I started The Rug Hooker's Network in 1996 as one-stop online resource for Traditional Rug Hookers. The goal was to create an informative, fun site where rug hookers could locate suppliers, teachers, workshops, etc.. I had no idea that The Rug Hooker's Network would still be going strong after 16 years!
I come from a long line of rug hookers. My great-grandmother, Lucy Selen, was a student of Pearl K. McGown. My grandmother, Jane Olson (Jane Olson Rug Studio), learned from her mother while being given the responsibility of hooking the borders on Lucy's. My great-aunt, Norma Flodman does beautiful rug hooking and had been a staple on the workshop tour, as she accompanied my Grandmother to many of the worksops Jane held classes. My Grandfather also accompanied my Grandmother to many of the workshops once he semi-retired, and he is know to many in this community. After his passing in 2000, the Herbert E. Olson scholarship was founded.. My cousin, Brigitta Bradford, in her own right, is wonderful rug hooker, designer and teacher (Green Valley Rug Hooking)..
As most of you know, my Grandmother, Jane Olson passed away in August 2011. She was an amazing rug hooker,designer and teacher. She was active in her business until right before her passing. My grandmother meant the world to me and I was fortunate enough to grow up near her and my grandfather, Bert Olson. I grew up with my grandmother teaching rug hooking first in adult education ( I loved going with her and drawing on the chalkboards pretending all the rug hookers were my students), and then from her home, and finally, when she bought Mildred Sprouts Designs, I stayed right with her, riding my roller skates up and down the warehouse aisles that housed tons of wool and played on top of the bales of burlap.
My cousin, Brigitta Phy, had been working with my grandmother for years to one day take over the business when Jane retired. Our grandmother never got the chance to retire, which as those of you that knew her would say that is the way she wanted it. Rug Hooking was a part of her, as it was her mother,and has trickled down to our generation.
This has been a difficult year since my grandmother's passing. It has been a burden and a blessing to with this website, as it reminded me so much of my grandmother. But with the sadness that lies within my heart, missing my grandmother each and every day, I am comforted to still be part of this wonderful community of people and I am truly inspired by my cousin, Brigitta, for being able to push forth during a time of terrible sadness, and create a new home for Jane Olson Rug Studio and carry on our grandmother's legacy. I thank everyone for their patience and support during this past year.