“The history of New England’s textiles industry inspired me to build about its local cultural legacy.”
When not working in her career as an architect, Sandra Venus started making textile designs in the evenings for fun after work. Finding schematic design – the initial stage in the creative process that involves blueprint-building – to be the most artistically satisfying, Sandra found the same to be true when she switched her medium to textile design. “I love to come up with concepts for patterns and products that people will use in their everyday lives,” she said.
Inspired by the history of the region in New England in which she lives – one where the once-flourishing textile boom finds its present-day incarnation in the architecture of the old brick and stone textile mills – Sandra wanted to build upon the local cultural legacy by revitalizing the region’s textile industry herself. After leaving her career in architecture to pursue Sweetgum full-time as its founder and creative director, the project has now evolved into a full-fledged business that is dedicated to supporting small batch manufacturing by working with cutting and sewing rooms that follow labor standards. With a soft, pastel-hued aesthetic and focus on designs inspired by nature, Sweetgum’s pieces are as much a treat to the eyes as functional housewares you’ll use day after day.