Christian Retailing

Demdaco extends contract with Willow Tree’s Susan Lordi Print Email
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 04:56 PM America/New_York

WillowTree-SongJoyOrnament-webDemdaco recently announced the extension of its licensing contract with Willow Tree artist Susan Lordi through 2020. Willow Tree line is now in its 14th year.

“Sue is someone who has not lost sight of her line,” Demdaco owner Dave Kiersznowski said. “She is steadfast in her insistence on focusing on the art of Willow Tree. Since its beginning, she has subtly changed and evolved the line with pieces carved in the round, color variations and carving details. We are so excited to explore where Sue wants to take the brand over the coming years. It’s a delight to be a part of her beautiful work.”

With the support of Demdaco Brand Manager Ashley Crouch, Marketing Manager Amy Sterns and key advocates in quality control, the artist is able to focus on creating new pieces and experimenting with new techniques and materials.

Since the line’s inception, the original of each Willow Tree figure has been conceived, sculpted and carved by Lordi in her Kansas City, Mo., art studio. Her artistic process is unique in the giftware industry because she makes each 3-D original versus sketching in 2-D. This approach makes her pieces stand out in the commercial market. Willow Tree is based on Lordi’s own life experiences and how she views the world.

From each of her original sculptures, a mold is cast, which retains her knife marks. Then, artists individually paint each production piece based on her specific techniques.

“Demdaco has been a great partner in the manufacturing, distribution, sales and marketing of the Willow Tree brand,” Lordi said. “We have an enthusiastic, strong and cohesive team. We work hard, but have a lot of fun. Dave Kiersznowski has always shown forward thinking and an openness to new ideas. As an artist, having the creative freedom to brainstorm, make mistakes and, above all, dream … is a place I want to be.”

Kiersznowski sees Lordi not only as a business partner, but also a friend, “working together in an incredibly healthy way.”