Shown is the official Mary Engelbreit Studios, Inc. 40th Anniversary Design. All ME vendors have been asked to create products with it. Our version, #ME-BN14, “Journey of 1000 Miles” is on 18m, has an image size of 12″x 10″ and will be available to ship around May 1st.
I’m often asked about Painted Pony’s journey – how we got started and the like. We were born in the summer of 1989. My husband and I had moved to the Texas Gulf Coast region after spending our early marriage years in Austin, where I had worked part time at The Needle Works, while I dabbled in arts and crafts (I have a graphics arts degree, so it was legit dabbling!) Because I did custom work for the shop, the owners asked me if I would come up with a few new pieces for a Christmas in July event. After designing some mini-socks and coyotes, I needed to come up with a name. I really had no ambitions as to starting a business and figured what little money I made would go to my “horse” fund. The name Painted Pony was born because I was literally “painting for a pony”.
I traveled up to Austin with copies of about a dozen designs in hand and sold everything in one afternoon (less two coyotes, I think). I continued to fill orders for the store and one day decided to spread my wings, and, while meeting my sister-in-law for lunch in Houston, I stopped by the Needle House to drop off my card. The former owner, Susan, wasn’t there, so I left my card, asked directions to a popular German deli lunch spot close to the store, and went on my way. Here’s where it gets interesting: my SIL and I were ordering lunch, when a lady comes up to my table and asks me if I am Debbie of Painted Pony. OK, that’s weird. But it wasn’t! Susan had made it back to her store, saw my card, grabbed her purse and hunted me down to the German deli. She had been trying to find me for months because her customers kept bringing my canvases into her shop after their trips to Austin. Talk about an ego-trip!
So, the journey really began to map itself out. In February, I traveled to a regional show in Texas, where I sold so much, I felt like THE most popular girl in the room. (who doesn’t love that?! (By the way, this is where I met Kathy Wallace, who’s line, Needle Graphics, we distribute today). After discussing my sales tally with my Austin shop, the partners told me they had never heard of a first-timer doing that well! From that time on, our journey has been at full gallop!
This post is getting long, so I will save telling you about buying my horse for another day.
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Mary Engelbreit Studios, Inc is celebrating their 40th year and we are celebrating our second year of this journey as her licensed vendor for hand-painted needlepoint. What a trip it has been! Our stitches were so excited to see her designs on canvas again and we have been busy, busy, busy since we signed our agreement with her in May of 2015. We have built the canvas line to 130+ canvases and even have a Mary Engelbreit Trunk Show that ships out once a month. Here’s our ME schedule for the rest of 2017:
- April – Chandail/Houston, TX
- June – AVAILABLE – have your LNS call to grab the date!
- July – Fiddlesticks/Hawaii
- August – Expressions in NArt/Condadaigua, NY
- September – Stitch Boutique/Boston, MA
- October – Needlepoint Clubhouse/St. Louis, MO
- November – tentatively in Ohio
- December – Needle Nook of La Jolla/La Jolla, CA