Who is Joanna Figueroa?
Many of you have asked about our story, about how it is that we’re “figs” and about how we started out. So here’s a bit of the story...
My parents always told me that it was clear that it was in my blood, making art and selling things! What a seemingly odd combination... When I was 8 years old, I held my first backyard art show where I convinced all the neighbors on our street that they each had to have a Joanna original for their walls. Apparently my pitch worked and I made $5.00 that day which was a fortune to me at the time! Not only did I finish the afternoon with more money than I had ever earned but a little mustard seed had been tucked deep inside my soul. I could make art, and I could sell it. People would buy it.
From then on it seems that regardless what else I was doing or studying at the time, I was also doing some kind of art. As I grew older the art changed- paintings changed to drawings & sketches, to cards & stationary, to jewelry, to pottery. In college I became fascinated with graphic design and the art of papermaking & printmaking. I worked on huge handmade paper canvases that wove in a variety of other mediums.I created my own prints with abandon. But when I discovered fabric and quilting, I knew immediately that this was the medium for me. It drew me in from the moment I sat down with needle and thread. It was a coming home kind of experience for me that was different from any other I had experienced before.
My company first started off as "Figlets", selling small quilted pillows, wall hangings and other accessories in local boutiques, art shows and street fairs. We worked hard to keep up with demand but as a young mother I quickly realized that I couldn’t manage the pace. Soon after I began working at my local quilt shop, first as an employee and then as a quilt and sewing teacher. The need for good patterns propelled me quickly down the path of designing my own quilt and sewing patterns. It wasn’t long before that itch to make art and sell it, resurfaced for me and FIG TREE was born. The rest is a whirlwind of good timing, good people and, we think, good design.
OUR NAME Why "Fig Tree" many of you have asked? Is it a particular fondness for the fruit? A Biblical reference? A childhood memory? Actually, it’s not all that profound. Instead its all about my husband Eric [at least that’s what we like to tell him]! Being that our last name is Figueroa, his friends have referred to him with the nickname of "FIG" ever since Junior High School. And since we often call our kids the Figlets and Eric runs all the background and production work of the company, we couldn’t think of a more appropriate name than FIG TREE. And so FIG TREE & COMPANY was born. TODAY So now you’ve read a little bit about our history and where we’ve come from.
Today at FIG TREE & COMPANY, we produce over 150 quilting, sewing and children’s patterns and thematic booklets. We focus our quilting designs on classic patterns with fresh and innovative methods so that they are accessible to every level of sewer. No complicated templates here! Our sewing patterns are made with the beginning and intermediate sewer in mind and focus on using quilting terminology so that quilters do not have to be intimidated to cross over into sewing projects. We compliment our quilting and sewing designs with whimsical and charming accessory and children’s patterns. We love to make little animals and other fun goodies. Think- mice, snails and goldfish! We are addicted to making pincushions as well as purses so you will be able to find something that suits your needs for sure!
Each year we design 3 fabric collections of licensed designs for MODA Fabrics and we are currently working on our 24th fabric collection if you can believe it! It hardly seems possible when you look at the numbers! To read a bit more about our fabrics and how to find them, please see our FABRICS page or read through our Fabric FAQs.
We publish Fresh Vintage™ which is our quarterly style magazine with color and style advice, book reviews, recipes, ideas and at least two full size patterns per issue. At its unbeatable price, Fresh Vintage™ is perfect for anyone who is a Fig Tree fan. If you are interested, you should email us for auto ship information.
We organize year round trunk shows and trade shows of our products and collaborate on books and magazines with our favorite publishers. We work on the Fig Tree Club, which is available in dozens fabric stores both online and brick & mortar stores nationally. If you are a store, contact us if you are interested in any of the above.
We travel several times a year to do national and international teaching engagements and seminars. Unfortunately due to our design schedule and our commitment to our family, we decline more invitations than we accept. If you are a store, guild or retreat venue that is interested in having Joanna come speak, please contact us to see our availability. Please see the calendar for our upcoming engagements.
We are always working on new projects so who quite knows where we might go next!