ACME Studios was founded in Los Angeles in 1985 by Adrian Olabuenaga and his wife, Lesley Bailey. ACME made its first appearance with a limited edition collection of jewelry designed for them by Peter Shire, the LA-based member of the world renowned Memphis Group. Soon after the initial debut, ACME released a large collection of over one hundred pieces, MEMPHIS DESIGNERS for ACME, with the help of writer Barbara Radice and designer/architect, Ettore Sottsass. Little did Adrian and Lesley know that this collection would dramatically change the jewelry industry the same way the Memphis Group's furniture changed the design world. ACME was the first company other than Memphis Milano to work with all 14 Memphis designers including Andrea Branzi, Aldo Cibic, Michele De Lucchi, Matteo Thun, Ettore Sottsass, and others. The collection debuted at the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in 1986, along with the last stop for the MEMPHIS touring show, before returning to Italy. Many pieces from this collection are now in the permanent collections of museums around the world (the Denver Art Museum and Brooklyn Museum of Art in the United States). The entire series is in the permanent collection of the Groninger Museum in Holland.

ACME followed up this successful collection with collections such as "Architects for ACME", "Artists for ACME", "Alchimia for ACME", "ACME Collection" along with several others. These collections gave ACME an opportunity to work with many different designers from diverse backgrounds and specializations only furthering their success and gaining status in the design industry.

After relocating to Maui, Hawaii in 1988, ACME ventured into the development of products such as wrist watches, men's accessories, and leather goods designed for them by the world's leading designers, artists and architects. During this time, ACME also completed an architectural work, CASA MAUI, designed specifically for Adrian and Lesley by Ettore Sottsass.

In 1997, ACME released its first collection of fine writing tools. Always on the cutting edge of design, ACME's writing tools revolutionized a new concept in the pen industry. Having collaborated with hundreds of top designers over the years, ACME has secured a place in both the pen industry as well as the design industry.