Find the perfect gift for GRADS in The Collegiate Collection!

More Treasures

One week to Hand Embroider Each Pillow!

Inspiration Behind the Collection

Once upon a time C(armel)  A(nd) T(errell) — the ‘cat’ of catstudio – fell in love and discovered that they shared anthropological backgrounds and a thirst for travel. They also had a joy & deep appreciation for art, design and craftsmanship. Thus, they decided to put their interests together and design a timeless ode to geography & craftsmanship — the catstudio Geography Pillow

To begin to realize a collection, they had to climb 5 big steps:

1) Research — using maps, the internet, and conversations with many locals, they logged in 1,000’s of hours.

2) Design — drawing and drawing, 1,000’s more hours. Hopefully you’ll notice their obsessive attention to details! They believed every aspect was important. They sent drafts to savvy locals — the toughest critics, to help invoke an “insider” feeling of each place. Then re-draw & re-draw!

3) Color — more research hours spent to get the balance of colors pitch perfect….not an easy task! In some cases up to 30 colors adorn each pillow!

4) Artisanship — to get   samples made, Terrell & Carmel went off in search of those craftsmen they so admired. Through serendipity, a trip to Hong Kong and Bali, they came upon a textile queen who introduced them to one of the world’s treasures: Indian hand embroiderers. (They presently employ over 1,000 artisans.)

5) Production — they and the textile queen knew this was going to be a challenging project: the extensive training time, the use of up to 30 thread colors per design, the realization that it took a week to embroider one pillow, and then, getting each word & icon correct! 

Finally, in the year 2000, after all these hours (did we say 1,000’s? Ha!) of joyful work — trumpets sound — the unique inimitable catstudio hand embroidered pillow collection became a reality!!! Each pillow is unique in that every artisan’s work has its own “signature” and is one of a kind - like a snowflake. 

catstudio is constantly adding more designs and re-designing our current ones. Many are in their 3rd edition, which doesn’t even count the endless revisions and tweaks that take place in the life of a design! The many joyous hours have paid off in producing these exquisite pillows as they’ve turned up in movies, magazines, graced beautiful homes (even the White House), are owned by Senators, Governors, Celebrities, and Terrell’s cousin in the hollows of Kentucky.

Each one, signed by the artisan (care label), will surely stand the test of time and become a future heirloom.

That’s the story, and it’s only the beginning…

Shop the Collection

Frequently Asked Questions

Good souvenirs from visited cities include local crafts, regional food items, postcards, keychains, and homegoods with city themes.
Home goods as souvenirs make for good gifts because they offer a tangible reminder of a place, are often practical and useful, and can enhance the recipient's living space with unique and meaningful items. Home goods evoke memories of the visited location and serve a functional purpose, making them thoughtful and cherished gifts.
An authentic souvenir is a genuine and culturally representative item that reflects the local traditions, art, or identity of a specific place or community.
  • While both gifts and souvenirs, they are items given to others, but there are some differences:
  • Gifts:
  • Given to express love, appreciation, or celebrate an occasion.
  • Generally given to friends, family, or acquaintances.
  • Given on occasions like birthdays, holidays, or special events.
  • Reflect personal connections and the recipient's tastes.
  • Souvenirs:
  • Purchased to remember a place or experience.
  • Often bought for oneself or as a memento for someone else.
  • Purchased while traveling or visiting a specific place.
  • Represent the culture, history, or uniqueness of a location.
  • In summary, a gift is typically given to mark an occasion or express personal feelings, while a souvenir is a tangible reminder of a place or experience.
A typical American souvenir for a home might be decorative items such as a miniature Statue of Liberty, a framed picture of a famous U.S. landmark, or a regional-themed item.
Good authentic souvenirs for a home include locally crafted decor items, traditional textiles, handmade pottery, or unique artworks that capture the essence of the place.
As of January 2022, the most commonly visited place in America is often considered to be Times Square in New York City. It's a major commercial and entertainment hub, attracting millions of tourists each year. Other popular destinations include national parks such as the Grand Canyon, theme parks like Disneyland, and iconic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty. However, visitor preferences can change, and new attractions may gain popularity over time. Please check the latest travel statistics for the most current information.
  • Some of the most influential places in America include:
  • New York City: A global financial and cultural hub, featuring landmarks like Times Square and Wall Street.
  • Silicon Valley: The epicenter of the tech industry, with companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook headquartered there.
  • Hollywood: The entertainment capital, known for the film and television industry.
  • Wall Street: The financial district in New York City, symbolizing the heart of American finance.
  • The National Mall: Located in Washington, D.C., it hosts iconic monuments and memorials.
  • These places have significant cultural, economic, and political influence in the United States.
  • Must-see attractions in America include:
  • Statue of Liberty: Iconic symbol in New York Harbor.
  • Yellowstone National Park: America's first national park with geysers and wildlife.
  • Disneyland/Disney World: Famous theme parks in California and Florida.
  • National Mall and Monuments: Washington, D.C.'s historic landmarks.
  • Niagara Falls: Majestic waterfalls on the U.S.-Canada border.
  • Times Square: Vibrant entertainment hub in New York City.
  • Golden Gate Bridge: Iconic suspension bridge in San Francisco.
  • These attractions showcase the diverse beauty, culture, and entertainment found across the United States.
  • Some of the most popular attractions in the world include:
  • The Eiffel Tower: Iconic landmark in Paris, France.
  • The Vatican and St. Peter's Basilica: Religious and historical site in Vatican City.
  • Machu Picchu: Incan citadel in the Andes Mountains, Peru.
  • The Pyramids of Giza: Ancient Egyptian structures near Cairo.
  • Taj Mahal: Marble mausoleum in Agra, India.
  • The Louvre: Museum in Paris, home to the Mona Lisa.
  • Times Square: Vibrant entertainment hub in New York City.
  • These attractions draw millions of visitors each year due to their historical, cultural, or architectural significance.

Love for the geography collection

"The happy couple got engaged on Nantucket. We ordered 4 of your glasses for an engagement gift. Obviously they loved them, and they will always be a happy reminder! Thank you!"

Renee

"I have loved your products for over 10 years! I give them as gifts all the time and buy them for myself, too. The towels make the BEST and EASIEST hostess gifts—especially if we’re traveling and staying with friends. They’re also fabulous and easy to mail as housewarming gifts for people who’ve moved to a new city or state. Love your products! Thanks for keeping the good stuff coming!"

Terry

"Last month, my husband and I had planned to fly to Paris to celebrate our 50h wedding anniversary. Because our trip had to be canceled due to COVID-19, I purchased catstudio dish towels depicting a few of our favorite places. It cheers us up to see them in the kitchen."

Sandra

"Oh my goodness... these pillows took my breath away! A lovely tribute to our new "hometown" and all the wonderful new adventures we will enjoy together. catstudio, you truly are remarkable and it is my pleasure to include your heart-felt gifts on our first Christmas in our new home."

S