My name is Ashley Van Etten and I am an illustrator, with a love of textiles and a background in clothing design. I live in Rhode Island with my husband/photographer, Joe Beckham, and our huskyx dog, Juneau and our malamutex dog, Takhoma.

Willywaw is everything that interests me (nature, science, wildlife), everything I like to do (draw, sew, print) and everywhere I like to be (outside). For me, designing is an open doorway - my way outside to gather, my way back home to create. With the goal of designing well-made, timeless, and functional products, Willywaw, essentially, connects people with nature, enriching their lives and enhancing their environments.

Nearly everything in our shop is made with our own hands. I cut, print and sew the majority of our textiles. T-shirts, tea towels and ditty bags are printed here as well. Joe handcrafts beautiful frames for our artwork and photography. 

My company is named after the williwaws (willywaw is a variant spelling), referred to by Alfred Lansing in his book Endurance, which chronicles Ernest Shackleton's 1914 Antarctic expedition. A williwaw is a sudden, violent, katabatic wind, formed over glaciers, that descends from mountainous coasts onto the sea. 

Joe and I work together in our studio. Joe's work can been seen at lightforgestudio.com. As artisans, our handmade work is exempt from sales tax in the state of Rhode Island. Our studio is open to the public, please refer to Store Info for seasonal hours. 


Willywaw, a maker film by Sky Sabin Productions from Ashley Van Etten on Vimeo.