Southern Charmers :: A client visit in the Carolinas
Recently, I was invited to Rock Hill, South Carolina by a new client that I met at Surtex. I was really excited to go because when I met the folks from Springs Creative they were the warmest, loveliest people, so I knew I would be in good company. When they told me that I would be staying at the ‘Homestead’ I was really curious, and I felt like I was about to embark on a Southern adventure.
They also invited another artist who I had the great pleasure of getting to know — the fabulous, incredibly talented and charming Jennifer Paganelli of Sis Boom. Her eye for colour and pattern is awe-inspiring, she has truly built a name for herself and she was great company!
The Homestead was incredible, and when I saw my room, I felt like a princess. The former family home of the company founders, the Homestead is now a guest house, and I’ve never stayed anywhere like it. It was like staying in a museum, in fact, they actually have a curator on staff. In this case, I think pictures will speak louder than words (below).
Springs has a long history in the fabric industry, and they work in the former cotton factory which has been converted into offices, which are beautiful and so inspiring and house an incredible archive library that was better than any textile museum I’ve visited, with thousands upon thousands of textiles, well-preserved by their amazing designers Suree and Len. You could ask Len for any kind of obscure art or style, and he could take you to exactly where to find it in a matter of seconds. I was like a kid in a candy store. They have a huuuuge selection of fabrics from the 20th century but also some gems from as far back as 1246!! I could have spent days here. See just a small sampling of some of my favourites, below.
As for what the trip was all about, I can’t say much about it but can offer up a hint: it involves the world of quilting. We were meeting with buyers from a really amazing retail store in the US, and Springs put on a fabulous presentation of our art and made us feel so welcome. (I was so thrilled when I saw that they’d actually taken a cake pattern that I’d designed and had a baker bake a cake based on the design!) The whole thing was a success, and that’s all I can say for now… I swear, the hardest part of licensing is keeping quiet about things that I’m super excited about!!
On the way to the airport on the final day, we stopped the car over for a moment to look at a nice building, and not a second later a man pops up at the side of the car, with a head full of white hair and wearing a full seersucker suit and asks in a true southern drawl “excuse me, ma’am, do y’all need any help?”. Talk about a Southern gentleman. Coming from a bustling city where disrupting the flow of traffic for more than a few seconds would warrant a long honk or the hurling of insults, it was the perfect end to a wonderful trip. A big, gigantic thank you to the lovely, lovely Susan and all the staff at Springs Creative. It was an unforgettable trip. I can’t wait to see what’s next.