Catherine Ann is gorgeous, humble and sweet, and has an infectious passion for Mississippi. As a graphic design student at the University of Mississippi, Catherine Ann started making pillows for her graduation thesis project. She laughs, “It is hard to believe I am still making pillows today!”
The Hi Y’all! Brand has completely exploded, and it all started at the kitchen table. In the spring of 2012, Catherine Ann was brainstorming ideas for a business name, and Hi Y’all! Just clicked. She smiles, “Little did my husband know, that one day we would be building a brand together under the same roof.”
Catherine Ann says, “My artwork and love for the South are tightly interwoven. My past experiences and the memories from growing up in Mississippi create the imagery for my artwork.” Inspiration abounds in Mississippi, and Catherine Ann designs each piece with its own story. She says, “One of my favorite paintings was inspired while stopped at a stop sign. I saw children playing in a church playground and was reminded of my summers at vacation Bible school. ‘Jesus Loves the Little Children’ is one of the first songs I learned, and it reminds me today to love others and have faith like a child.”
Many of her pieces feature quintessential southern sayings, guaranteed to make you smile. She says, “When I was a child, I loved listening to my mother talk on the phone. Southern conversations are the best. My favorite sayings are ‘Bless your heart!’ and ‘My mama said.’”
Catherine Ann and Parker proudly make all of their Hi Y’all! products by hand in their studio garage in Starkville. With their business growing rapidly, they hope to one day expand into a studio space with a storefront. Catherine Ann smiles, “The Southerner in me enjoys meeting new people and making those Mississippi connections!”
She reflects, “Parker and I feel so blessed to call Mississippi home. My dad gave me the best advice for owning your own business. He said, ‘Always work hard and remember who you are.’ This is the official Hi Y’all! Motto.”
For more information on Hi Y'all, please visit their website here. Photography courtesy of Stephanie Rhea Photography!