• Interview with Two Sisters Needlepoint!

    1. Tell us about yourselves, Preston and Grace. Where is home for you?
    I have three places that I consider home, and I always tell people I’m from the Carolinas instead of picking one specifically.  Grace and I were born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina so Charlotte will always have a piece of my heart and be my first home.  The second place I consider home is Edisto Beach, South Carolina.  My grandparents had a house down there so I spent a ton of time there growing up so I’ve always loved being there.  In college I started living down there during the summers working so making more of a little home for myself.  When our grandmother passed away in 2017, my parents bought the house and we’ve been slowly making it our own. Edisto and that home are hands down my favorite place in the world.  Lastly, I would consider Columbia, South Carolina my home.  I moved to Columbia in 2015 when I started college and I’ve spent most of my time there the past 5 years and I’ll be living there for at least another year as I start my new job there.  Columbia was really the first home I picked for myself.  

    2. What was your first experience with needlepoint. Who taught you to stitch?
    I think my first EVER experience with needlepoint is probably my dad telling me not to touch the needlepoint pillows with sticky hands, which was a problem for me growing up. Our house is COVERED in needlepoint pillows and I was always getting into something so frequently had sticky hands.  
    In terms of actually stitching something myself, I think I was maybe 5 or 6? I was sick so I got to stay home from school, and at the time staying home meant going to our dad’s needlepoint store.  I LOVED it, my dad HATED it.  I would run around and rearrange the whole store as I saw fit, so I think in an effort to sit me down and prevent me from destroying his store my dad gave me one of the beginner needlepoint sets for kids.  I vividly remember it: It was a colorful flower with a white background. My dad took about an hour off from painting and taught me to stitch. Luckily, I took to it like a fish to water and eventually shooed him away so I could be alone to work. 

    3. What led you to start designing your own canvases? What is your process like?
    I think the first ever canvas I designed myself was this weird thing I made on the computer and it was my name, I was probably about 10? It was green, pink, purple, and blue.  My dad let me paint it and stitch it, but oddly enough he never got it finished...  It’s still sitting in his studio at home.  
    I was about 12 years old when I designed my next canvas. It was a dachshund pillow for my grandmother for her birthday.  Looking back, it's not very good but she absolutely loved it and I was so proud of it. It’s always fun to look back on!
    As for seriously designing, my dad eventually started asking my opinion on stuff he was designing and I would recommend stuff that I thought would be cool for his canvas line Associated Talents (some he listened to, some he didn’t).  
    When Barbara Bergsten was selling her line, my dad approached us about designing for it. It was a really seamless transition! We had always loved Barbara’s designs and they fit our style and personality really well. Her designs were a great jummping off point.  We tend to brainstorm and design together as a family to make sure we both really love what we're doing.  A lot of the designs in our line actually started as decorations that I was making for my apartment, and kind of snowballed from there!

    4. Where do you find your inspiration?
    I think we’ve been really lucky in finding inspiration just about anywhere! We get a TON of inspiration from Edisto beach.  Obviously our line is pretty beachy, but as two girls who spent so much time by the coast that just comes naturally to us.  We get a lot of inspiration from the wildlife. Edisto is a fairly undeveloped beach town as far as beaches in South Carolina go, so we get to experience some cool animals up close.  They’re so  cute how could we not put them on a canvas!  
    I know Grace is WAY trendier than I am, so she’ll give us suggestions that are inspired from current trends and stuff she sees online.  We also get inspiration from art, whether it be more traditional pieces or art we see on Instagram.  We’ve got a shared google document where we keep a running list of ideas that we can bounce ideas off each other and build off one another. 
    Something I have personally found really great for design ideas are my own travels, my friends' travels, or travel blogs. They give me some ideas that are out of our little corner of the world and help us to think outside the box.  I know we also think about stuff that we would want to stitch.  If we come up with an idea and it’s not something that one of us would be into stitching personally, then we tend to set it aside for the time being.

    5. Do you have a favorite canvas in your line?
    Oh that one is hard. There are so many that I love! 
    The first piece from our line that I stitched was a garnet and black USC shift- go cocks!  I love our 8”x8" toucan, he was inspired by this Australian company that I found when I was studying abroad.  I also love all of our different gold pineapples.  Those started life when I painted a big 2’x3’ gold pineapple on a black background for my apartment before my sophomore year of college. Pineapples are historically a southern sign of welcome and hospitality.  It has been so great to see everyone love those little pineapples as much as we do. 
    I'm so excited about our new sea turtles! Edisto is a huge spot for loggerhead turtle nesting. Getting to see the nests hatch and the babies run to the sea is such an incredible experience. It was really special to bring those little guys to life on canvas!
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