in 1985-86 I opened a multi-media art gallery featuring
45 artists (and of course my smaller pieces). The
gallery lasted until the stock market crashed in October
of 1987. The gallery closed in Dec. of that year.
We had a wake.
that door closed, another opened, and a friend, who had
designed an interesting hearth-related product, asked
if I would help him market it (since on-the-ground maketing
was what I had been doing now for a decade). So I took
up his product, we put a small company around it, and
pitched it to the world, while adding new products around
it to create a larger "buy" opportunity for
retailers. After 2 years my friend was bored with
the project, so I bought the company and changed the name.
From 1990-2001 I built the company to $1M with 50 employees
all specializing in craft-style handmade items for the
hearth and garden (many of which you will find on this
website). Many of the ceramics you see here that
I love so much have that same soft, flowing quality that
my fabric work had in the old days. For me it has always
been not only how something looks,
but also how it feels. I closed
the big company and departed from wholesale trade shows
in 2001, just barely out the door before the new Chinese
vendors set up major showrooms and drove the pricing to
unsustainably low levels.
the calm between 2001 and 2003 I started designing this
website, with the sole purpose of selling at wholesale
pricing to online retail customers, while continuing to
work with my home-based artists in Mexico. I sell
nothing from China except the baskets that hold the hearth
products, and I buy those from American vendors who import
directly. The site launched in 2003. Apparently it is
working, because we are growing, and once again I am having
a lot of fun doing it.
& Bobby (my Giraffes)
website is all about the hearth and garden, with everything
from one-of-a-kind folk art and some really comfortable
cotton clothing called Manta to laze around in or garden
in (that many of us remember from the 60’s and 70’s),
to hearth firestarter baskets for a really special holiday
gift. Our ceramics will be mainly about animals, because
I love animals and natural habitat. I intend to flirt
outrageously with whimsy, outright silliness, and imagination
on the site. Occasionally there will be stories from,
and about Churchill, our “hedgehog
in residence”, and he will undoubtedly have gardening
tips and walking tours through special gardens as time
I will introduce you to some American
Craftsmen, whose work I love and respect both for
design and originality. We will have links for you to
their sites if you see something that tickles your fancy.
This will be a growing list. Eventually we hope it is
a place you come first to look before you buy that next
outrageously wonderful garden piece, and you can buy it
from the designer who made it. Our favorite concept!
hope you enjoy this site. It feels to me like the beginning
of another 30 year journey!
NOVEMBER 1, 2007 A Moveable and Ongoing Feast
(with a courteous nod here to E.H.)
How times flies.
I was right about this, you know. You guys are just
the cat's pajamas, the bee's knees, the chocolate sprinkles
on my Saturday and Sunday. I have talked
to SO MANY of you, shared in your stories, celebrated
special events, helped with special occasions, and listened
while a nostalgic blouse purchase preceded a mastectomy.
Every day you add to my joy that the world is filled with
substance and heart, fighting for daylight, and that honesty
and consideration trumps greed every time. I definitely
was right about this. The next decade definitely
will be a moveable feast.
2, 2010 I am beyond tickled.
more years at this, and even 2008 (and now 9) in the rearview
been wonderful. 2009 was a huge surprise, and we
came into 2010
than ever. It was all you guys, coming back, sharing
us with friends and family (the referrals make me positively
giddy), and again sharing stories and events with me.
I LOVE the notes you leave with your orders - some of
you are old friends by now. I hope to continue to
find cool things for you, different and unique, to add
a little silliness and elegance to your lives. I thank
you for the support, and the notes and stories. I have
a very full cup. You are my heroes.
Spring 2011 My 65th year.
JANUARY 22, 2012 PHEW!
2010 just flew by, and was an amazingly good year, then 2011 roared into life and we were humming right along until LL Bean decided to ship fatwood free, passing almost all the fatwood shipping costs onto their clothing customers (yes, that is the reason a lot of the clothing went up 40-60% - many customers were paying for OTHER customers shipping). We fell off the cliff for a couple months, as I refused to ask my clothing, glass and ceramic customers to pay for shipping for my (beloved) fatwood customers.
It took about 2 months, but we recovered about 70% of that business, due I am sure to the ethical and moral compasses of my stellar customers, who GOT it! So we ended up close to 2010 levels (close enough) and the beginning of 2012 has started with a bang! YEA! I love all the notes, and silliness, and pictures of dogs and kids. My customer base, you folks, are just amazing, and I am SO grateful. Can't wait to get to Mexico this year and find some cool new things for you!
About our techies . . .
Betazed joined us August of 2011, and bring a LOT knowledge , web design and back-end wizardry to our ongoing endeavor. This just got too big not to be in the hands of pros.
"Betazed Solfware Solutions Inc." can design anything, from websites to software and apps, not to mention keeping all my bells and whistles running smoothly,
If you have any questions
about the website please refer to the following:
For ordering and sales questions, please email us at
or call 503-482-0006
To place a fax order, or ro order by phone, please go directly to
HOW TO ORDER on the lefthand navigation bar above.
than those wonderful retailers we have been working with
(at wholesale) for years, and with whom we will contiue
to work, we have decided we like working directly, and
that is where we are going to put our time and resources.
We no longer produce a wholesale catalog.
you for taking the time to read all of this. Wow.