Key West artists Katie and Garth Holtkamp didn’t ask to be featured in the upscale Vineyard Vines clothing catalog. They didn’t answer a call to artists, or submit their artwork, or their Florida Keys lifestyle story, to the clothing company or its marketing people.
But the company that was launched by brothers Ian and Shep Murray around their own beloved summertime island — Martha’s Vineyard — found its way to the Florida Keys this past March.
Vineyard Vines started out selling silk ties with colorful, island prints. But it has since expanded to include all manner of bathing suits, shirts, shorts, dresses and accessories.
“I really don’t know how they found us, but they contacted me and I did a virtual call with one of the copywriters and the creative director,” said Key West artist and art teacher Katie Holtkamp, whose colorful abstract paintings are now sold at Green Pineapple and by commission. “This issue of their catalog was supposed to feature ‘A Day in the Life of the Artist’ and their motto is, ‘Every day should feel this good.’”
The 2021 summer catalog highlights three Florida Keys families in all, each of their pages marked with the logo “Real Good People. Real Good Life.”
The Holtkamps’ two-page spread features Katie, Garth, daughter Greta, 9, and labradoodle Cleo, 1. Billy Kearins, who founded the “creative depository” known as COAST, is also seen, along with the father-son flats fishing team of Capt. Gary Skrobeck and Skip Paxton in Islamorada.
Vineyard Vines sent photography, video and wardrobe and stylist crews, and gave the featured families gift cards to order Vineyard Vines clothing for the shoot and to keep, said Katie Holtkamp.
“They shot us here at home, and then we went down to Opal Key Resort, where they had a whole room set up with stylists,” she said. “We walked around Fort Zach. I brought some of my artwork and we walked through Truman Annex while they shot some video. Then we all had lunch at Five Brothers. It was a fun day.”
The upscale clothing line is sold in Key West at Truval Marketplace, 1007 Duval St.
The summer catalog features the Florida Keys lifestyle and the people who live it every day.
The company’s founding brothers write on their website, “We joke about it now, but we’d wait nine months to live the ‘good life’ for those three months on the Vineyard with our friends and family. We were in bands, we started businesses, and we combined what we made to buy the best old boat we could find, so we could get out on the water, go fishing and escape.
“In 1998, we were stuck behind desks in jobs we didn’t like, and we were miserable. So, we quit. We tossed out business suits for bathing suits, got our wisdom teeth pulled while we still had coverage and signed up for every credit card we could. On the same day, within 10 minutes of each other, we walked out of our jobs, grabbed a drink and started chasing the American dream.
“It’s been 20 years now — and what a ride. We’re in a big, brand new office, we’ve grown across the whole country, we have a new golf team, we’re the Official Style of the Kentucky Derby … and we sell a lot more than just ties. From technical gear to our original silks, we’ve got any and everything you’d need to get out there and live the good life.”