you can bet his heart will always be rooted in Nebraska's heart city.

For more information on Cody Foster, click here.

About the Author...
Taryn Vanderford
Taryn Vanderford is an Emmy-winning journalist who currently works on "First at Four", "Pure Nebraska" and "Moms Everyday" for 10/11 and Gray Television.
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