Deep in the mountains of Washington, FIT grad Amy Tyson and her team of artisans are handweaving custom rugs. The founder and principal of True North Textiles did not always know that her talents would lead her here, however. Educated in the cosmopolitan hub of New York, Amy reconnected with her Northwestern roots after years of post-grad travel and discovery while working for an international clientele. Now the lead designer of her own workshop, she is creatively unrestricted and uses nature’s inspiration to produce carpets with unique textures and fabulous color. This week, I was fortunate enough to speak with the textile visionary about her life in and out of the studio.
Tyson works hard to make the Truth North Studio a peaceful, harmonious space.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
Amy – I take dance lessons and plan outdoor activities like hiking on the weekend.
What modern design trend makes you cringe?
Macramé. I love handcraft but I want to see something new or special.
What’s your favorite time of day?
Late Morning. That’s when I really hit my stride. I also like lazy Sunday mornings.
What is one thing no one knows about you?
I secretly love spreadsheets. I have a head for numbers. I feel like I’ve found my medium in weaving because it’s so mathematical and artistic at the same time.
Dream country to work in? Or dream project to take on.
I’d like to work with weavers in Peru. Plus I want to go to Machu Pichu and alpaca are cool.
What’s one ingredient you put in everything?
What’s your biggest fear in life?
Not doing enough.
The most adventurous thing you’ve done in your life?
My first thought was Skydiving but starting a business is actually a lot more adventurous. I also like traveling without a map or phone. It really makes me pay attention and think on my feet.
How would you define your work in three words?
Timeless, mysterious, sophisticated. Truth North weavers work hard. Woven into every rug is a legacy of focus and dedication to craftsmanship.
What might the design world look like in 10 years?
Hybrids. More juxtaposition of materials and ideas that we wouldn’t think to put together but some young kids are working on right now.
What’s inspiring you in life (in the industry) right now?
Humility in Interior Design. Conscientious simple living.
What are some of the podcasts you listen to and why?
Waking up, Sam Harris. I like the discussion of contemporary human issues and spirituality. Akimbo, Seth Godin. Great conceptual business tips. Happier, Gretchen Rubin. I’m mesmerized by assorted life hacks.
What would you like to be remembered for?
Using my gift to see things clearly to help people.
The best gift you’ve ever received?
Air mattress or Stock Pot. These are things that I didn’t know I needed but I really did need them and use them all the time.
You are stuck on an island, you can pick one food to eat forever without getting tired of it, what would you eat?
Bread. Who wouldn’t eat bread all day if that was actually an option?
Who is your ideal client?
Anyone who really gets the concept of synergy.
What are you most excited about at this time in your life?
New materials and technological possibilities. I ‘m enjoying making art on looms and that opens up new possibilities for how to bring equipment and handcraft together.Tyson works closely with homeowners to create patterns reflective of their vision, which are often designed on computers and then handwoven on American-made looms.
ABOUT AMY JO TYSON | Approaching art and design from several disciplines, Amy Jo Tyson founded True North Textiles with the intention of creating enduring works of art that enliven the home and spirit. A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, Amy has created original art used in rugs and wallpaper for an international clientele. Working for renowned carpet companies gave her a command of materials and processes and a frustration with the lack of immediacy and control common in working with international factories. A lifelong painter and nature lover, Amy has lived in and traveled across the country before returning home to the Pacific Northwest. Jumping at the opportunity to create uncompromised designs in a local workshop Amy is excited to collaborate with designers and homeowners to create original carpets with unique texture and fabulous color.
About Andrew Joseph – Andrew Joseph’s passion for design and rich journalistic history led to the launch of his boutique PR firm in 2012. Prior to enjoying the successes of Andrew Joseph PR, Andrew honed his editorial skills at Vanity Fair and Allure. This experience, as well as the strong network of contacts developed over the years in public relations, brings a valuable edge to his new role as contributing editor. Let the musing begin.
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