Elizabeth Archangeli had a shoe and clothing making business in Indonesia when she decided it was time to do something else. After taking a print-making class at Burlington City Arts, she opened a T-shirt printing business in 2012. “I was listening to the radio and heard an etymologist talk about the noise crickets make at night,” she said. “He called it ‘cricket radio’ and I thought that sounded like a great name for my business.” Archangeli admits that if the business had been more like its current iteration, she might not have chosen the name but she’s still glad she did because it’s a memorable one.
Although Cricket Radio started as an on-line business making T-shirts based on the fabrics Archangeli had from her years in Indonesia, it quickly progressed to table linens and other home products. Her first line, Indochine, was based on her Asian experience but she soon followed it with other lines including a nautical-themed one called Montauk and another called Tuscan. Cricket Radio’s products can be purchased on-line but they are also available in stores across the United States from California and Texas to Maine, and beyond the confines of this country in Kuwait. Archangeli has one full-time employee with local subcontractors performing some of her work. All the printing and sewing is done in Vermont. Cricket Radio products have been featured in magazines ranging from Eating Well to Flower Magazine, Food & Wine Magazine and Martha Stewart Living.
Archangeli’s business continues to evolve. She has now begun working with designers on hospitality projects. The first of these was a partnership with Truex Cullins on the Cliff House Hotel in Maine. Archangeli is also working with the Alpine Club at Stowe Mountain Resort and the Summercamp Hotel in Martha’s Vineyard. “I always thought a hotel would be a good market for my products,” Archangeli said. “We work directly with designers who have these projects and everything is customized for their design.” This new work means a shift in the kinds of fabric Archangeli uses and has also created an entire new field for her with wall art.
Archangeli has lived in Shelburne for almost nine years and doesn’t rule out eventually opening a retail store in town. In 2014 she had a small store on Church Street in Burlington which started as a pop-up for the holiday season. However, as she begins to concentrate on the hospitality industry, any potential retail plans are on hold. Archangeli may even phase out some of her products temporarily while she seeks out more hospitality customers but she hopes to return to her roots.
Hand towels used to be the most popular item in Cricket Radio’s inventory but now wall art is taking off. “I love working with local designers,” Archangeli said. “When I do wall art projects I get to find woodworkers to build the panels and other local artisans who can help me make a great product. The more time I get to spend designing the better, but I love every aspect of the work.”