Since 1987, March has been designated National Women’s History Month in the United States, and to commemorate it, we’d like to celebrate our historic women. Stickley has had its share of talented women in positions of leadership and creative influence, no small feat when operating in a male-dominated industry for well over a century. Here are just a few of the boldface female names that are part of the Stickley story; they stand in for hundreds of unnamed women who’ve helped build the brand from its offices, showrooms, and factory floors.
Dr. Irene Sargent (1852 – 1932)
When Gus moved his headquarters and publication to New York City in 1905, her association with The Craftsman ended, though her Stickley story did not. In 1926, Irene—now Dr. Sargent—would author a pamphlet for L. & J.G. Stickley titled “Household Furniture: its origins from the Bed and the Chest.”
Louise Shrimpton (1870 – 1954)Born in Syracuse, Louise Shrimpton studied painting, drawing, and design at the
Mrs. Louise Stickley (1895 – 1981)
Mrs. Aminy Audi
Aminy Audi was a freelance writer and reporter for The Voice of America when she and Alfred bought Stickley. Like Louise, she wasn’t technically a businesswoman, but she had learned what she needed to know from both her father’s and her husband’s work, and from the start she was a true partner and influential force. She and Alfred worked side by side to pull the struggling company back from the brink and revive its fortunes, all while maintaining a reverence for its history and refusing to compromise on the quality and craftsmanship that defined it. By the time they had re-issued the Mission Collection to great acclaim in 1989, the Audis were hugely respected in the industry. The untimely passing of her husband in 2007 left Aminy at the helm of L. & J.G. Stickley, and she’s managed the challenges of the following years with grace and intelligence. In 2015 she was inducted into the American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame, joining her husband who was inducted in 2008.
In this National Women’s History Month, we must touch on the work Aminy Audi has done on behalf of women as a role model and advocate. She served as a non-governmental delegate to the United Nations Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, then participated in the Women’s Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. in 1996.
She is also a founding member of the Women’s Fund of Central New York, which provides grants and initiatives to support the advancement of women in the community, and of the American Heart Association’s Circle of Red, whose mission is to advance cardiovascular health for women.
Mrs. Aminy Audi, CEO and Chair of the Board
Amanda Clifford, Director, The Stickley Museum
Cathers, David. Gustav Stickley. New York: Phaidon Press, 2003.
Henry Ford Museum, “Finding Aid for Stickley Family Collection, 1879–1978” http://www.dalnet.lib.mi.us/henryford/docs/StickleyFamilyCollection_Accession1624.pdf
Reed, Cleota. Irene Sargent: A Legend in her own Time. Pasadena, CA: The Clinker Press, 2013.