Text by Hannah Jones
Sarah Wiley is proof that, sometimes, creativity just runs in your genes. The artist is the great-granddaughter of the creator of the Gibson Girl, granddaughter of a sculptor, daughter of an artist, and niece of the creator of British decorating firm Colefax and Fowler. Put quite simply, art is in Sarah’s blood.
So, it wasn’t a surprise when she first picked up a needle and thread at 14 and learned how to sew. Her family must have thought it was only a matter of time before she discovered her passion. Despite her early predisposition to textiles, though, decades passed before she fell into her certain fate of being an embroidery artist.
She spent nearly 30 years as an interior designer, but it wasn’t until a friend suggested she try needlepoint that she realized her purpose. “I started by creating pillows from children’s drawings,” she recalls. “Instead of storing all the pictures brought home from school under a bed or in a drawer, why not choose favorites and make them into pillows?” She did just that, and not long after, her pastime blossomed into a business.