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Introducing...Atelier

11/25/2009 08:07AM ● Published by Wendy Sipple

Photo by Dante Fontana

Describe your business. Did you find it, or did it find you?

We teach people how to make their own beautiful area rugs, tapestries, table runners and pillows, using an old world technique of cross-stitching on painted canvas with 100-percent virgin wool imported from Patagonia. When I picked up cross-stitching, I thought the pieces were so beautiful and elegant. And since I never found anything like that in the U.S., I decided to learn how to paint the canvasses myself to share this craft with as many people as I could.

What was the first job you ever had, and what did you learn from the experience?

My first job was in a bank and I received a lot of training on both customer service and work ethic. I learned about how the customer always comes first, but the training went beyond that to make sure the clients’ needs were always met with a smile.

How are you involved with both the community and your customer?

I have customers of all ages from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe, and beyond. Also, for a time I was teaching in Sun City Lincoln, where I met a lot of great people. I think we have a good product to offer and it gets people involved with other people, too. Sometimes my customers form groups to meet once a week or once a month, and they can do that in my studio.

What life accomplishments are you most proud of?

My two sons and my daughter, of course!

Who is your role model in business or in life, and why?

My father, who single-handedly raised my two sisters and I. He was a commander in the navy and loved us enough to install great discipline in our lives; he gave the gift of compassion and consideration for others.

Where do you go when the going gets tough?

My faith is the best companion.

What’s your favorite place to eat out locally?

BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse.

And finally, customer service is…?

Our business is based on the belief that what we make with our hands is a labor of love and we try to create a wonderful atmosphere of music and happy moments when we teach our classes. To come in for a few hours of peaceful and relaxing fun while making beautiful things is a wonderful way to spend creative time. 

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