Sonya Mackintosh Biography (Long Form)
Designer and Founder of smARTWORKS, Inc.
Sonya Mackintosh is the founder and designer of smARTWORKS, Inc. where she has been designing scarves and managing their production and business since 1994. Her Bachelor of Arts degree from the Rhode Island School of Design and diverse textile-based professional experiences lead her to success and joy in owning her own scarf production company in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains. She can most often be found on the production floor, in her business office, or interacting with customers at fine trade shows. She feels at home as an entrepreneur in the Berkshires as it is reminiscent of her early years as a child in a family of business owners in London, England. Creative, bold, and driven are all qualities that have allowed Sonya Mackintosh to reach the success she has in a relatively short period of time. Fulfilling a lifelong dream to be in business for herself, Mackintosh has created a design company that now competes on an international level. Her work is well regarded and can be found in the finest of galleries, boutiques and craft shows.
A native of London, England, Mackintosh holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Rhode Island School of Design. However, her creative training did not start at R.I.S.D.; previously she studied art history in Avignon, France, Architecture with the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London and ancient natural dye techniques in Western Turkey. Additionally, she is well schooled in the use of multi-harness looms and the production of Jacquards.
Her professional career with textiles began in London where she developed her love of fabrics as an assistant to the buyer for the Reputation Fabric Company. Crossing the Atlantic she freelanced knit design for Jane Bharns Inc. and later took a position with the International Woolen Company in New York. Expanding her understanding of the textile industry, she became a senior associate with Kingsley Associates where she oversaw the entire handloom department. Through these experiences she was able to bring her dream closer to reality by starting smARTWORKS, Inc. in the basement of her house in Ghent, New York in 1994.
Her Design Inspiration and Philosophy
Drawn to the textures, colors, and patterns found in nature, Sonya's resulting scarves are nubby and uniquely three-dimensional with a mixture of yarns and tones. Those who wear them can express their own individuality and satisfy a need for style and comfort. Sonya achieves the quality she strives for in her work by manipulating traditional knitting looms and finding innovative ways to use them. She also enjoys experimenting with combinations of yarns that are affected differently by heat and water. smARTWORKS, Inc. was founded in 1994 in order to foster an environment where Sonya could focus her work on designing and producing scarves. Her scarves are well regarded and are found in fine galleries, boutiques and craft shows in the US and abroad. Her creative individuality garnered Mackintosh the Miliken Young Textile Design Award and acceptance to the highly regarded American Craft Council, Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft, and Artrider shows.
In her free time Sonya can be found at her home in Ghent, New York, working with her horses, playing with her black Labrador retrievers, and spending time with Steve. She enjoys the outdoors, hiking, boating and reading in the sun. She also looks forward to moments spent entertaining and traveling with friends and family.
Sonya was inspired by close family members: her grandparents experienced great
success in the confections industry, her mother was the owner of a flourishing
bookstore, and her father was a vibrant restaurant and private literary club
owner. Her elementary and secondary education in the finest European schools,
along with her rich family heritage, provided Sonya with the foundation
required to emerge with a strong entrepreneurial spirit, grounded in an
appreciation of the Arts.
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