On the Surface


First, we all owe thanks to those early settlers — in Virginia (1619) and Massachusetts (1621) — who started the whole Thanksgiving tradition rolling.

Next, thanks to President Lincoln, who called for a day of gratitude in the midst of the bloody Civil War (1863). Finally, 122 years later, Congress made Thanksgiving an official holiday in 1941. So on the last Thursday of every November since, Americans have been gathering to eat turkey (46 million pounds of it!) and count their blessings.

What, we wondered, are artists, agents, and others in the surface design business thankful for this season? So we asked:

Q. What you are most thankful for professionally? In your personal life?

"Debbie-Taylor-Kerman_02"A. Debbie Taylor-Kerman, Inc, New York is grateful that she made a fateful phone call. “It changed my life,” Debbie says. “After getting established in my first job, I called to check in with my college professor, Maureen Wayman. She later called me about a design studio in NYC looking for an experienced designer. Within weeks, I was working on 7th Avenue.” Debbie adds, “I’m also grateful for my family. This year, I’m in particular awe of my son Eli. Junior year is an extremely tough year and he is working so hard. Teenage years are so difficult and cumbersome, and I feel that he is navigating his way to becoming an incredible young adult.”

"Ana-Davis-headshot_02"A. Ana Davis, Ana Davis, Ltd., Chicago, gives thanks for a “job” that lets her “follow her bliss.” “I am unbelievably grateful that my days are filled with creativity, storytelling, and artfulness. These are my greatest pleasures in life, so calling what I do ‘work’ is a stretch. How can something that gives me so much gratification be called a ‘job’?” When I come to my studio, I am simply being myself, creating what I love, following my bliss.” And what else? “Though I try to appreciate my many fortunes every day, the holidays help me focus. I have healthy and happy children, a loving and supportive husband. My family is creative, intelligent, and really, really funny. I delight in the food at all of our family meals (both my mother and great-grandmother were restauranteurs…).

"Betsey-Cavallo_01"A. Betsey Cavallo, Betsey Cavallo/C Designs, Hopkinton, MA, is grateful that she can “make a living doing what I love.” “I am thankful for all the great companies and in-house creative people that I work with. I enjoy seeing them at SURTEX each year and connecting in person. And I am also thankful for my daughter who comes every year and helps me with the Show. “In my personal life, I am thankful for a faithful God who hears my prayers and always provides. We are expecting our first grandchild in February. We are very excited.”


"Jonathan-Fader_01"A. Jonathan Fader, Galaxy of Graphics Licensing, East Rutherford, NJ, appreciates having a career in “this creative, dynamic industry.” “I am thankful for the great staff and artists we have at Galaxy, and to be part of a team where we can work hard, enjoy ourselves, and really have a direct impact on what we create. In my personal life, I am constantly grateful for my beautiful, supportive wife, our three healthy children who continue to amaze us, and our entire extended family.”


"Lauren-Wan_01"A. Lauren Wan, Demarest, NJ, cites two people in her professional life for whom she is most thankful: “My tutor Judy Barry in UK and my former boss, David Suddens in Paris. I received Judy’s tremendous support and encouragement throughout my undergraduate days. The most incredible act of love was that without my knowing she quietly wrote 70 letters asking sponsorship for my Master’s at the Royal College of Art — and it worked!! David Suddens, then CEO of Dollfus Mieg & Cie Paris, generously sponsored everything, including fees and board, for my two years study in London, and a job after graduation.” Lauren’s bottom line: “I credit everything I have to God and His blessings upon my life….He deserves all my praises.”