DEMDACO and Willow Tree Artist Susan Lordi Extend Partnership
DEMDACO is pleased to announce the extension of their licensing contract with Willow Tree® artist Susan Lordi through 2020.
Since 1999, Susan Lordi and DEMDACO have enjoyed a positive relationship that emphasizes Lordi’s artistic vision and personal approach to product development. The success of Willow Tree, now in its 14th year, is evidence of this partnership.
Dave Kiersznowski, owner of DEMDACO, sees this long-term horizon with such a strong partner as renewed confidence in the market. He says, “Sue is someone who has not lost sight of her line. 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.”
Lordi says, “I have the dream team!” With the strong support of DEMDACO Brand Manager Ashley Crouch, Marketing Manager Amy Sterns, and key advocates in quality control, she is able to focus her energy on creating new pieces and experimenting with new techniques and materials.
Since its inception, the original of each Willow Tree figure is conceived, sculpted and carved by Lordi in her Kansas City art studio. Her artistic process is unique in the giftware industry because she actually makes each three-dimensional original versus sketching in 2-D. This one-of-a-kind approach to product creation makes her pieces truly stand out in the commercial market… Willow Tree is based on Lordi’s own life experiences and how she views the world instead of just what will sell. Her hand, and her unique perspective, is evident in each piece.
From each of Lordi’s original sculptures, a mold is cast, which exactly retains her knife marks. Then, skilled artists individually paint each production piece based on her specific techniques. Lordi’s number one priority has always been the quality control of her artwork, so having top-notch artisans casting and painting each piece has been critical to the long-term success of Willow Tree in the gift industry.
“DEMDACO has been a great partner in the manufacturing, distribution, sales, and marketing of the Willow Tree brand,” says Lordi. “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 acknowledges, “Demi and I are incredibly grateful to Sue in that she continues to choose DEMDACO as her strategic partner for the Willow Tree brand. This relationship is what you always hope for… friends and business partners, working together in an incredibly healthy way.”