Date: July 18, 2013 | Story: Tiffany Burgess Adams | Styling: Ellen Scruggs |
With a name like Gingiber, which happens to be Latin for ginger, it may not be a surprise to find a flavorful array of colorful, whimsical designs in the online shop’s ever-growing selection. However, Stacie Bloomfield’s home décor and gift line was actually inspired by her family rather than its spicy moniker. “When I was expecting our first daughter, I was excited to decorate her room, but I couldn’t find anything I truly loved,” says Bloomfield. “So my husband encouraged me to make my own.”
Bloomfield, who grew up drawing, has a degree in design and a seemingly endless supply of creative energy, so it’s no stretch of the imagination she would fall into this line of business. And while her own need for the designs may have grown as she approached motherhood, the subject matter is one she’s dabbled with since childhood. “Growing up I would check out animal books from the library and try to illustrate the pictures I saw,” she says of her fondness for animal artwork. “I also loved quilts—especially the ones made by my grandmother—and their intricate patterns. I see the fur on the animals I draw as a place to recreate the quilts’ patterns,” relates Bloomfield. “It’s funny how things trickle into your design, and then you realize ‘yes, this is me,’” she laughs.
In 2009, she opened her own Etsy shop, which features an ever-expanding collection of the brand’s iconic menagerie. Bloomfield not only came up with the initial concepts, but also produced the finished products in her home. Now, four years later the online storefront has grown to include a larger selection and broader fan base. Bloomfield, now the mother of two girls, Violet, 5, and Lucy, 19 months, decided it was time to move the operation from her home to a local studio. Gingiber now has a handful of employees who help to produce and ship everything from her signature animal pillows and prints to the more recently introduced and highly functional tea towels, calendars and tote bags. “We laugh because our team lovingly refers to the studio as ‘Gingiber World Headquarters,’” says Bloomfield.
Furthering her love of animals—canines in particular—Bloomfield embarked on a 52-week journey over the course of 2013 to design a new print of a dog each week. So far the collection includes everything from a dachshund to a greyhound, and their purpose is not just beauty. A portion of each print sold benefits the Humane Society, a cause that is near to Bloomfield’s heart as the owner of a rescue dog.
The 52 Weeks of Dogs project is just one in a number of events and fundraisers Bloomfield has lent her time and talents to help. However, the inspiration behind every project and design she tackles still remains close to home. “When you own a small business, your whole world can revolve around it. So, my family must be on-board with any decision I make in order for it to work. I simply couldn’t do it without them,” she adds.
Gingiber, Springdale, www.gingiber.com