In this episode of “Behind The Counter,” we get to speak with Bethany Shorb, the founder of Cyberoptix Tie Lab. Bethany tells us about moving to Metro Detroit to study sculpture at Cranbrook Art Academy, becoming an website designer in the early days of the Internet and the creative journey that led her to creating a life and business in Detroit.
“I feel like I succeeded at being an early adopter in a lot of things,” Bethany says, citing the Internet, Etsy and her now-enviable Detroit studio as evidence. As Cyberoptix Tie Lab –home of the original ties that don’t suck– turns 10 this year, it counts several fashionable NASA astronauts as fans. For the foreseeable future, Bethany says she will continue working hard to expand her vision and her company.
“I like bending peoples’ brains a little bit on just mixing color by eye, and I’m pretty good at it,” she says. Along with her talent for creating unique water-based ink colors, –Bethany mixes more than 100 colors by hand– the screens she uses are also made in-house. Although merging her small business model with some clients’ “Home Depot” expectations has been a little stressful at times, Bethany says weddings are still a big (and mostly fun) part of Cyberoptix, along with online and retail sales.
Throughout this episode, additional topics of discussion include ancient jars of olives, dumpsters, Detroit techno, “micro-nations,” accounting drama, panini’d toddlers, Red Bull, historic blueprints, junkyards, missiles, bridezillas, meat space and entitled hipster art children.
Music by Broke For Free. Editing by Annamarie Sysling.