AIGA Baltimore

Meet the Speaker: Alyson Beaton

Alyson Beaton has always found inspiration in the world around her, but she discovered her true love for design while training to become an architect. Once she completed her degree, she jumped on a plane to Europe, sketching her way around centuries-old cities that made her feel magical.

It was there that she fell in love with cities.

On a quest to see one of the most famous buildings designed by one of the most famous architects in the French countryside, she realized that, to her, the most beautiful architecture are the places where real people love to live and call home.

Lille Village Bundle from Lille Huset

This moment is the inspirational basis upon which her product line, Lille Huset, is founded. After Europe, Alyson completed her MFA in Visual communications from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2003, and then went on to design and launch several product lines, including Grow Books Press, Lille Huset, and Marketote.

xs Brooklyn home

Alyson’s Lille Huset dollhouses have been featured in Dwell Magazine, and her home remodelling project was featured on Apartment Therapy and in the Chicago Tribune. Her Lille Huset line is distributed to stores near and far, including Nordstrom, Paper Source, J Crew, Heath Ceramics, and many independent retailers, too.

What’s interesting is that Alyson not only designs products, but she also creates the product web sites, graphics, branding, marketing, photography, and social media for her lines. She collaborates with manufacturers, sales reps, and freelance artists on occasion to help bring her products to life and run her studio.


On Wednesday, October 21, Alyson will give a talk about what it’s like to be a designer launching a product line. More specifically, she’ll talk about why failure is essential in the product design process, how a designer’s critical minds are both an asset and a curse, and why all designers should launch a product line. Alyson will share about the mistakes she made and detail what she wishes she knew before she launched her products.

Join us for Alyson’s Why Failure is Essential for Design Entrepreneurs AM talk


When she isn’t scheduling social media, writing blog posts, and prepping emails for AIGA Baltimore, you can find Kate Lawless designing interactive elearning software, communications, digital signs, and documentation for the University of Maryland Faculty Physicians, Inc. On weekends, she’ll be hands-deep in her vegetable garden or out hiking local trails. Tweet her at @katereeez