To many the Anna Maria brand means color & inspiration in the form of craft, sewing, needlework, books, and friendly how-to. Since 2006 her growing library of fabrics has delighted and adorned discerning makers around the globe. As of 2014 Anna Maria is also the founder and proprietor of Nashville's Craft South. Craft South offers supply, instruction, sewing machines and workshops.
In May 2018, Anna Maria presented the Conservatory fabric brand in partnership with FreeSpirit Fabrics and contributes as one of the five artists and is the Creative Director for the collective.
Anna Maria Horner grew up in a house full of her dad's paintings and with a closet full of her mom's handi-work. Beds were warmed by the hand-loomed wool blankets sent by her grandmother from Greece. The busy bodies of her and her siblings were warmed by the beautiful hand-knits of their grandmother in Indiana. As a kid in the 70's, she passed up store-bought Barbie dresses and instead created them 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 retail project. The shop served as home base for Anna Maria's clothing line which she designed and produced, together with her mom. Eventually, the label was offered to the wholesale market, where it sold at several stores across the Southeast
Designing clothing for five years served a lifelong interest but Anna Maria kept her hands in many mediums on a daily basis. She stayed active artistically by exhibiting in galleries regularly. Her paintings, both small and large scale, are a part of hundreds of private and commercial collections.
There have been varied stops on her path to here, but a common element in all of her work, whether fashion, quilting or fine art, is a passion for the language of color. 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, and textiles. Her focus has intensified in the craft, sewing and quilting community where her creativity was first planted as a girl, and she has authored three sewing books, and self publishes a continuing collection of sewing, quilting and needlework patterns.
Sharing her point of view through teaching design, stitching and patchwork has become an increasingly important part of Anna Maria’s work. Her current workshop and lecture calendar can be found here.
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, schemes and the remnants of intermittent playtime with the 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.