Ask an eight year old about a birthday gift and you’d likely hear suggestions like Legos, Harry Potter books, skateboards, or art supplies. But when she was eight, Stacie Bloomfield had another idea entirely—she wanted (and received) a subscription to Martha Stewart Living magazine. “My grandma had a beauty shop with magazines for her customers to read, and that’s where I discovered Martha Stewart—I adored her!” says Stacie. “And I used to ask my mom to take me to import shops just so I could walk around and see the merchandise—I was really into interiors, design, and cooking.”
She was also into drawing, and some of her earliest memories involve using her dad’s fountain pen to doodle during church services. Though a love of all things visual followed her through life, it wasn’t until she was pregnant for her first daughter, Violet (now seven), that she got serious about sharing her vision with the world. When she couldn’t find artwork she liked for her daughter’s nursery, she drew her own. “My husband said ‘Those are cute, you should try and sell them,’ and so I opened an Etsy shop,” she says.
The name Gingiber came from a marketing project in a class she took as an undergraduate—it’s a word for ginger selected randomly from an old Latin dictionary. “I’ve been using it now for seven years, so I guess the name is sticking.”
Stacie worked as a coffee shop manager and a University administrator by day, and sold her art prints, pillows, and tea towels on Etsy by night. But a feature story on the Etsy blog, two weeks after she gave birth to her second daughter, Lucy, increased her business exponentially and she decided to give full-time illustration a try. Since then she’s licensed her work so that her designs appear on children’s bedding and accessories and notecards, as well as in her Etsy shop.
Her inspiration comes from a variety of sources. Animals are one obvious source. “I just love to explore penwork and textures in the fur and feather areas,” she says. Since 2013 Gingiber has donated a portion of its sales to the Humane Society; this year it was revenue generated from her 52-weeks-of-dogs calendar.
Vintage quilts are another source of inspiration. “I love the juxtaposition of fabrics and shapes, and how color and pattern plays together,” she says.
Now Stacie’s graphically whimsical designs will appear on Moda fabrics. Her first line, Thicket, will be in stores in August and features black-and-white critters and details from her pen work. “I think it will appeal to a lot of different people,” she says. “It’s great for nurseries, but minimal enough to be used in home décor. I’m so excited to see what people will make with it.”
Stacie’s been making things with Thicket in anticipation of Quilt Market, and is excited to have an excuse to sew. As a child, she hand made doll clothes and blankets, but as time went on she became too busy for much stitching. Stacie and her husband met when they were 11 and married at age 20. Eight years ago they moved from Missouri to Arkansas, where he pursued a PhD in mathematics. He currently teaches in Oklahoma and commutes to their Arkansas home.
In addition to her illustration work, Stacie opened a brick-and-mortar Gingiber store in downtown Springdale, and she moved her studio downtown, too. On weekends her husband will bring the kids (they also have a 15-month-old son) to the shop and the little ones will draw while Violet helps out in front. “You have this vision of what you want your life to be and my family is here living it with me and doing it with me,” says Stacie. “It’s louder than you think and not always clean cut, but it’s what I’ve always wanted.
I just love creating images that make people smile, designing things that both kids and adults can enjoy, and I’m really excited to be doing this collection for Moda. I want to do ‘em proud!” Moda’s excited to have you on board, Stacie!