Coming from London to Seattle, the textile industry is vastly smaller here in Seattle. Hence you come into contact with the important players very quickly. One of those people here in Seattle, is Pat Nugent. I have worked with textiles from Pat's collections at various jobs, which led to becoming friends with her back in 2010. Pat is one of the few Antique textile dealers in the US. If you ever get to work with her it is a real education. She has a wealth of knowledge and very good taste. She sells to some of the largest players in the design industry but is very personable, a real joy to be around. Thanks Pat for sharing with us at Pattern Occurring.
Anne Marie - How did you come to be a vintage document dealer?
Pat - In 2005 I purchased Sarah Truitt Textiles and in 2008 I purchased Christine Greiner Designs—both businesses I had been a customer of for years while I was designing and in management.
Anne Marie - How do you work with and find new clients?
Pat - We love working with new customers whether they come to us at Printsource shows or when designers move to new companies. Our most successful way of working with new customers is when we are recommended by current customers. "word of mouth" is really the best way—even if it is through digital introductions, as is so often the case now.
Anne Marie - You've been showing at Printsource for many years now, how has the industry changed?
Pat - This is a BIG question. The main thing I see is that designers are given less and less time to do creative work but are expected to "pump out" more and more work. The brands and companies that encourage thoughtful design and allow time for it have faired very well these last four or five years.
Anne Marie - What makes a sample vintage?
Pat - The word vintage and the word retro are some times mixed up or have come to mean similar things. Working from oldest forward, we define Antique Documents or art as anything older than 100 years. Retro means the design is from the the 1920's to the end of the 1940's/ Vintage documents, designs and garments originate in the 50's and 60's to us.
Anne Marie - certain styles seem to never go out of trend. What types of patterns in your collection are buyers always looking for.
Pat - We find that fashion and trends do change from year to year but beautifully colored paisley and plaids are always desirable for fall design. Lighthearted and playful florals are always good in spring, as are bold stripes and colorful plaids. Of course, seasonal prints are always good for any holiday or special day on the calendar.
Anne Marie - When a costumer buys one of your documents what are they getting?
Pat - Our customers are buying the document itself. They get the actual antique or vintage painting, engraving or textile for which they pay.
Anne Marie - Do you have favorite designs you can't bring yourself to sell?
Pat - I have a few favorites but I love passing them to others. I am only the "keeper" of these artworks and textiles for a time. Someone else will have them all some day.