Bethany Shorb, Founder and Principal Designer of Cyberoptix was born in Boston, MA in 1976. She received her MFA in Sculpture from Cranbrook Academy of Art and BFA from Boston University. Her photography and product design work have been widely published in the United States and abroad; her visual art and product work have been exhibited throughout the US and included in numerous private and public collections. Her musical alter-ego has performed at many venues and festivals across North America including the Guggenheim Museum in New York and Movement: Detroit’s Electronic Music Festival.
Shorb founded The Cyberoptix Tie Lab in 2006. As a designer of witty hand printed neckwear, she has applied her experience as a sculptor, couture, costume and graphic designer to transform a much maligned business necessity into a subversive object of desire. In addition to a strong internet retail presence, Cyberoptix ties and scarves are currently represented by more than 250 boutiques and museum stores in over a dozen countries—from Fred Segal in Los Angeles, the ICA Museum in Boston, to the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
Her work has appeared on PBS Newshour, HGTV, The Martha Stewart Show and recently reviewed in the New York Times, Wired, Antenna, FiberArts, Brides, TimeOut New York, Motorcyclist and Make Magazines—while adorning the necks of dignitaries worldwide. In Moscow, April 2011, General Tom Stafford, commander of the historic Apollo-Soyuz mission, presented two cosmonauts, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev a set of Cyberoptix’s “Apollo-Soyuz” design ties as a gift to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s spaceflight. Corporate clients include Lexus, Scion, Hewlett Packard, EverPower and Terra-Gen Renewable Power.
A paradox for the times, Cyberoptix Tie Lab operates one of the largest sustainable, water-based, solvent-free print shops in the country right in Downtown Detroit’s Eastern Market—providing a seditious, punky fashion statement for executives bound to the neck noose, and a sharply styled alternative for those who don’t need to wear a tie, but choose to do so. All ties and scarves are designed and printed in house—to date, Shorb has hand-printed over 100,000 neckties herself without the assistance of any machinery or automation. The Lab’s new line of printed silk scarves are woven and dyed by Fair-Trade practices supporting a small family artisan silk business in rural Thailand; Shorb and her fiancé visited the silk market in Bangkok this Spring and were proud to interact with suppliers in person. Featured in print and online product and industrial design publications, Cyberoptix’s premium wood packaging is also Forest Stewardship Council Certified. Packaging papers, hangtags and protective shipping materials are made from 100% post-consumer fiber, manufactured in mills run by sustainable energy.
A proponent of Detroit’s organic re-invention and prosperity through the help of makers, thinkers, and entrepreneurs thriving while operating on a lean budget, Shorb has called the Detroit-area home for thirteen years and is giving greater focus to more community-based projects while still exhibiting internationally. Employing area art students and members of the local community, Shorb has taught valuable professional skills through internship, apprenticeship and studio-assistant positions. As a founding member of OmniCorpDetroit, Detroit’s first hacker/makerspace, she has exhibited at the inaugural Maker Faire Detroit 2010, ‘11, and ‘12 at The Henry Ford, and World Maker Faire New York, with Cyberoptix to date being a recipient of seven Editor’s Choice Awards. Shorb has served as a curatorial collaborator at Gallery Project, Ann Arbor’s leading non-profit venue for challenging contemporary art and MOCAD’s “New Wave” Board. Shorb and her staff have contributed creative and capital resources to 944 Magazine’s “Chucks for Charity,” the ACLU, Architecture for Humanity, The Midwest AIDS Prevention Project (MAPP) and their charitable events at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and the College for Creative Studies. Most recently Shorb was a visiting artist in printmaking at Summit Series.