Susan and I met over seventeen years ago when we were hired by Palmer's Converse Middle School to design and implement an educational alternative for students experiencing difficulties in mainstream classrooms. Throughout the years, we have shared our love for art, learning and teaching. Our secret passion was to combine all three in a new endeavor that would tap our creative energies. Valley Vogue Collections was born.
Susan Cagan came from a family rich in fiber arts. Her grandmother dyed wool and braided rugs. She even knit and sewed wardrobes for Susan's Barbie and baby dolls. Susan has been weaving for over twenty years. She has been interested in fiber arts since childhood. She received her first set of knitting needles at the age of seven and her first sewing machine at the age of nine. Weaving came later in life. She studied at the Hill Institute in Florence, Massachusetts with Jeanetta Jones. For a short time in the 80's, she sold at local fairs and designed and wove on commission. Parenthood left little time to continue both weaving and part time employment. Her loom was retired. With the advent of her new business with Fran Nowak, Valley Vogue Collections, the loom came out of retirement and she is now weaving with new fibers, colors and styles. Designing product lines in hand wovens, hand dyed yarns and fabric has been exciting.
Fran Nowak has been interested in creating things with her hands all her life. From her first cardboard car to painting on bottles, weaving potholders, embroidering pillowcases and numerous paint-by-number kits. She was hooked on colors, textures, shapes and form. She learned to sew when she was in the seventh grade and has been sewing ever since. A few years ago, she took her first formal courses in art. Encouraged by family and friends, she has since been exploring as many areas of art as she can manage learning from each teacher and student she encounters. It seemed natural to join up with a friend to begin an adventure where they could rekindle all the creativity that was set aside for family and work. Together she and Susan create an environment for just this venture learning new skills, laughing at their mistakes and sharing their work with old friends and new.