Sarah Mistele Bechler grew up in Michigan in an 1860s farmhouse. With an artist mother who loved to shop for primitives back East, it was only natural for Sarah to be drawn to all things primitive. She traveled to shows around the country in the mid-1980s to sell cloth dolls she made and dressed in vintage clothing and antique shoes.
At a show in Michigan she first saw primitive hooked rugs, instantly fell in love with them, and signed up for classes with the artisan who was selling the rugs. This is where the journey of her business, Old Glory Woolen Co. began.
Sarah now lives in a small historic town in Michigan where she hooks and produces her rugs, purses, and chairs. “It is a very satisfying art form and working with hand-dyed wools and linen takes me back to my primitive roots,” she said.
Sarah also teaches rug hooking and has enjoyed opening her home to many Japanese women whose husbands have been assigned to work in the United States for three to five years. She finds they learn the rug hooking process quickly and they appreciate the history behind the craft.
Rug hooking allows Sarah to connect with the past while also ensuring that the craft continues for generations to come.
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