By Rebecca Maynard
Tiffany Youngblood is new to Berryville, but her fondness for her new community is evident in her successful business, Sweetgum Studio, which offers die cut stickers, note cards, postcards, tea towels, prints and more with portrayals of local historic buildings.
An artist from Powder Springs, Georgia, Youngblood grew up on a dirt road learning to build forts and spent many hours on a swing beneath her favorite tree. She began drawing as a teenager and had her first art lesson soon after. A graduate of Berry College, Youngblood has worked in the design and advertising field for over 20 years. She feels led to create art based on everyday inspirations and enjoys the entire creative process. She lives with her husband Bart, son Logan, and basset hound Jasper on Long Ear Acres. The Youngblood family moved to Berryville in June after passing through the town on a family vacation and falling in love with the area. “We absolutely love Berryville,” Youngblood said. The family enjoys mountains, camping and other outdoor activities – some of the factors that led them to the area, but they appreciate the people who make up the community as well.
“The people here are so friendly and I learn a lot just talking to them,” Youngblood said.
She has talked to people in Berryville, Boyce, White Post, Millwood and Pine Grove to get a feel for the history of each place and which buildings should be included on her merchandise. She includes as many as she can, but realizes that there are more worthy buildings than she has space to include.
Clarke County Community Happenings Facebook page members have been enthusiastic about Youngblood’s products, which can be ordered and delivered through her online shop, or picked up on her front porch. (Send her a Facebook message or email to schedule a time.) Products are also offered at a number of local stores: The Barns of Rose Hill Art Gallery and Hip and Humble antiques in Berryville; Mt. Airy Market and Unique Creations in Boyce; the Locke Store and Red Schoolhouse Antiques in Millwood; and Village Market in Pine Grove.
A unique aspect to Youngblood’s art is that she produces it on her iPad. “I’d been waiting for the technology to catch up and it finally did,” she explained. Earlier drawing programs were not adequate, but she is now able to produce beautiful art that appears as though it is watercolor, a medium she also enjoys using. “The Berryville tea towels are adorable in our kitchen!” said one satisfied customer. “Tiffany continually surprises & amazes me with her creativity!” another said.
Mark your calendars for a Morse Day demonstration of railroad telegraphy at Boyce Depot on April 25 between 1 and 3pm. Youngblood will be selling her items, including postcards which can be postmarked from the depot.
Youngblood has been pleased with the community’s positive reception to her local landmarks series and hopes to expand to more surrounding towns and villages. She loves working from her home studio and having the opportunity to meet new people and learn about her community while doing what she loves.