Janet & Trisha Snyder

For this week’s Pinterview, I got in touch with Janet and Trisha Snyder, the talented sisters behind Pawling Print Studio. In addition to creating beautiful products (I will be buying some pillowcases from them this week!) they are avid pinners. You can see their pinboards here. Enjoy!


Tell me a little about yourselves.

Well we’re sisters. I live in Washington D.C and Janet lives in New York. Lots of people mistake us for twins, but we’re actually three years apart. I’d say we’re both “east coasters” now, which is funny because both of our parents grew up in California. Our Mom grew up in Monterey. Our Dad, who teaches economics, grew up in LA.

Even though our parents weren’t artists, we think they’re definitely repressed creatives. Our Dad did all the architectural plans for our house in Indiana. Our Mom does beautiful calligraphy and amazing sewing projects. Our parents also love to travel. As kids we lived everywhere from Indiana to Singapore. Since we moved around a lot, part of our identity is a lack of identity. We get lots of inspiration from our travels and our parents.


Did you study art or design before starting your business?

Actually (Trisha) studied civil engineering and architecture in graduate school. I did graphic design after starting off in mechanical engineering. We didn’t get a chance to spend much time together over the last 8 years, but we ended up graduating around the same time. About a month after graduation, we were applying for jobs and realized that we had really similar interests. It was a magical moment! We were excited to do something together, and so Pawling Print Studio was born. Pawling Print Studio is an independent design studio that makes clean, understated, environmentally responsible products. on environmentally responsible production and clean, understated design.When we first started Pawling, we had a number of products in mind — tote bags, tea towels, maybe paper products. We decided to keep it open-ended. We’d love to do larger projects in the future, maybe even fabric design.


So where does the name Pawling come from?

It’s named after our Grandfather on our Dad’s side. He’s the one who introduced us to art outside of school or art class. He was a photographer and a painter. Whenever he would visit, our group activity was art. He would make us draw, which we hated at the time. He’d ask us to really look at something for like half an hour. When you’re a kid, that seems like forever. He passed away a little before we started the studio and it just felt right to name the studio after him.

Vintage photo of children doing crafts

How would you describe your style?

I’d say we’re minimalist but not necessarily modernists. We like to see ‘the hand’ in things. When we were in school, we were totally attached to the computer — whether that was for drafting plans or doing prints. Once we graduated, we really wanted to step away from that and go back to things that are hand drawn. We try not to manipulate our drawings on the computer too much.

Craft creations

We love nature and patterns. There’s something about large endless patterns that’s fascinating to us — things that have systems and geometry but still have an organic feel. We’re always looking for someting that is timeless and classic, but still feels new and fresh. We always think, ‘how would we feel holding this 20 years from now?’ And of course, right now we’re work with limited palettes. I think there’s a lot of subtlety that is overlooked in those palettes and it’s interesting to explore them.


What inspires you?

We love browsing the internet. There is so much to discover. You find one thing and suddenly discover 10 more things. Pinterest is like that on crack! It’s kind of obsessive for us.


So how do you two use Pinterest day to day?

Before our things were scattered everywhere. We had lots of little folders. The kind you start with good intentions and then things get convoluted…we had those 8,000 google reader posts, and flickr favorites, bookmarks on all of our different browsers, and amazon wishlists. There’s never been a good way to have everything together. Pinterest is great because it brings everything into one place and lets you see what you like about it. I was telling Janet that it’s made us a lot more aware of our aesthetic and has actually helped us become better bloggers.And I’m always discovering new stuff from new people! I feel like the blogs you get end up being limiting. The great thing about pinterest is that someone repins your thing, and then you can see what they’re inspired by even if they have just a couple pins on that board.


Anything you’d like us to add to make it more fun? 

Even though Pinterest is really new, we thought it’d be cool to have a time travel feature. You could see popular pins from a week ago, a month ago, a year ago. Trends change so fast. I think next year we’ll be thinking - whoa - why were we all so excited about moustaches. We’d also like to see a master board where you have all your pins in one place. Oh, and a back to top button when you get to the end of a verrrry long page.


Do you have any favorite pinboards you’d like to suggest to other people?

Ha, so many!