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About Us

Hello! Welcome to Painted Turtle Illustration and thanks for stopping by! We launched in August of 2016 and are so excited to be here!

Our names are Leane and Kate. We are a Mother/Daughter team located in the great state of Maine. Leane is an artist and children's book illustrator with a background in Early Childhood Education. She has also been an elementary school librarian. She has illustrated two award-winning picture books called Shy Mama's Halloween and The Carpet Boy's Gift. Leane is the designer of our tees! Kate is a certified Elementary teacher and has taught English as a Second Language and first grade. She is also a mom of two- both of whose faces you will see frequently on this website. ;) Kate runs the marketing and customer service side of the biz.


Leane and Kate in 1986 and 2016

The idea for Painted Turtle Illustration originated back in 1989 when Leane started a children's t shirt company called Sweetpea’s Tees. The business was put on hold after a few years as Leane's life as a mother of three became a little too hectic to maintain a side business. It wasn't until a few years ago when Kate unearthed the original Sweetpea’s T shirts (the same ones she wore when she was four years old) that the business was brought back to life and re-branded as Painted Turtle Illustration. The designs have received a bit of a facelift and been expanded upon, but the whimsical spirit of the original designs has been preserved.

Painted Turtle Sweetpea's Tees

Our mission is to provide our customers with unique, high-quality t shirts that honor the innocence of childhood. We believe that childhood is an incredibly important, special, and magical time that should be celebrated!

Things we care deeply about:
  • Families and children
  • Communities
  • Education
  • Kindness
  • Children's book and literacy
  • Animals and animal shelters
  • Product quality (have we mentioned our shirts are super soft!?)

We love our customers and welcome the chance to hear from you! We want you to love your shirts, so if you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at

At the bottom of our site you will see links to our Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest pages- please follow us! We love to see our customers enjoying their shirts- use the hashtag #paintedturtletees to share your pictures!

You can also sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of the site. This will allow you to receive special customer discounts, new product sneak peeks and fun downloadable freebies from us!

We look forward to providing you with an excellent and fun customer experience and hope that our shirts encourage you to "come out of your shell!"

Maine toddler shirt