The spur for launching a line of decorative car art came from my appreciation of the amazingly creative “House Floats” that popped up all over New Orleans during Mardi Gras 2021. For those of you outside of New Orleans, Mardi Gras is a beloved tradition here. Since the floats couldn’t parade during the pandemic, many people decided to turn the exterior of their houses into floats. The idea began and spread virally across the city. Locals spent their weekends driving around and seeing the incredibly creative houses all over town. The Krewe of House Floats is credited with saving a pandemic Mardi Gras, reviving our flagging spirits.
That was the spur to launch, but I've held the idea of designing temporary and reusable car art close to my heart for many years. I first thought of the idea after I had young kids. I thought it would be a really fun way for kids to play — by decorating their parent’s car — with car magnets in cute cutout designs with dots, animals, letters to make words, snowflakes, clouds, houses and more. Sort of like refrigerator magnets but for cars.
This idea was a far cry from the typical muscle car style of car decals available on the market that appealed to men, hunters, and flag lovers. I wanted to find styles that would appeal to families with young children and women. And, like magnets, I wanted to find a way to be able to “play” with the artwork, to remove it, place it elsewhere, change it up and be creative.
Originally, I was held back by the limitations of using magnets or vinyl. Magnets are bulky and don’t really conform well to modern cars, except in certain flat spaces. If you leave them on too long they also disintegrate in crumbly pieces. Vinyl is great in what you can do, but it’s a one-use proposition, like a tattoo. I wanted to play with the car equivalent of temporary tattoos.
After much research, I discovered a unique new material made from a type of fabric. This adhesive fabric enables the decals to be safe, removable AND reusable for over 100 applications. They are also durable enough to run through car washes or extreme weather. You can put them on your car for Mardi Gras or whatever else, then take them off and store them for next week, next month, next year.
My name is Elena Walker. I’m a graphic designer, the owner of Tchopshop Media, and an avid Carnival costume designer. I have a love of making and inventing things of all kinds but especially costumes. I’m also a dancer of Argentine tango, a proud mother and wife of a very supportive and patient man.
Many people have encouraged, inspired and helped me realize this idea, including Mae Fern Schroeder, Kaki Foley, Angela King, Ann Herren, Anne Sumich, and Courtney Kloor.