We had the good fortune of connecting with Jenny Hart and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jenny, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
There are so many I cycle through, it’s hard to pick just one. They change and come back, get replaced by stronger ones…Right now, it’s “I’m going to put my work TO WORK.” That has been my mantra in 2020. It means how can I take what I already know how to do and use it toward issues that seem so overwhelming, I feel I couldn’t possibly change them? That’s a great excuse to do nothing, so instead of trying to figure out “something” to do, I’m doing what I already do and using that energy toward issues I care about. For Sublime Stitching, that means helping people suffering mentally, emotionally (and financially) due to at-home lockdowns during COVID or other hardships, and supporting Black Americans and disadvantaged families through established organizations.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Sublime Stitching is my contemporary embroidery design company, founded in 2001. I design and publish contemporary embroidery patterns and embroidery kits based on my own designs, and I also collaborate with my favorite artists (Carson Ellis, Tuesday Bassen, Ryan Berkley, Nathalie Lété are a few) to interpret their work as embroidery patterns. I also develop specialized tools for embroidery, like Fine Tip Transfer Pens (if you’re an embroiderer you know why this is a big deal), custom textiles, and updated educational resources for hand embroidery. I have a range of embroidery floss called “Sublime Floss” which is an extra long staple, 100% Egyptian cotton floss in my favorite color combinations (with goofy names and hidden messages on the paper bands). Basically: I’m addicted to developing new products for embroidery. Sublime Stitching was a first in many ways, but also part of a long tradition of re-imagining and re-inventing embroidery. If you go back even to the beginning of the 20th century, you can find Victorian women’s activity books touting “modern designs in embroidery” with the latest themes and motifs. When I started, there hadn’t been a true re-imagining or embroidery renaissance for 30 or 40 years, and it was simply time for it to happen again. When people write me to say “I’ve been a Sublime Stitcher for 15 (or 12 or 4) years!”, that always makes my day.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I haven’t been out and about in months due to COVID, but I did make a special trek to Delia’s on York Blvd in Eagle Rock for their incredible breakfast burrito! If I were meeting my friend for our regular lunch date, our two favorite spots were Momed or All’acqua in Atwater Village.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My mother deserves a huge shoutout for having always supported me. She’s Sublime Stitching’s number one fan, for sure. I’ve been very lucky to have that. And, my customers are the nicest, most supportive, smartest (and best-looking) people I have ever known! Without their financial support of Sublime Stitching, I simply couldn’t do any of this stuff. Anyone who shops with Sublime Stitching is helping me to financially and otherwise support multiple, charitable organizations. I try to highlight them in my newsletter as much as possible (so please join my newsletter and thank you)! There is one particular organization I’d love to highlight here, thanks to artist Adepeju Oluyemisi for telling me about it: SHAPE Community Center, which stands for “Self Help for African People through Education” has been serving Houston’s Third Ward for 50 years from their incredible, original building. This organization was co-founded by a tremendously gifted young woman named Lynn Eusan. Please read about her, and check them out! shape.org
Photo of Jenny Hart by Katy Leigh Photography (fully licensed for use) (all other images are by me)