In 1986 I made a trip to India as a buyer and product developer looking for inspiration. It would be the first of umpteen trips to India over three plus DECADES. That first trip introduced me to a part of the world where handcrafted goods made by generations within family-run businesses were part of the pattern of the culture and the backbone of the country. Each city, town or village I visited was rich with its own craftsmanship, artistry and entrepreneurial spirit.
During one of those early visits at one family-run coir facility something interesting happened. Before my trip, a customer had challenged me to figure out a way to make a basic everyday coir doormat “PRETTY”. With the artisans now gathered around, we went to work to figure out how to put color and design onto a simple utility mat. Using natural coconut fibers (“coir”) as a base and natural dyes as coloring, we figured out a way to get the coconut fibers to accept and hold the handmade dye. The metal workers then began to hammer and cut various shapes and designs. Using one stencil per dye, and layering one odd-looking shape atop another, we turned a single bland, brown utility mat into a colorful work of ART. It really was at this moment that this simple combination of practicality and decoration ignited my life-long passion in home décor and established my basic principle of design.
Functional and Fun. Basic and Beautiful. “Everyday” items that are also unique, colorful, amusing, decorative, and affordable. That is my primary product design principal. Floor and tabletop coverings, boot trays and doormats, furnishings and accessories - home décor woven, dyed, molded and decorated with designs inspired by the beauty of the world around us. With my team of artists, we also incorporate into our designs icons or images that represent every region of our country and our favorite places to hang out – at the beach and in the country, on lakes and in cabins, at vacation spots and within our backyards.
And because I am a total GARDEN FREAK, my team is always working on new floral and botanical looks as well. My brand has become known for its use of realistic images that reflect my favorite flowers and scenes from the garden.
As I review my past and current collections that I’ve carefully curated over the years, I am so glad to see my primary product design principle of “functional and fun, basic and beautiful” consistently reflected back at me. As you shop my current product line, I hope that you see it too – and that it inspires you. Each product that you purchase is intended to bring joy and positive energy to the little life spaces they inhabit in your home or in the home of someone you love.
Now go shop for what you need – and have some FUN!