Maker Monday: Stephanie Seal Brown

Oklahoma-raised weaver Stephanie Seal Brown bought her first loom, a Swedish handloom, in 1997. In the past two decades, Brown has launched Stephanie Seal Brown Handwovens, where she sells hand towels, pillows, rugs, and scarves, and linen tape, all created on a Swedish loom, the same kind Stephanie mastered at Vavstuga Weaving School in Massachusetts. For Stephanie, handmade does not mean fragile or purely decorative; her hand towels are durable, reliable pieces of art meant to be used for years to come. Select linen trims have been made available through renowned fabric house Schumacher. Take a look at some of Stephanie’s beautiful textiles below, and view more shoppable items at!

Multi-use trims from Stephanie Seal Brown are available through Schumacher.

Andrew Joseph: What is the last book you read?
Stephanie Seal Brown: When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro. Beautiful.

Andrew: What’s a guilty pleasure you have?
Stephanie: Cheese. All cheeses really, except Swiss and anything related to it. But all others I take too much pleasure in.

Andrew: If you weren’t a designer, you’d be a ….?
Stephanie: Maybe a librarian, then I could read everything I don’t have time for. Or a gardener so that I could have my hands in the soil every day. Or an herbalist cooking up concoctions for every little thing. Or a teacher, I do love working with children.

Woven from European linen yarns, Brown’s pillows are all one-of-a-kind. 

Andrew: What are your ideal weekend plans?
Stephanie: Hmmm…I’d have to start off by just saying no to lists. I would have to hide them all (I tend to make many) until Monday. Then I would take a long Saturday morning hike with my husband followed by brunch and Bloody Marys. I would definitely add in some late night jazz followed by sleeping in all morning. And then I would read the entire paper Sunday afternoon over coffee.

Andrew: How would you describe your personal style?
Stephanie: Practical and unfussy. I’d like to think neat, but really I don’t think about it too much.

Andrew: What makes you angry?
Stephanie: Running out of time—which I am always doing because I am the slowest person in the world!

Andrew: What are you most proud of?
Stephanie: My sons. They have turned out to be pretty darn fine young men.

Dyed with indigo and charcoal, these durable blankets are throws you need to have.

Andrew: Are you a pet person? Why either way? Dogs or cats?
Stephanie: I am most definitely a pet person! Generally, only one at a time and preferably dogs, though I did fall for a small cat once. I feel that pets are like the best people in my life, we luck upon each other and know we are meant to be together somehow. Our lab/pit mix, Hilde, was just a pup when a girlfriend found her sheltering against a snowstorm five years ago. It has been love ever since!

About The Maker | I have always had a fascination with finding grace in the ordinary. As a child, I collected stationery, antique eyeglasses, embroidered linen handkerchiefs, classic literature. Over the years, I came to understand that I was yearning for thoughtful design and honest materials — for things that last.

At nine, my family moved to an Oklahoma pecan farm. For years, we worked the buildings and land, harvesting and marketing the pecans. In my hard-won free time, I hid in the big trees with a book, or in my room tinkering on a project. This very special childhood experience taught me to value process, quality and ingenuity. From the quiet shady trees in Oklahoma to the mountains near Boulder to the forests and river valleys of Kentucky, I have treasured the stillness and sense of space that comes with living far from the city.

In this quiet, I learned to weave. Weaving simply hooked me; it is an art form of mathematics and design, creating something both practical and beautiful. I purchased my first Swedish handloom in 1997, later attending the Vavstuga Weaving School in Massachusetts where I gained a deep appreciation for the mastery of the Swedish weaving system. Using a quiet process-driven approach, my goal is to design textiles that marry a tailored aesthetic and laid back livability.

When I was introduced to New York in 2014, after a life paced by the slow rhythms of nature, I fell in love with the immediacy and vitality of the city. I relish its fabled magnetism: people everywhere connecting and building. So very opposite of working by oneself in a serene setting. Now my time is divided between my quiet studio in Kentucky and the intensity, creativity and drive of New York. The perfect balance of tranquility and energy.

Andrew Joseph is a regular contributing editor for ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME magazine. See more of his work here

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ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME is seeker and storyteller of the sublime in living. It is a global guide to in-depth and varied views of beauty and shelter that stirs imagination; that delights and inspires homeowners as well as art and design doyens. Collaborating with emergent and eminent architects, artisans, designers, developers and tastemakers, ASPIRE creates captivating content that savors the subjects and transports with stunning imagery and clever, thought-provoking writing. Through lush and unique visuals and a fresh editorial lens, ASPIRE explores what is new and undiscovered in art, interiors, design, culture, real estate, travel and more. ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME is an international narrative and resource for all seeking the sublime.