Virginia Kraft was my maternal grandmother. She was a hard-working farmer's wife that made the mundane beautiful by simply being who she was.
We moved several times throughout central Ohio when I was young, and while I'm grateful for the adaptability it gave me, it often left me feeling like an outsider. My paternal grandparents also moved as they were needed at different churches, and so my one constant home was at Grandma's farm in Dola, Ohio.
The farm itself was full of fun from a child's perspective, but it was Grandma's very presence that made it home. She always greeted me with "hey ya', kid!", and more often than not some delicious smell was wafting from the kitchen. Summers were spent getting lost in corn fields, running my arms through wagon loads of dusty-sweet wheat kernels, and snapping green beans on the swing. Christmas was my favorite. After the Christmas Eve service I would stand outside her house taking in the frigid air, the stars, the snow drifts over my head, the house all lit from within - a perfect snow globe . Inside, Grandma whistled along with holiday music, gifts were piled high under the flocked tree, and extended family sprawled on every piece of furniture, talking, eating, laughing. Grandma always exclaimed that she hadn't "been good enough" that year to receive her mountain of gifts but she opened each one with gusto and gratitude. Time stood still when I was there. I felt only peace and love.
Her passing in 2003 left me not only missing her, but with that old childhood wondering of where I fit in the world. When I felt called to start this business, naming it after her, Virginia Kraft, set my intentions: I strive to make beautiful objects that help you tell the story of your own space, while remembering that it's the people that make it home.
I started early as a maker. Creating accessories for my dollhouse, a favorite activity, was more fun than playing with my dolls. New Crayolas and coloring books were my favorite gift, and now as an adult, l get just as excited about fresh sketchbooks, pencils, ink and fabric.
Those childhood interests waned as I went through school. It never even occurred to me that I could make a living at creating things. I was on the college track to whatever would get me a good, steady job. It wasn't until I was in my late twenties that my passion for making was rekindled.
I was on bed rest with my second child and had just discovered blogs. I had no interest in writing one, but I read any of them that discussed art and design. One such blog had an interview with a fabric designer. Until then, I'd had never thought about the creators behind the bolts of fabrics that I loved perusing at the local store just to get a dose of color and pattern. That moment began my journey to becoming a fabric designer.
Sketchbooks started piling up around the house as I filled them with any and every idea that popped into my head. I researched schools and read anything I could find about textile design. I joke about how so much of what I've learned came from the "University of Google"! In 2008 I signed up to sell designs through Spoonflower, a digital print-on-demand company. My first line, Domesticate, was born and has been seen in HGTV Magazine, Domino, Women's Day, Country Living, and on numerous blogs.
That initial success gave me the confidence to go beyond designing to producing my own line. Virginia Kraft began in my basement studio, hand blocking yards of linen with custom made wood blocks from India. Each block in itself a work of art. That quickly became overwhelming and I gave the printing over to a generations-owned mill in Rhode Island, and a digital printer in Pennsylvania.
Creating beautiful objects for your home will continue to involve our relationship with our most important home - Mother Earth. We are committed to reviewing and improving our processes at every step, implementing the most eco-benificial measures possible.