Marian Quanbeck Dahlberg
Tell us about your business.Marian Quanbeck Dahlberg began as an Interior Designer, but her fascination with beautiful fabrics and how they were made captivated her. They drew her to study and explore more and more complex weaving structures on her own loom, until other Interior Designers were asking her for her hand woven fabric! In 2009 väva! veve! became an official business, with local artisans weaving heirloom-quality textiles in a small studio. Marian feels that her textiles should last for generations, just as her mother’s and grandmother’s textiles have. “We feel that good design and lasting products should be what America is all about . . . again!” Linen is the only fiber väva! veve! uses since it is so gentle on the earth, and so wonderful on the body! The idea of starting the first linen mill since the last one stopped operating in the United States in 1939, has danced across Marian’s mind, as has starting up a fresh and simple Linen Clothing Line.
Tell us about your workspace, shop, or studio.Winter Studio is the primary studio located in Minnesota. Our burly 24 harness, pneumatic assisted, computer interfaced, 60" wide, vintage wooden floor loom with a double box flyshuttle system is located by large windows overlooking protected wetlands. We take inspiration from the wild turkey, fox, deer and coyote we see out the windows. This studio is where the bulk of weaving is done and where we warehouse most of our linen yarn. Summer Studio is located under tall aspens, oaks & maples on a tranquil 100 acre lake in Wisconsin. Here weaving is done on a vintage 16 harness, computer interfaced, 48" wide wooden loom with a double box flyshuttle system, & a 26" 8 harness loom for the narrower, simpler projects. Summer Studio is where Marian often takes walks with her four dogs, photographing and studying nature as inspiration for her weaving. Both light-filled studios utilize space to the maximum, and reflect the Scandinavian heritage of the artisans and surrounding communities.
What inspires you?As Marian designs textiles, many things work overtime in her mind, turning over, combining, developing rythmn and repetition. ♦The Scandinavian culture and aesthetic were strong influences throughout Marian's life and surface often in her designs. ♦Thoughtful study of all of nature's elements provide a significant source of inspiration. Nature has had millions of years to get it just right, and it is difficult not to be in awe of her beauty, of things large and small. The intricate designs, colors, textures, smells, sounds all combine to create such infinite beauty, each moment spent in nature can provide infinite inspiration! ♦Values like Integrity, Principle, Honor, Loyalty, Respect, Honesty, Freedom, Kindness, Responsibility are some of the things that inspire a positive work culture within väva! veve!, which is then reflected in the work product, then continuing on out into the community.
What makes your business stand out?väva! veve! invests in each and every one of our textiles. We believe in the old fashioned American work ethic of working hard and producing a long lasting, quality product. And because we design, weave, wet-finish, cold-mangle, cut, and sew all of our products in our studio we can oversee the quality from start to finish, ensuring the highest of standards in all of our products. It's about all of our fine textiles being hand woven on vintage wooden floor looms by accomplished artisans from the finest 100% linen yarns we have searched the world to find. We combine simple aesthetics with complex design structure allowing each to temper the other, creating dense beautiful textiles to be used every day. We hand select each of our rich colors so they can compliment any interior. These beautiful colors combined with dynamic designs create quiet elegance with whimsical flash resulting in timeless textiles. They are made with heirloom quality, to be passed from one generation to the next.
What advice would you give an aspiring creative entrepreneur?Before you quit your day job, you need to do some of the not-so-exciting but incredibly important work of qualifying your markets, writing a business plan, and all those things you would like to skip. As in any creative process, the prep work is what makes the project succeed. You can't skip this step or your end-product will suffer or fail altogether. Do the business plan! Research your markets! Qualify your clients! Then take the leap! . . . And don't give up!! If you believe in your product, if you are passionate about it, you will succeed!
What does American Made mean to you?American Made means made with quality, heart, and pride by people . . . individuals with great ideas and the gumption to follow through with their dreams! It means bringing jobs back home to our shores. It means building our economy back up on the shoulders of small enterprises, just like our predecessors who came to America for freedom and a new life. It means starting from scratch and building something great, and this time doing it with an awareness of the mistakes we made before, and making things right this time.
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