‘A pillow is just a pillow...Unless it's a piece of art.’
This line came to me one day early on in my Yellow Bird Textile Co. journey. I knew I wanted to combine my love of weaving and color with my experience in the textile and interior design world to create one of a kind pillow covers but how would I explain my business to people when they would ask me about it? With so many pillow options and price points out there, how would I distinguish myself from the thousands and thousands of options out there?
Then, one day, it occurred to me. At first glance, it may seem like Yellow Bird is just selling pillow covers but in reality, what I make is so much more than a pillow… it’s my art.
You can buy a pillow at a well known retail store or even a local home decor shop but would you consider that pillow a piece of art? Someone had to design it or the fabric used for it, but then it’s made in a factory, most likely overseas, woven by a machine, then sold in bulk at a wholesale market to retailers so there’s hundreds, probably thousands of the same exact pillow floating around out in the world. You can find a pretty pillow at one of those places but not a one-of-a-kind piece of functional art.
Yellow Bird pillow covers are pieces of art. When I’m weaving them I think of my loom as my canvas. I use my art and design knowledge along with my intuition to add in color and texture as I work on each piece. I work through ideas, compositions, and even emotions as I weave each unique pillow. It’s how I imagine a composer or traditional artist might work. I add a lot of myself to each piece. Each of my pillows are made by hand and with heart. I like to think about how each pillow goes directly from my hands to the new owner’s hands.
So when someone asks what I do or they’re interested in what I make, I now lead with saying that I make handwoven functional art. I explain what I do, how I work, and how much of myself goes into each handmade piece. And if they ask how my pillows are different from all of the others… I’ll tell them that ‘a pillow is just a pillow...unless it’s a piece of art.’