After meeting the oh-so-lovely Susan Hable Smith at High Point Market this past fall and falling even deeper in love with her handiwork, we knew we wanted to do a blog post about her so all of you (ourselves included!) can get more familiar with this extraordinary woman!
Here’s some quick info about Susan Hable Smith: She was born in Texas, has worked in the design field on both the east and west coasts, and now resides in Georgia. She has a serious passion for art, which can be seen both on fabrics (Check out the website for Hable Construction) and in pieces of wall art (some of which can be seen here.) SummerHouse actually used some Susan Hable Smith wall art in our Mistletoe Marketplace bay back in November, which you may remember!
With the recent collaboration between Susan Hable Smith and Hickory Chair, our fascination with her is at an all time high!
She was kind enough to answer some questions (asked by various members of our design staff) in a little interview!
Let’s get going, shall we?
1. Were you a designer first or an artist?
I suppose I was recognized for being a designer first. I havent really put myself out into the world as an artist so this is fairly new for me–to be seen this way!
2. How did you get the idea to put your art into textiles?
You know, I had a lot of sales experience because when I was first living in New York City, those were the only jobs that I could find. I then moved to California doing the same for a jewelry artist. I always made sure that I worked in unconventional offices and that I was around people making things. I actually started my company after working for someone and realizing that I could be doing this on my own and having more fun! Most of my design decisions, or career ones too, have come unexpectedly. Its not that I am waiting around for things to happen… I have had dreams of painting and then woken up to the reality of WHY AM I NOT PAINTING on my fabrics? Crazy dreams kind of light the way… I thought about putting my art into textiles because I knew how to sell something and so I thought that we should make something to put my art on. It was more tangible than just being a painter and not knowing that world. I could make the art, we could then make the object and together with my sister being a great salesperson, we could go to market and sell it! That was our background so it made the most sense.
3. What is your personal interior design style?
Well, I dont really have a style per se. I have many objects that make each room and they are based on color. My home is fun and eccentric but spare at the same time. Since moving to Georgia 3 years ago from New York City, we had few great furniture pieces. We had been collecting art and finding places in our tiny apartment to hang each one so our walls are now covered, and the furniture has filled in a bit with hand picked items found one at a time. I do love wallpaper and made sure that I used it anywhere that I could!
4. What made you decide to partner with Hickory Chair?
Our partnership with Hickory Chair was a funny set of circumstances that would not have happened had I not moved to Athens! My pediatrician turned out to be the son-in-law to Jay Reardon, the president of Hickory Chair. A designer friend who sells Hickory in town told me how much she wished our fabrics were in the line and kept suggesting for me to meet the sales rep. So, one day, I picked up the phone and made a call to see what this was all about. Fortunately, at the time, the creative director Ron Fiore knew of Hable Construction and had even bought our sheets at one point! We all came together and met and realized that we all could benefit from a partnership together. We have many of the same beliefs and manufacturing in the United States is one of them! It was a match!
5. With so many roots to the deep south, if you had to choose one aspect of the region that inspires you most, what would you say that is?
Oh this is such a tricky question mostly because of my extensive past with the south. My sister went to Ole Miss. I went to the University of Alabama. We are from a town in Texas called Corsicana. So, I think it would have to be the eccentricities of the south and very honest core of most of the people that I know. There is a sparkle in people’s eyes that I havent seen anywhere else… The creativity and support is so inspiring. There are people, especially in Athens, who are up for anything or meeting anyone. Curious, in the most fabulous way, also inspires me!
Thank you so much, Susan!
To see some of Susan Hable Smith’s work in person, you can stop by our booth at Interiors Market in Fondren, or you could swing by the store to browse the new fabrics for Hickory Chair!