We spoke with Debra Kornhauser, owner of Signature Designs on Main Street in Moorestown. What started as a weaving studio in 1980, Signature Designs has sold American-made crafts and jewelry on Main Street for over 30 years.
Signature Designs is a hallmark of Moorestown Main Street for a long time now. Can you tell us about Signature Design’s history?
In 1980, a local weaver, Susan Wood Fell opened a studio at 55 E Main Street. She held classes and sold her work, gradually adding pottery to the mix. She outgrew the space and moved to the present location at 5 W. Main Street in 1987. She always focused on American handmade crafts to sell, being an artist herself. I continue that vision.
In 1995, after 10 years in the design field, I was looking for a change. In 1979 I started going to craft shows and fairs, collecting work from favorite artists. It had always been a dream of mine to have a shop to highlight the fantastic work of American artists that I had been collecting for so many years. I did need experience in running a store, so working in one first was the plan. The next day, after I made my decision to pursue this dream, I answered a want ad in the paper for a craft store manager. Wow, was then hired over the phone by Susan. I worked for her for 6 months, then went on to buy the store. My stars were truly aligned!
Can you expand a little bit about the importance of American handmade crafts and jewelry today?
I feel so strongly about supporting small artist studios. Giving them an outlet for their creativity and passion. I share their passion. I enjoy meeting all my artists before buying their work. It is part of the joy of owning a craft store. We need to continue to support the creative community, American made ingenuity, not imported inferior products.
What is your favorite part about being located on Main Street in Moorestown? Do you feel a sense of community?
It is a pleasure to constantly bring new work to the Moorestown community. They share my passion for unique American made products which is why we’re still here 36 years later. I know my customer and seek new work that they will love. They in turn, expect well made, unique pieces that fit their gift needs.