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30 Years: The Origins of Sticks

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30 Years: The Origins of Sticks

Decades of craftsmanship and storytelling 

January 1, 2022, marks Sticks’ 30-year anniversary!

Sticks has built a rich heritage that's been carefully crafted over the past three decades. As we prepare for our 30-year anniversary in 2022, we'll be sharing a video series that showcases our origin story and spotlights the people who have shaped our journey. We hope you'll join us in reflecting on our roots and celebrating where we're headed.

 

 

 

The Origins of Sticks

Sarah Grant is a life-long artist. Raised in Ames, Iowa, she earned a Master of Arts in intaglio printmaking and Master of Fine Arts in painting from the University of Iowa.

In 1992, Sarah was asked to create an original wooden nativity for Better Homes and Gardens. Inspired by her experience engraving metal plates as an intaglio printmaker and wood-burned boxes found at antique stores, she embraced the opportunity to create a one-of-a-kind piece that told the nativity story.

Once Sarah’s friends and family saw the artwork, everyone wanted their own. Word spread of the distinctive hand-drawn, wood-burned, painted style and it was irresistible. It took off like a runaway train. And so began the 30-year journey of Sticks.

In the early years, Sarah led the company’s business development and creative direction beyond her career as an artist. She grew our strong roots, all wrapped around a love for storytelling, patriotism, and honoring histories.

Sticks has received national acclaim for our distinctive lines of furniture, accessories, and object art. All of our handmade pieces are artfully crafted from birch, poplar, and driftwood sourced from local rivers. They are designed with our hand-drawn imagery, etched contouring, and vibrantly blended paint.

What originally started with designing smaller items such as nativity sets, ornaments, and candlestick holders has evolved to include larger items such as dining sets, beds, armoires, custom art installations, and murals. Our product lines have constantly evolved thanks to the imagination and expertise of our collaborative team of artists and feedback from customers.

The ride has had many ups and downs, but our commitment to telling stories, creating memories for our customers and ourselves continues to be at the forefront of our mission and purpose.

Today, Sticks is home to 40 employees, serves retail and independent customers nationwide, and supports a growing network of artisans who share our values of American craftsmanship and distinct artistry. We have continued to grow and evolve under the leadership of Rachel Eubank, our current president, along with Sarah’s continued support and expertise, and our top-notch team who is truly the fabric of what we do.

 

We hope you'll join us over the next six months as we reflect on some of our favorite moments from the past 30 years.

Follow along on our journey >

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  • Alesha Burgraff
Comments 8
  • Carol  Leavy
    Carol Leavy

    I first saw your products in a store in Cape Cod. I was suprised to see that it was made in Iowa, not far down the road from where I live . I love the creativity of the pieces. I have visited the store and plan to again soon. Thank you for the video and congratulations on the upcoming anniversary.

  • Kathy Zurcher
    Kathy Zurcher

    My husband and I fell in love with Sticks when we saw some furniture pieces in a gallery in MI. Now our MN home includes a custom dining table with leaf, custom sofa table celebrating our anniversary, custom bench with wooden storage boxes in our entry, a custom counter-height table in our family room, a bookcase from a shop in Decorah, a painted leather seat bench, 3 end tables, a beautiful lazy Susan, painted leather Christmas stockings, snowman and Santa, and so many ornaments that one of our Christmas trees is all Sticks. Our custom dining table tells the story of our lives and includes sayings about food that we solicited from family and friends. Thank you to all the artists who have made our home reflect us and who took our rough ideas and turned them into beautiful pieces for future generations.

  • Joann Blanck Wade
    Joann Blanck Wade

    Congratulations on 30 years of bringing joy and happiness to all that have the pleasure of a treasure from Sticks. The “Seasons” kitchen table and chairs is my favorite piece of art in my home. The warmth it provides to everyone is truly a gift.

  • Martha Upjohn
    Martha Upjohn

    Hi,

    Congratulations on 30 years. I have always loved your work and have a few pieces. I have a question about your early work. A friend gave me a piece that she bought at a sale that says "origin ©” on the side. The “c” is within a circle. Could this small mirror be a piece of your earlier work or has everything always been called “Sticks”? Thanks for your help with this and cheers to another 30 years. Martha Upjohn

  • LYnn Oelsen
    LYnn Oelsen

    I first became aware of your designs in a small shop in Providence by the name of Oops. I wish they were still there. What caught my eye was a baby cradle. Do you still make those? I love your furniture and have hope that someday I will have a grandchild so I can invest in your works of art. I just wish it wasn’t so expensive.

  • FLOSSIE ASHER
    FLOSSIE ASHER

    So happy to have found Sticks: Decorative objects that provide the opportunity to display shared values of family, faith….and dogs.
    Thank you. And here’s to your continued success

  • Carolyn Loving
    Carolyn Loving

    I loved the chess sets that I used to see in your Portland, Oregon location, (NW 23rd area) Twist.
    Can you still get them?

  • Terri Karls
    Terri Karls

    I have loved Sticks for many years. I have a few of your pieces. I have always wanted a bigger piece but unfortunately I am not able to afford the bigger pieces. Keep up the beautiful work. It is amazing.

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