My parents always told me that it was clear that it was in my blood, making art and selling things! What a seemingly odd combination... When I was 8 years old, I held my first backyard art show where I convinced all the neighbors on our street that they each had to have a Joanna original for their walls. Apparently, my pitch worked and I made $5.00 that day which was a fortune to me at the time! Not only did I finish the afternoon with more money than I had ever earned but a little mustard seed had been tucked deep inside my soul. I could make art, and I could sell it. People would buy it.
From then on it seems that regardless of what else I was doing or studying at the time, I was also doing some kind of art. As I grew older the art changed- paintings changed to drawings & sketches, to cards & stationery, to jewelry, to pottery. In college, I became fascinated with graphic design and the art of papermaking & printmaking. I worked on huge handmade paper canvases that wove in a variety of other mediums. I created my own prints with abandon. But when I discovered fabric and quilting, I knew immediately that this was the medium for me. It drew me in from the moment I sat down with needle and thread. It was a coming home kind of experience for me that was different from any other I had experienced before.
My company first started off as "Figlets", selling small quilted pillows, wall hangings, and other accessories in local boutiques, art shows, and street fairs. We worked hard to keep up with demand but as a young mother, I quickly realized that I couldn’t manage the pace. Soon after I began working at my local quilt shop, first as an employee and then as a quilt and sewing teacher. The need for good patterns propelled me quickly down the path of designing my own quilt and sewing patterns. It wasn’t long before that itch to make art and sell it, resurfaced for me and FIG TREE was born. The rest is a whirlwind of good timing, good people and, we think, good design.
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