Earlier this week I learned that Jan Dressler, owner of Jan Dressler Stencils, will soon be retiring after 20 years in business. When I first became a professional decorative painter, I eagerly hopped on the Jan Dressler bandwagon as I watched her on HGTV, saw her work in several decorating magazines, and drooled over her luscious catalog. I bought her videos, her brushes, her how to video tapes. She taught me, right in the privacy of my own home, how to stencil in a very professional way. Her vast catalog of stencils only grew and grew as the years went by. Her designs evolved with the times and her ways to use these designs stretched far beyond my imagination. She has always been a true inspiration for me. So, I am quite saddened to see the post on her website which now reads:
Jan Dressler is retiring!
Yes, it’s true. After 20 years of bringing you fine stencils and great
products, I have decided that it’s time for me to go enjoy life. Not
that I haven’t enjoyed this venture, but really, life is short and now
is the time!
How will this affect the world famous Jan Dressler Stencil line? Well,
get them now, because they won’t be around forever. We will continue to
cut stencils until November 30. Then it’s all over.
I get a knot in my stomach just copying and pasting that blurb. The trade has seen several smaller companies and not so small companies, quietly fold over the past few years. The loss of Dressler Stencils will be a huge loss for both the professional stenciler and the hobbyist. There is not another company out there right now who carries the vast selection of stencils that Jan carries. Jan also has been one of the biggest promoters of the Art of Stenciling and has given new meaning and new life to this art form during the 20 years she has been in business. I know I will be buying up as many of her designs as possible before November 30th.
This year I have really put an emphasis on incorporating stencil designs in the work I do. I feel it is a very important component to my business and I hope it helps to set me apart from the many faux finishers that have infiltrated the market. There is a real skill to using stencils, and a great feeling of satisfaction when that stencil takes on my own personal style and helps to reflect my client’s vision of their sense of decorating. I have been involved in lengthy discussions with my peers about the future of stenciling and will be sharing more thoughts and information concerning this cherished art in future posts, articles and interviews.