About Susan

Susan SargentI began my art career at a young age, and by 12 had settled on textiles as my major focus. I collected vintage textiles from high school on, and learned to print and silkscreen on fabric. I became obsessed with weaving, and made my way to Sweden as a junior in college. Finding my bliss at a small family spinning and dyeing business, I spent two years there, and two more years in trade school learning to weave and dye.

After this, I returned to settle in Vermont, where I have been ever since. I raised sheep (still do), wove custom tapestries up to 8'x17', and generally spent all my waking hours in my studio at the looms.

color wheelIn 1993 I was hired to develop a couple of pillow collections, and spent time in Hungary training women in a small collective factory. Later, I also travelled to develop a rug collection in India. By that time, I had found I was ready for a change, and loved the challenge of developing designs for artisans in India and other countries. I loved the travel and the inspiration, as well as the collaborations with skilled handicrafters in their own workshops. I decided the time was right, and leapt into developing my own collections for the wholesale market.

For the next 8 years, I sold through the home furnishing industry showrooms and trade fair, with showrooms in Atlanta, the High Point Furniture Fair, and the New York Gift Show. I featured collections of rugs and decorative pillows, and then over a couple of years moved into hand-painted bedding, etched glass, and handpainted ceramics. We sold and distributed our collections to around 1200 specialty retail shops around the country, with another 100 or so direct-mail catalogues for which I did custom designs. I also did free-lance "private label" bedding designs for Neiman Marcus, small accent rugs for Laura Ashley and Orvis and Colonial Williamsburg, and others including Garnet Hill, Cuddledown, and the Sundance catalogue.

Eventually I developed Licensing partners for these categories, and got out of the wholesale world. I maintained my own shops, however, and web-store, while leaving broader distribution to the Licensing companies.

 

sheep
pillows
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