I’m Sandra, the founder and designer for Sweetgum. I’m a mom (of two wonderful teenage boys), architect and cat lover. Over the years I've called lots of different places home; New Jersey (where I grew up), Rhode Island, California, Seattle, and for the past 20 years New England. I studied Fine Arts at RISD and Architecture at U.W. in Seattle, where I met my husband who also happens to be an architect.
In 2016, Sweetgum was born out of a desire to create a collection of eco-friendly home goods. I started with a line of fabric for interior design. Since then, Sweetgum has transformed into a home goods company with kitchen linens, Swedish dishcloths & a few other things in the mix. I like to draw whimsical things (like lucky kitties and whales) so creating designs for Swedish dishcloths has become my favorite thing to do. Drawing is the perfect way to procrastinate from doing the hard stuff in running my own business.
My studio is in my home, which is in a small town near the coast just north of Boston in Massachusetts. I love this part of the country for the architecture and landscape. The area provides me with endless inspiration. To be honest, I'd rather be sketching outside in my garden or at the beach than doing just about anything else.
Welcome to my shop- a little taste of New England.
"My mission with Sweetgum is to make eco-friendly home goods that capture a sense of place, and make you feel good using them."
Two towns over from where I live is a nature sanctuary belonging to the Massachusetts Audubon. It's one of my favorite places to hike. Down near the canoe launch, on the Ipswich river is a grove of Sweet Gum trees. The Sweet Gum has a unique design solution for protecting their seeds; spiky little balls that are both strange and lovely at the same time. I think the Sweet Gum is the perfect example of nature's ingenuity, how form and function can be expressed in beautiful ways. I also love the sound of the word. It's a happy word. One that brings to mind sunshine and laughing with friends.
Eco-friendly materials and production
Swedish dishcloths were invented by a Swedish paper engineer back in the 1950's. Our Swedish dishcloths are made from renewable fibers (70% Cellulose, 30% Cotton) are 100% biodegradable and can be composted after using for 6-9 months. They make a great alternative to paper towels (saving lots and lots of trees) and can be used to clean just about any household surface. The cloth is made in Germany and printed in Finland with water based inks. Even though our dishcloths are not made in Sweden we still call them Swedish dishcloths because it's kind of like calling fries "French fries", not made in France but you know... that's just what they're called.
We collaborate with printers and cut & sew work rooms in the USA to create our line of kitchen napkins, tea towels and table runners. They're made from natural fibers: 100% linen, cotton/linen blends and 100% cotton.
Our throw blankets are a co-brand with Brahms Mount of Maine. These heirloom quality throws are woven on powered antique shuttle looms by master weavers who are working to continue the traditional techniques of the textiles industry of New England.