Talk about a dreamy work scenario: pursuing your passion, building it into a thriving business, along side your beloved sis. That’s exactly what the creative team behind Hable Construction fabrics has done. Susan Hable Smith and Katharine Hable Sweeney – two sisters with distinctly different yet complementary skills – have created a vividly colored and boldly patterned fabric line. We absolutely adore the painterly, artistic quality of Hable’s fabrics. Read on for insight into this talented duo’s backgrounds and fascinating inspirations.
Tell us a bit about your respective backgrounds?
Susan is the artistic mind of the team. Having studied fine art at the University of Alabama and collaging and painting since childhood, she is a wizard with a paint brush and scissors!
Katharine is the business mind of the team. With a journalism degree from Ole Miss, she found her passion in sales and marketing early in her career.
What prompted you to launch Hable Construction?
We launched Hable Construction in 1999. Katharine was a new mother at home with twins and Susan had recently returned from a long trip to India which had deeply inspired her. Our original concept was simply to bring to life some of Susan’s beautiful art – using her designs as a canvas for home and personal accessories. We started with one product: scarves. The business quickly evolved and we added table runners and pillows for the home. Things just kept evolving organically and, when they made sense, we took the bull by the horns and tried new production ideas and collaborations!
Give us a sense of what inspires your fabric line?
Susan finds inspiration in everything; but nature and travel definitely top the list of inspirational sources. Throughout the years, Susan has a amassed a vast library of images and inspirations. When developing new patterns, she often dives deep into different cultures - studying the patterns, colors, shapes and other elements of that culture. For example, the “Rise” pattern was inspired by the Dutch African wax prints which were typically used in clothing. (Click here to see the fabulous "Rise" pattern on a project Revitaliste did for SF Girl By Bay)
How are your fabrics produced? Why have you chosen this production method?
We use a few methods now that the world of technology has expanded. We prefer handmade things when possible and our Classic Collection is handprinted in New England at a wonderful old mill. We also are able to get a more painterly style of print by using digitally printed textiles from a mill in North Carolina. With digital printing, Susan's artwork can be directly placed on the fabrics creating watery and less-defined artistic patterns.
What does the future hold for your textile line?
We hope to continue to expand all offerings in color and pattern to offer more to our clients while staying true to the Hable look. Adding some new constructions in jacquards is a goal and we hope to expand our collaborations with our textile partners to include some more high performance collections as well as pushing the artistic envelope!