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Annie Potter, known affectionately by most as simply, “Miss Annie”, was born in Ada, OK but was raised in Palco, a small town in KS, where her family moved when she was only 6 months old. Her father worked in the oil fields, and her mother was a member of the Ladies Missionary Society. While her older brother attended school at a one-room schoolhouse down the hill from their home, Annie would watch with fascination as her mother and the other ladies would quilt and sew, and at a very young age, she began to develop a love for needlecraft, especially crochet. When some children might have been setting up lemonade stands, delivering newspapers, or mowing lawns to earn spending money, Annie was making baby booties to sell for $1.25 per pair, and they always seemed to be in demand. She always enjoyed making them, and it never once seemed like work. To this day, Miss Annie says, “Do something you love and you'll never work a day again”. It was a few years down the road before Annie actually began designing her own original patterns. In fact, it was in her eighth grade year at school. “My piano teacher had a baby boy, and there were no patterns that looked like little boy's shoes. So I designed a little pair of oxfords, and thus began my designing career.”
Annie Potter continued to enjoy crocheting and needlecraft and creating original designs as she grew up, but it was at her kitchen table in Big Sandy, TX, in 1974, that her love of these things became something much more. She decided to run a tiny ad in the back of Woman's Day magazine for pillow patterns she called “Sunbonnet Sue” and “Overall Sam”. After returning from a family trip, they discovered that thousands of orders had come to the local post office requesting the patterns. For months, family and friends hand addressed and stuffed patterns in simple brown paper bags. So from the humblest of beginnings, the kitchen table, Annie's Attic was born.
The company flourished for many years and eventually included Annie's Victorian Village, which consisted of a gift shop, bed and breakfast, and Annie's Tea Room Restaurant, but the designs and patterns she created remained the core of the business. Ownership in the company transferred hands in 1997 after lengthy legal proceedings. Miss Annie started over and founded a new company, Annie Potter Presents, later that same year. Miss Annie maintains a friendly working relationship with Annie's Attic to this day, and currently sells her patterns to Annie's Attic as well as on her own website, anniepotterpresents.com.
Although semi-retired, Miss Annie continues to create new designs and patterns with the same love for the craft and standards as she always has, and remains the primary creative force behind Annie Potter Presents, however, management of the day-to-day business operations is a family affair.
“I have so many wonderful memories of my mother and the things we did together. Every week we would attend a small country church, and Thursday afternoons were taken up with the Ladies Missionary Society meeting. Those meetings were particularly enjoyable because I had the opportunity to watch the ladies skilled hands as they sewed and quilted so many beautiful pieces.”
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