Shawna is a string artist with an illustrative style and a gift for teaching. She has been creating custom string art pieces since 2015 and grew a small side business into her dream career. Her goal in creating Strung by Shawna was to help other creative people learn to string and live a more creative life.
In August 2015, I was struggling as an empty nester after my children (26, 24, 21) left home for the military and college. I was telecommuting as a Project Manager for an Omaha advertising agency and used crafting to fill my free time. After seeing string art in a Google search I knew it was something I had to try. I researched how to do it and found no consistency in the instruction, so I jumped in feet first vowing to figure it out on my own. I made a few boards with embroidery floss, but wasn’t happy with the end result. I decided to try yarn, to add in texture, and tapped in to my earlier background as a Product Designer / Illustrator at Oriental Trading Co. to develop my own technique. These two changes would inspire my entire business model.
I began selling my finished pieces at a local handmade store and was amazed at the demand for my work. After selling out at a Christmas craft show and generating a large amount of custom orders I knew I was on to something. Doing what some might consider drastic, I quit my “day job” and added on teaching string art workshops, using my technique, in February 2016. The response was overwhelming. There was nothing like this in the tristate market (IA, IL, WI) and my workshops consistently sold out. Since the first workshop I’ve taught 8,000+ people using my uniquely illustrated designs.
After many of my regular students began asking for at-home projects that could be done in “around an hour” I developed a mini DIY string art kit. My goal was to make something that was affordable, would include quality materials, and could be tackled by any age group. After a few months of testing in a classroom setting I took the feedback and began mini kit production in May 2018.
In January 2019, my spouse accepted a position with Goodyear Global and the business was moved from my home in Davenport, IA to a brick-and-mortar studio in Canton, OH.
Each idea begins in my sketch book before I take it into the computer to create a formal pattern. I pull together materials to make a sample board to fine tune the design before developing a recipe card for the kit along with a step-by-step instruction sheet. All kit materials are pulled by hand, the wood stained in my wood shop, and the kits are hand assembled in my studio in Canton, OH.
Strung by Shawna is solely owned and operated and is not affiliated with any other company, corporation or franchise.
All designs are for personal use only. They are not to be copied, distributed, altered or sold.
© 2015-2019 Strung by Shawna