Bethany Lowe Designs is a small, family-owned business that began in 1985 with the artist’s vision of creating unique, original, vintage-style folk art and holiday designs for the wholesale industry. At that time, very few companies were creating this distinct style and look.
Early years were devoted to Bethany’s limited edition and one-of-a-kind Santa Claus figures, studio-made ornaments and Christmas decorations (see About Bethany). A trendsetter in the early “country lodge” look, she discovered that import companies were reproducing her new ideas and were able to reach a larger audience by mass-producing their product.
In 1997 Bethany decided to travel overseas to see if high-quality handmade designs could be produced at a more reasonable price. After two years of working with several manufacturers in different countries, she was able to replicate her designs while maintaining the quality that her customers had come to expect and the company, Bethany Lowe Designs, was born. BLD now had two distinct lines: her original artist-made folk figures, created in Bethany’s studio; and the imported “build a tradition” collection of vintage-inspired holiday goods which became more accessible to broader audiences. This artistically superior line allowed the company to grow at a very rapid pace and attract lucrative invitations from well-known distributors as well as artists and firms that wanted to license art uniquely created for them by BLD. Stores were excited to discover that there were now price levels for everyone, and the imported line was very well-received. In addition to the Christmas products, the nostalgic collections grew to include the Valentine’s Day, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, 4th of July, Halloween and Thanksgiving holidays. Designs were made in papier-mâché, paper pulp, resin, tin, hand-dyed and appliquéd wool, cotton batting, mercury glass, pottery, wood and vintage reproduction papers. Sales increased to include every state in the country as well as overseas.