Surtex Preview: Amy Reber

View More: may recognize Amy Reber as the winner of our recent textile design competition with P&B Textiles. Well next week she will be taking on a new challenge and heading to Surtex for the first time with Cultivate Art Agency (Booth #222.)

“I have always been artistic. Growing up in Washington State I did well in art class and took all of the art that I could all through High School. But I never imagined that my art would take me anywhere, so as I got older, I let the pen and paper dreams slip through my fingers in search of something a bit more solid. Off to college I went and I received a Bachelor of Science and then a K-8 Teaching certification. I began teaching Kindergarten, and the artistic side of me was not even on the radar. I met my husband in 1999, a USMC officer and we were married in 2002. We have lived in many places since then, weathered many combat deployments and had three beautiful children along the way. My husband is still active duty, and is currently assigned to the Pentagon in VA.

Needless to say, with the military lifestyle and being a stay at home Mom to three young kids, my artistic side continued to remain on the back burner. About five years ago, I decided that I needed to do something for myself, something that would bring me joy….I tried beading, I tried knitting, I tried painting, and eventually ended up doing collage work for several years. It grew into a small business as I was doing custom orders for neighbors and friends but this soon turned into a small following on Facebook. One afternoon about three years ago I was led to put pen to paper while waiting for the kids to get off the bus (I had twenty minutes to kill, not enough time for cutting and glueing!), and the most incredible thing happened. I found solace and passion in drawing, a combination of inspiration and peace. It gave me a rush of energy that soon consumed all of my free time. Before long I was learning new techniques, working with computer programs to edit my work and looking for avenues to market my art. I didn’t look any further, surface design was IT for me. The joy it brings me is truly very hard to put into words.

It was a cool day last September, when a Bolder Bands advertisement caught my eye on Facebook. I loved their fun patterns and felt confident that my work would be a perfect fit for the Bands, so I sent them a message. The owner of Bolder Bands, Amy Crouse, contacted me and within two days we were talking about design ideas and drawing up plans for the next big step.

Our partnership ended up being a match made in heaven, and at the perfect time for both of us. Amy had been looking to expand her designs, and my youngest child had just started school which freed up time during the day. So, Bolder Band was my first big “deal” and lit a fire under me like no other.

After beginning to create exclusive designs for Bolder Band, I signed on with Rachelle Panagarry of Cultivate Art Agency. With the agency, I had my work shown this past winter at Printsource in New York. Shortly thereafter, I won the 2015 Pattern Observer/P&B Textiles Design Competition. I am looking forward to my first collection being released in January 2016!

Now on to Surtex! My portfolio will be shown with Cultivate Art Agency at Booth 222. This Surtex preparation, belonging to an agency, as someone new to the industry, has been the perfect way to get my feet wet without having to take on an entire booth by myself….maybe some day! Some of the tasks which are VERY few compared to a designer in their own booth have been: a 100 page portfolio preparation with certain deadlines obviously, creation and printing of pre-promotional cards that I sent out to attendees and will also be handed out at the booth, reworking and printing of business cards, digital promotional pieces created for social media accounts, and “give-aways” to be handed out to prospective clients in the booth. I am giving away luggage tags with my designs on them. All of these tasks are completed, so I’m going to sit back, relax, head up to NYC this weekend and surround myself with design at SURTEX 2015!”

You can see more from Amy at, or follow her on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook.

At Pattern Observer we strive to help you grow your textile design business through our informative articles, interviews, tutorials, workshops and our private design community, The Textile Design Lab.

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