Ruth Ann Swanger
What is it that you design and create?
bead weaving, embroidery, designer purses - I have also published 2 cookbooks with afternoon tea recipes
What is your favorite part of the design process?Taking someone else's pattern and creating my own design from it. We live in an area with no bead stores for about 200 miles, so I buy kits to be sure that the beads co-ordinate.
How did you come up with your business name?
I started out making limited edition embroidered purses. After a serious accident, I was no longer to keep up production, so I switched to beadwork (which I've been doing for more than 40 years) as my main source of income. RaggBaggs was well known, so I just kept the name.
When and how did it all begin?
I've loved craftwork all of my life. Mama taught me to embroider by hand before I started kindergarten. Daddy taught me to knit and crochet. I learned beadwork in 4-H. My mother-in-law taught me to quilt. I learned to do machine embroidery in the 80s. Kumihimo is my latest learning experience.
Who or what inspires you?
I just love to make things. I have never been able to sit down and do nothing. There is always a project close at hand.
What advice would you give other independent artists who are just starting out?
Find something you truly love to do and do it. Except for very special people on very special occasions, never give your work away. Make pieces that you really love and keep them if you want to or have to. Never undersell your work.
Make your husband feel like he's the most wonderful person on earth (mine actually is!) so that he'll do most of the housework while you play. Uh, I mean work. Yeah that's it. Work!
What music are you listening to?
Live Irish Radio
Anything on the food channel.
What TV show are you hooked on?
What was the last movie you saw?White Christmas
What is your favorite food?
I love our local southern food, but I'm always game to try something new. We went to Atlanta and had Lebanese food the other night. The prices were outrageous, but I can't wait to go back. We love Chinese food here in the states, but spending a month in China just about starves us to death. We have great passions for Indian, Mexican, Irish, and Portuguese cooking.
What is your favorite candy or treat?
Coconut pie loaded with meringue.
Coffee or Tea?
What store could you walk around in for hours and be happy?
Any bead store. Every jewelry store in St. Thomas!
Our 10 1/2 year old Shih Tzu named Poppett.
Favorite place to visit or would like to visit?
My favorite thus far has been Ireland, but I'm itching to spend a year in Greece!
If you could be a superhero, what would your name be and what superpower would you have?
Higgins from that show that took place in Hawaii. Can't remember the name of the show, but Higgins was so well mannered and elegant. Not to mention so very British!
Hallowe'en and Christmas.
If you were a shoe what shoe would you be
Woolly Mammoth Crocs.
What do you secretly wish you could do or be?
A world traveler with an unlimited budget.
Favorite piece of clothing?
Any type of formal wear that's both comfortable and elegant. Tea with Her Majesty anyone?
I speak English fairly well if you overlook my southern accent. Any country we visit, I learn to ask 'where is the bathroom' and 'how much does it cost'. Ray learns to order beer and to say 'that's too much!'
Do you speak any languages or want to learn one?
Plans for yourself/business?
I buy lots of unusual jewelry components and focal pieces when we travel. I buys lots of fine fabrics. I eat lots of exotic food. So my plans are to travel a lot!
Have a great evening!