About Us

The hummbleBee booth, NW String Summit '09

The hummbleBee booth at the Northwest String Summit, July ’09.
Hello and Welcome to the hummbleBee home online!

All items featured on the site are handcrafted and designed by ourselves with lovin’ care. Nothing here is mass-produced – every piece is an original! Remember, by investing in our work, you’ll have the pride of knowing that you own a fairly-traded, original piece of art!

hummbleBee designs is a small company based out of our home in Portland, Oregon. We dedicate our time to creating beautiful wearable and decorative art to share with the world. All of our work is completely original, we never use other people’s patterns. It all happens here – concept, design, production and merchandising. If you want to find out where our next show will be or if you’re interested in hosting or having us attend a private show in the Portland area, please contact us!

While we work we are inspired by the music of artists like Phish, the Grateful Dead, Keller Williams, Bob Marley, and Ani DiFranco. We put a lot of work and thought into every piece we create. We also really pride ourselves on the quality and longevity of our work – we use only high-quality new fabrics and every seam is serged and double-stitched with dependable sewing machines. All glass is worked very evenly in the flame and properly annealed in a kiln.  When you buy hummbleBee, you know your are supporting kind phamily!

We do custom designs for people all the time. The wait time depends on our current schedule and upcoming shows, as well as the complexity of the piece you want. If you see something you like, don’t be afraid to ask!



Ian Balmer has been on Grateful Dead and Phish tour since the early 90s, when he quickly learned to put his creative talent to work toward gas money to the next show. He began with crocheting hats, jars and macrame with hemp – soon he caught the sewing bug and has been develping his designs for shorts, pants, and hoodies ever since.

Ian’s sewing skills are completely self-taught and it has been a learning experience from the beginning. As a young’un he received some vocational training in carpentry and that training is apparent in his thought process as he “builds” a new garment up from scratch each time.


Linnea Balmer (formerly Linnea Rochester) has always been a crafty, artistic individual, and at a very young age her parents infected her with ceaseless curiosity. In her creative evolution, she started with macramé and jewelry of all sorts, hand sewing and crochet, and started sewing patchwork and clothing on a larger scale after she and Ian met in the 2001. In winter of ’03 she stepped into the amazing world of lampwork borosilicate glass.

In school, Linnea studied art and visual communications. She loves trying to apply artistic principles to the multiple media she uses, and breaking down images to be used in applique pieces or drawn in glass. She is intently interested in the processes of her art and inspired by the world around her to create more!



May of 2011 our lives were changed forever when we were lucky enough to meet our daughter, Jubilee Sagan hummbleBee.  She was born into a home of love, and we are so happy to have her sweet spirit join us in this journey of life.

She is an inspiration, and a joy!

But please be patient with us this year – because she is also a big distraction from our work.

Our animals are a huge part of our lives and if you know us you hear about them constantly. Here they are!

Nermal! Merkin!
Nermal the polydactyl kitty Merkin the patchwork kitteh

2 thoughts on “About Us”

  1. Hi my name is Swede. I was camped by you guys at hornings 2010 and bought a pair of shorts from you. I love these shorts and still wear them all the time. Unfortunately they are getting to the point that I’m wearing them less and less because of holes and tears and I don’t want to lose them. Was wondering if I could send them back to you guys and have them mended. Would love to be able to rock these for another 10 years!!


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