The Historical Sampler Company are best known for their wonderful traditional designs, which not only look great, but stand the test of time. Jo & Suzanne run the business that they started as a hobby when their children were young. We caught up with Jo to ask her about the company and to find out how they keep their stunning designs traditional but still on trend.
The Historical Sampler Company has so many great designs, how do you come up with the ideas for each of the designs?
When we started the company we specialized in the more traditional historical samplers – such as Adam & Eve and the Pot Sampler. We used popular motifs and borders commonly found on antique samplers to recreate our own take on traditional Samplers. For these designs we used a muted colour thread palette and specially dyed Zweigart fabric to achieve an authentic look. We continue to use these techniques in many of our designs such as the Wedding Sampler and the Wedding Pot Sampler. In a similar vein we have transferred this look to our Birth Sampler range but incorporated more current images but continue to mix in the traditional feel and muted colour palette to achieve a sampler that will, we hope, look lovely for many years to come. In the past few years we have introduced our ‘Of the Moment’ range, which whilst still using the muted colours follows current trends found on the High Street such as A Walk in the Park and Happy Days. We also have a extensive range of Tapestry kits which follow the same look as our cross-stitch designs.
How do you mix making sure your designs have historical inspiration whilst keeping up with popular demand and trends?
Suzanne and I design, stitch and manufacture all of our designs ourselves. We use a computer package to design our samplers and once we are happy with the design one of us will stitch the first model to ensure that the chart and colours are correct. At this stage we may tinker with the idea by introducing new colours or adding and taking away images. For our Birth and Wedding Samplers we use the names of our children or members of our family to personalize the design, so that is while you will find a lot of the samplers have the same names in them. We always have a piece of stitching on the go as we have our 150 designs in our current range. Our favourite part of the business is designing new samplers which is why our range is always growing and changing. Suzanne’s favourite is There is No Place Like Home and my favourite is the A is for Ark Birth Sampler.
Do you have any exciting projects on the horizon?
We bring out two new collections per year – one in the Spring and one in the Autumn. For our next release we have a lovely new design featuring flamingos, which we hope will prove to be popular.
Finally, can you tell me a fun fact about yourself?
I have three children and Suzanne has two and we started the business when our children were very young as a hobby. We were amazed that our designs were proving so popular and so the business grew and grew. Through the years as our children grew up they proved helpful in the office by earning pocket money putting kits together for us. Unfortunately the youngest two children are now 19 and have flown the nest, which means that we are now left in the office on our own again doing all the work!