Our Story


Happy Cactus Designs is a design studio owned and operated by Brannon Addison. It began in New York City, operated for three years in Austin, Texas, and is currently based in Durango, Colorado. Brannon produces both hand illustrated paper goods and hand embroidered artwork.

More About Brannon

Since a young age, I have always found myself doodling and drawing as a creative pastime, often making cards for friends and family members. While pursuing a career in education and nonprofit communications, I relieved stress at night by drawing as a creative outlet. The encouragement of family and friends to offer my designs for sale, coupled with strong mentorship in building a small business, led to the launch of the Happy Cactus Designs stationery line in 2011. 

Happy Cactus Designs' paper goods have been featured in the pages of Sweet Paul, Uppercase, Giftware News, and on the cover of Stationery Trends magazine. You may have also come across my cards on well-known paper and design blogs including Oh So Beautiful Paper, Paper Crave, The Etsy Blog, and Design Crush. 

I come from a long line of needleworkers, but didn’t pick up hand embroidery myself until the end of 2014. While sidelined with a major ankle injury, I ordered supplies on a whim and taught myself various stitches. I launched my first collection of work for sale in August 2015. The hours of stitching that go into the creation of each piece, combined with the final framed presentation, gives a sense of heirloom quality. Learn more about the process and collection here. My embroidery has been featured on Design*Sponge, Vogue, Martha Stewart, and more. A career highlight was being commissioned to create a special embroidered piece for the April 2016 issue of House Beautiful. 

When I am not busy stitching or painting, I love exploring the mountains of Southwest Colorado, supporting my alma mater (Stanford University), traveling, and trying new restaurants. 

Check out the blog to learn about what's happening behind the scenes at Happy Cactus Designs.

What is the Happy Cactus?

So just where did the name for the design studio originate? While living in New York City, I bought a tiny one-inch tall cactus to remind me of my Texas roots. With loving attention (and a lot of sunlight), the little cactus grew into a thriving plant…a very Happy Cactus indeed! Now residing in Colorado, the Happy Cactus is enjoying the strong mountain sun. Just like the plant, my goal for the studio is to take the tiny seed of an idea for a design company and grow it into a line of products that bring color and happiness to everyone. 

Stay in the Loop!

Feel free to contact me at hello{at}happycactusdesigns.com. For more inside scoop, news on product releases, and sneak peeks of new goods, please join the mailing list by adding your email address in the sign-up box at the bottom of this page and follow Happy Cactus on Instagram.

Portrait photography by Christina Walker Photography