Anne Sanderoff-Walker of Designer Fabrications on art, community and the value of volunteering

11 Jul

Anne Walker-Sanderoff at work in the studio

Like much of the art we see when working with our Entrepreneur Training for Success graduates, the elaborate, colorful textiles created by Anne Sanderoff-Walker weave together the past, the present and the skills handed down from generation to generation among family members.  In fact, Anne credits her family’s history of sheep-shearing and sewing in Russia for her interest in fiber work.  And while she may have generations of knowledge guiding her work, Anne acknowledges that it takes much more than talent and experience to be a successful, self-starting artist.  Fortunately for us, Anne was nice enough to take time from weaving a Chuppah for an upcoming bridal shower to share her advice on how to promote yourself and find those who “speak the language” of art.

“There’s a whole lot to be said for making connections.”

A self-proclaimed introvert, Anne admits that “getting out there” is a difficult, but necessary part of the entrepreneurial process.  She is currently a member of the Potomac Fiber Arts Guild, Woman Business Owners of Montgomery County and Leadership Montgomery, and believes strongly in the power of these organizations to bring together like-minded people and facilitate the networking process.  Thanks to the FIber Arts Guild, for example, Anne has been able to meet interested gallery owners and keep her skills sharp by attending monthly classes in a small study group.

Volunteering opens doors in the soul and the professional world 

Whether they’re involved in the arts or not, Anne encourages everyone to volunteer.  Considering the fact that “you never really know where your next job is going to come from,” volunteering is a great way to meet people in an environment that’s less stressful than an actual job.  For those who speak English as a second language, a volunteer job may also be a great way to pick up or perfect the language.

Surround yourself with inspiring people

Anne’s enthusiasm for volunteering may have come from her mother- the first person she mentions when asked about the women in her life who inspire her.  She also attributes much of her current weaving style to the mentoring of her aunt, another inspiring woman who taught her a much more free-form technique.  Finally, Anne is deeply grateful to the women who served as leaders in the various guilds and organizations to which she belongs.  “[Their leadership] taught me to be a leader.  I followed by example.”  The result?  Anne is now an example herself, having served as President of the Woman Business Owners of Montgomery County and Vice President of Leadership Montgomery.

Custom wall hanging by Anne Sanderoff-Walker

EWI would like to thank Anne for taking the time to share her words of wisdom with us!

To learn more or contact Anne, visit her website at: http://www.designerfabrications.com/index.html

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