Monday, October 10th, 2005

Interview: Jenny Sauer, three sheets 2 the wind

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11 Comments » | Published in Designer Interviews, General, Interviews, What's New  |  11 Comments

Jenny Sauer currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio. She divides her time between her business and teaching as an adjunct instructor in fashion design at the University of Cincinnati. She loves designer chairs, open spaces, natural materials and anything mid-century modern in design. She spent several years designing apparel for Abercrombie & Fitch and the Stride Rite brand.

We recently had the opportunity to ask her about her new company, three sheets 2 the wind.

What was your goal in starting three sheets? Why did you start the company?

Jenny Sauer three sheets 2 the wind 12 inch Wall Print“I started this company for several different reasons. I had never felt very at home in the corporate environment. The amount of time and creative energy wasted always frustrated me. At the same time my personal interests began to shift from fashion design into interiors and textiles. I made a goal for myself to have a business going by the time I was thirty. A few months before my thirtieth birthday I quit my job and moved from Chicago to Cincinnati to work for myself full time. Basically, I was looking for a different quality of life. I wanted the freedom to design whatever was inspiring me.

Your line is all hand screened or blocked. What is your favorite hand made possession? – besides a three sheets product of course!

“Don’t laugh, but my favorite hand made possession right now is my platform bed. I am really proud of it because I had the plywood cut and carried everything myself up the stairs into my apartment. I was in the street sanding the sides of the boards and pulling splinters out of my hands! I think people are the most creative when they have a tiny budget, like me right now.

What other designers or products influenced three sheets?

three sheets 2 the wind Medium Reversible Linen Bag“Fashion designers continue to inspire me. Marc Jacobs, Marni, Orla Kiely and BCBG always show imaginative patternwork. All very vintage inspired…I have a small collection of vintage fabrics myself. Lucienne Day has been very inspiring for me. Her mobile-inspired textile designs were very popular in the 1950’s. Rachel Kelly’s “do it yourself” wallpaper is so ingenious and fun at the same time. I also look at furniture a lot. I am a big fan of designer chairs thanks to a good friend of mine. This company is kind of a lifestyle for me. Everything lives together in my mind. If I am working on a design, I am imaging it in this environment that I am slowly creating. Being a fashion designer for so many years, you learn that nothing is completely original and that inspiration comes from your peers. People who do what you do keep you motivated and always looking for the next idea. I admire other designers who hand make everything themselves…usually out of their home or studio.

What’s next for you? Do you plan on expanding into other areas of home décor?

three sheets 2 the wind 30 x 40 Inch Wall Print“Leather and wool is in the ‘sample stage’ right now. I am experimenting with different surfaces to print on. Mobility, functionality and change are key words for this line. My goal is to have custom duvet covers and pillowcases by this spring. Bedding was truly the main focus for Three Sheets in the beginning. Everything else in the line is here because it has been part of a process. Some day I would love to find a small cottage industry that I can collaborate with to make additional products. I can’t imagine where the line will end up because I constantly dream about designing tables and chairs. My father is an architect so I think I am destined to continue in that direction. For now…there is so much development just in the print area alone. I can’t wait to start adding color and more layered designs. To tell you the truth, I enjoy the creative development process so much that it is difficult to slow down enough for production!

View the three sheets 2 the wind collection.


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  1. jan says:

    October 10th, 2005 at 11:44 pm (#)

    i love this line – and the info behind the business is inspirational – great post!

  2. joy says:

    October 11th, 2005 at 7:55 am (#)

    I love hearing how designers got their start in business, what inspires them, etc…
    AND I love the organic & whimsical qualities of this line!

  3. Drew says:

    October 11th, 2005 at 7:59 am (#)

    That’s great feedback, Jan and Joy — we’ll try to keep doing more of these profiles. And yes, this line is amazing. I want it in my house.

  4. Drew says:

    October 11th, 2005 at 8:00 am (#)

    As a side, one thing we didn’t bring out in the interview is what the “Wabi-sabi” method is that she uses — you can read more about that on the actual three sheets 2 the wind page. I think it’s interesting.

  5. Dawn says:

    October 11th, 2005 at 5:38 pm (#)

    I have one of these pieces hanging in my family room, and I absolutely LOVE IT (as does everyone else who visits). Her style is classically earthy, unique (one-of-a-kind), and extremely versatile. I’m already saving up for my next purchase and can’t wait to see the wool and leather lines!!!

  6. Caroline says:

    October 12th, 2005 at 9:53 am (#)

    I love reading interviews like this. What I would also like to see added are designers’ resources. Who manufactures their products? Where did they get the supplies from, etc. In this case, who manufactured the pillows and wall art?

  7. Drew says:

    October 12th, 2005 at 9:59 am (#)

    Caroline: that’s a good idea. We’ve asked before, and a lot of the designers think this is competitive information . . . so they don’t always provide it. We are, however, happy to put you in touch with them directly anytime. And I’ll keep asking for this information in the future.

  8. Sara Jane says:

    October 12th, 2005 at 11:38 am (#)

    I love to see designers feeling good about what they do, it always shows in their finished products. I am designing from home as well but it is just another creative outlet for now. I love the line and I am currently planning on what pieces to buy for my new home.

  9. Rose says:

    October 14th, 2005 at 10:34 am (#)

    So happy to see young, imaginative folks taking the lead with their ideas. It’s always important to stay fresh so my question fro 2 Sheets is how do you plan to differentiate yourself from other designers?–Lotta Jansdotta comes to mind.

  10. Catherine says:

    October 16th, 2005 at 12:50 pm (#)

    What a talent Jenny Sauer is with her three sheets 2 the wind company. I admire her work and own one of her purses. The purse is attactive, functional, well made and an appreciated conversation piece. Good luck, Jenny!

  11. Jenny Sauer says:

    October 17th, 2005 at 6:46 pm (#)

    I wanted to answer a few questions that were brought up here…
    Caroline asked about manufacturing. That is a great question and always a daunting idea. I actually made a choice to handle production myself because I wanted the highest level of quality control. All of the print work is done by myself in the studio. I do a lot of the sewing as well. I try to use domestic vendors for supplies whenever possible, but it is increasingly difficult to find anything made in the U.S.
    Rose asked about differentiating myself from other designers. Also a great question! I am very familiar with Lotta Jansdotter and I love her line. My artwork does seem to fall into a similar niche. The rendering style and organic shapes give it a very earthy, simple, imaginary quality. I think it is pretty hilarious at times. It might be entirely impossible to create something that is completely unique. I struggle to answer this question because I can’t tell you for sure where this line will go. It is such a process unto itself! Only time will tell if I have succeeded in creating something truly unique and recognizable!
    Here’s a hint: collage!

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