JEN SWEARINGTON grew up in rural Indiana across the road from a horse stable and next to a 30-acre Christmas tree farm. Encouraged and inspired by her artist aunt Kelly Hoernig, Jen knew by the age of twelve that she wanted to become an artist. She studied fine art and art history, earning a BFA from Pratt Institute in 1997 and an MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2000, then served a one-year residency at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. Early in her career, she focused on fine art: mixed media paintings, quilts, and small works on playing cards. When she started sewing original apparel and accessories and printing her illustrations on them, she found her designs were in demand, and in 2003, Jennythreads was founded.  In 2013, her comprehensive how-to book Printing on Fabric: Techniques with Screens, Stencils, Inks and Dyes was published. She continues to draw, dye, sew, and print in Jennythreads Studio in West Asheville studio today.

When she's not in the studio, Jen enjoys reading, feeding the birds in her back yard, and spending time with her adorable firefighter husband Paul and their two cats Nico and Jasper. She is an avid trail runner whose favorite activity in the world is running in the woods with her intrepid dog Sesame.

Listen to Jen tell her story on NPR's Markeplace Money.