Aleene – A Tacky Lady

January 5, 2010 at 9:35 pm 5 comments

Aleene in Life Magazine 1953It was 57 years ago today that my mother Aleene was featured in the January 5, 1953 issue of LIFE Magazine. There is such an amazing, rich history of how today’s craft industry started and I am blessed to have been born to a creative legend.

As a child, I certainly didn’t realize my mother’s role in the craft industry. It really wasn’t until I started digging into the Aleene’s archives and started putting the people and places together through photos and news clippings that I started to truly realize what Mom accomplished starting at a very young age.

Aleene & Woody Hershman - Florist Shop 1944

Aleene & Woody Hershman - Aleene's of Arcadia Florist 1944

Mom started a florist business at the age of 19 when my Dad went off to serve in WWII. She knew little about flower arranging and nothing about running a business.  Years later, a student introduced her to Formosan Wood Fibre and after securing the west coast distribution rights to this fascinating product, her business took off!

When she was featured in LIFE Magazine, she was 28 years old with 3 very active children at home (with two more children to come in the years ahead including me!).

Aleene talks to the crowd of over 20,000 at the Pasadena Convention Center

In the 1950’s and 1960’s Mom built her California based business by making regular appearances on local Los Angeles and west coast television shows, but it wasn’t until the late 1960’s that today’s craft industry burst onto the scene when Mom came up with the brilliant idea to take her crafting business “on the road” with the Aleene’s Craftmakers Caravan. At that time, hobby stores and 5 and dime stores dotted the map but there were no craft stores.

I can go on and on with the history of this amazing woman who I call Mom and who inspired me to become a hard core crafter but you might enjoy your own tour of the history archives at my Inspired at Home website.  There are lots more archive photos for me to sort through and post but I think you will enjoy the early years archives!

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Entry filed under: Aleene Jackson - Family History. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Inspired at Home Radio – December 20, 2009 Inspired at Home Radio – January 17, 2010

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. M. Barbara Wind  |  March 28, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Back in 1997 when my husband retired we took a trip around the US. To my surprise we were in the town where Aleen’s television show was filmed. We stopped in and met Alene and Tiffany. Found the picture today and decided to look you up and see what has been happening. It was one of the greatest times I’ve had. Thank you for my memories!!! Happy Easter! Barb

    Reply
  • 2. Bob Morton  |  November 13, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    Hi Tiffany:
    Wow, Talk about a trip down memory lane. My dad worked at Sno Foam for years, I can remember ‘wrapping leaves’ by the gross while watching TV; running as a kid through your shop, Aleenes Floral and Fibre on Las Tunas Dr.
    I even eventually ended up working at SnoFoam thru high school and most of college, sweeping the floor and working the hot wire. I must have made a million Santa Claus’s on the hot wire back in the 60’s. I knew Mr Jackson, and ‘Richie’.
    Best to you
    Bob Morton.

    Reply
    • 3. Tiffany  |  April 18, 2017 at 4:33 pm

      Wow! So cool to reconnect with our Aleene’s and SnowFoam friends and family. Sounds like we have the same childhood memories! [Tiffany]

      Reply
  • 4. bdnapier  |  April 15, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    Didn’t Aleene also have a store on Solano Ave in Berkeley? I took craft and flower making lessons there using Formosan Wood Fibre, the little centers to mix and match for realistic flowers, and make my spending money selling corsages. The gathering, twisting, of wire and wood fiber and floral tape were great fun, and I was sure it was Aleene??? Or who

    Reply
    • 5. Tiffany  |  April 18, 2017 at 4:33 pm

      Her only store location was in Temple City, CA but she sold to small stores nationwide so that location must have been one of the stores she sold to. Great memorie! [Tiffany]

      Reply

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