Coarse Cloth Ltd allows me to use my fine arts and textile design backgrounds to produce intensively handmade products for our customers. One handbag can easily take more than a week to complete from start to finish.
As a child my two main interests were being outdoors and making art. We lived in the rural piedmont area of North Carolina, so exploring nature was the largest part of my everyday, until one day I found an old art set in my father’s study that contained small tubes of oil paints. I think I was around 8 years old. My father, obviously still enamored with painting but much too busy now that he had a family, made time to sit with me at the dining table and show me how to paint. He had grabbed an orange from the refrigerator for our subject, and in a few minutes I saw two dimensions become three on the small canvas before us. This changed me forever.
Education / Experience
Years later I began selling my own artwork through galleries, consultants and juried shows. I also wanted to pursue textile art, so I returned to Philadelphia to continue my education at Philadelphia University College of Textiles to pursue a degree in textile design. After graduation, I was recruited by Anthropologie to design textiles for their women’s apparel division. They have a beautiful headquarters at the Philadelphia Naval Yard and I felt fortunate for this opportunity. I later joined Craftex Mills as a jacquard designer designing for the home furnishing and contract markets. This was an incredible opportunity to learn how to design patterns for damask and tapestry looms. I loved working as a jacquard designer at Craftex. Unfortunately Craftex Mills was acquired by a larger company outside the U.S. Craftex was no more.
Founding Coarse Cloth Ltd
My husband and I eventually moved to Colorado where I found a small knitting mill close to our new home that uses the same manual knitting machines I had learned to use in my commercial knit classes at Philadelphia University. I got a temporary job at this mill to reacquaint myself with these wonderful machines and bolster my confidence in forming Coarse Cloth Ltd.