It’s no secret that WYSK loves to read, and we also love easy-going fashion, so when we came across the company Storiarts, by Tori Tissell, it was literary love at first site.
In 2011 Tori came up with the idea to print “books” on scarves when trying to decide what to do about Christmas gifts for her family and friends. “I couldn’t afford to buy anything,” Tori told WYSK. “Art school was expensive and my debt was monumental.”
After hours of research looking to see if her idea was already on the market, Tori was relieved when she found it didn’t exist. Following that discovery, she sourced fabric to mimic the color of pages in a book, and using her silkscreen printing skills along with prose from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, she created her first group of scarves. “It was such an exhilarating experience because my finished product looked just like I had imagined it would.”
In the late hours of that night Tori snapped a photo of her new creation and opened an Etsy account. Within just a few hours the scarves she posted for sale were sold out. Then messages and requests for orders started to flood her inbox. Tori’s scarves were an overnight success. She says that it was more than she could handle, but she “was determined to make it happen.” Three months later, Tori quit her desk job and committed herself to her new burgeoning business.
Since then, Tori’s husband Chris has joined the team and have expanded the offerings of Storiarts to include gloves, pillow covers and t-shirts, all with passages from some of the world’s greatest books, including Jane Eyre, Alice in Wonderland, Little Women, Wuthering Heights, Anne of Green Gables, etc.
Storiarts works with books that are old enough to be within the public domain, so much of their inspiration comes from classical literature. Tori particularly likes to work with books that have heroes or include strong moral lessons. “Jane Eyre is on the top of my favorites list. She is an incredible heroine who always strives and sacrifices to do what is right, not what is convenient,” shared Tori.
A lover of art since she was a young girl, Tori grew up drawing and painting and aspired to be a professional artist. Raised and home-schooled in South Carolina, her passion for books started at a young age. “The fact that I can combine literature, screen-printing and fashion design as means to survive continues to amaze me.”
Next up? Tori plans on adding more of her illustrations to her products and dreams about securing a licensing agreement for Harry Potter.