Anna Maria grew up in a house full of her dad's paintings and with a closet full of her mom's handiwork. Beds were warmed by the hand-loomed wool blankets sent by her grandmother from Greece. She and her siblings were warmed by the beautiful hand-knits sent from her grandmother in Indiana. As a kid in the 70's, she passed store-bought Barbie dresses and instead created her own from her mother's fabric scraps.
In 1995, after graduating with an Honors Fine Arts Degree in Drawing from the University of Tennessee, Anna Maria opened Handmaiden, a clothing and housewares boutique. Designing clothing served a lifelong interest but she kept her hands in many mediums on a daily basis. Anna Maria's paintings, both small and large scale, are part of hundreds of private and commercial collections.
Somewhere around 2001, her fascination with taking an idea through all the necessary steps from her sketchbook to a store shelf sparked the momentum to create a brand. Anna Maria's fresh perspectives within traditional markets and her vision of being surrounded by the work of her own hands has led her to partnering with more than two dozen manufacturers to design homewares, gift items, textiles, authoring three sewing books, and publishing a continuing collection of sewing and needlework patterns. Her focus has intensified in the craft and creative industry where her heart has always been.
Anna Maria and her family make their home on a rambling two acres in Nashville, Tennessee. She works from a lofty, attic studio filled with fabric, thread, drawings, scribbled schemes, and the remnants of intermittent playtime with children. She is the mother of seven who range in age from 5 to 26. Anna Maria is incredibly thankful to be able to seek out her artistic goals in the presence of her family and is inspired by the spontaneity and tempo of life.