When deciding on a name for my company it only seemed natural to turn to the two women who influenced me the most: my mother and my grandmother. They were the ones who gave me a passion for creating anything and everything, especially if it involved textiles. They were powerful women with boundless imagination, and skillful survivors who could always find a use for the tiniest of scraps. Beala Designs (pronounced Bēlă) is just as much them as it is me. Bea is for my grandmother, Beatrice, and la is for my mother, LaVerta. In all fairness though, my father was just as influential. He was the one who loved to draw, for instance. Unfortunately, I couldn't work out a way to add letters from his name to my liking. Sorry, Dad. But you will always be my hero for so very many reasons. Maybe I can name a line of men's fabric after you one day.
My daughter certainly deserves some credit here too for sending me on this path. As a toddler she had a touch of separation anxiety. Realizing this is perfectly normal for kids of that young age, I searched for a nurturing way to help her through it. Since she was only three all she could tell me was that she missed me while we were apart so, I decided to draw a fun picture on her lunch napkin every day as a signal to let her know that I loved her and that I would be there soon to pick her up. It seemed to work. (This was during the Mother's Day out days when I needed a few hours a couple of times a week to run errands.) When she began kindergarten, she requested the napkins again. In fact, she requested them every year. As she started middle school I worried that it might be embarrassing or someone might tease her about it, but she assured me her friends (and a few teachers) looked forward to seeing the picture of the day every day. So, I continued to draw all the way through her senior year. Then when she was packing for college, she told me one of the things she thought she was going to miss the most was getting napkins. Well, you know that melted my heart! So, of course, they still find their way into her luggage or car whenever possible. :) Now I use multiple mediums to create repeat patterns on actual art paper (not paper towels). And that is the not-so-short story of how I became a surface designer.