FRESH AS PAINT is a whimsical line of 100% cotton children’s clothing and accessories, designed, hand-dyed and hand–painted with loving care by the founder and artist, me, Jane Miller. Today, FRESH AS PAINT clothing is exhibited at fine craft shows and stores from Vermont to Virginia, and worn by children both in the US and abroad. Yet despite the far-flung territories in which my designs have found themselves, FRESH AS PAINT remains as it has always been, an essentially home-grown operation, spurred on by a love of children, color, and design.
Thirty years ago, after teaching school for 12 years, designing and restoring old houses during summer “breaks,” coaching Odyssey of the Mind teams, and art history programs for 9-year-olds, I embarked on my most challenging project to date, raising two wonderful children of my own. Anxious to be home to care for them myself, I decided to channel my energies and creativity into my own home business, and FRESH AS PAINT was born. (The name came from an old expression of my great grandmother Nana’s, meaning lively, unique, different!)
With two young children in the house, it quickly became apparent just what qualities a child’s garment should embody! Strong, durable, and easy to wash for me - colorful, comfortable, and decorated with the whimsy of a child’s dreams for my youngsters. I had already learned that expensive garments that my children wore for three months (and were then passed down to assorted neighbors) were impractical. My clothing line must be designed to fit and grow with the child. An elastic waist here, a gathered ankle and a full cut across the bodice there, and I quickly developed a line of comfortable, 100% cotton clothing, meant to be worn through both growth spurts and season changes.
The next element I looked to was the question of color and decoration. In my mind’s eye, I dreamed of wonderful colors not always worn by children...sage green, burnt orange, charcoal gray, periwinkle and goldenrod. I learned the dyer’s trade in my own laundry room using an old 16 lb.capacity washer. (Somewhat newer now, but still limited to only 16 lbs!) Next, I took out my brushes and splashed the yards of new color with the objects of a child’s world - slow-moving ladybugs, soft white kittens, muddy-footed puppies, long necked giraffes, leaping frogs, and flying bumblebees. As accessories, I added floppy cotton hats, heavy cotton leggings and tees, and an occasional matching pocketbook.
Today, FRESH AS PAINT carries sizes infant - 12 for girls, and up to size 6-8 for boys. New colors and designs are brought out each spring and autumn, and sibling sets have become a specialty, with similar colors and designs available for brothers and sisters in a large range of sizes - perfect for that special photo for grandma and grandpa. For the past 10 years, I have been selling on my website, as well as at better arts and crafts shows along the east coast.
UPDATE!!! FRESH AS PAINT IS NOW BRINGING YOU A WHOLE NEW LINE OF ADULT JACKETS, TEES, SWEAT SHIRTS AND MORE!!! THE SAME DEDICATION TO DETAIL, WHIMSY AND AMERICAN MADE FABRICS...BUT FOR ALL YOU MOMS, AUNTIES AND GRANDMAS WHO HAVE MADE OUR CHILDREN'S CLOTHING SO SUCCESSFUL. COME SEE THE FULL LINE AT THE FINE SHOWS LISTED IN THE CALENDAR SECTION OF OUR WEBSITE!!!