Our Story


Hi! I'm Brannon Addison, the owner of and artist behind Happy Cactus Designs. I create one-of-a-kind hand embroidered artwork from my home studio in Durango, Colorado.

More About Brannon

Growing up in Dallas, Texas, I loved taking art classes and going to creative summer camps, but never dreamed of becoming an artist. 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. 

Over the years, Happy Cactus Designs' paper goods have been featured in the pages of Sweet Paul, Uppercase Magazine, and on the cover of Stationery Trends magazine. After 6 rewarding years, the paper goods line winded down in 2017 so I could focus full-time on my passion: hand embroidery.

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.

With each piece, I have a general concept in mind, but I don't work with a template or pattern. All of my embroidery work is freehand, and I find beauty in the unknown of how a piece will turn out.

Each piece of hand embroidery is sold framed with a custom mat board selected especially for that design. No two pieces are alike and each takes many hours of hand stitching to complete. 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 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, I love exploring the mountains of Southwest Colorado with my husband and dog, 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 (where I launched my company), 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 enjoys 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!

The best way to find out about new releases is to sign up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers get first access to the collection. Items are sold on a first come, first serve basis. To be notified when new pieces are listed, sign up for the newsletter or follow Happy Cactus on Instagram where I often share works in progress (#happycactusembroidery).

Press: Please contact hello{at}happycactusdesigns.com for inquiries and access to high resolution images. 

Portrait photography by Christina Walker Photography