The Heartwood Creek Collection Celebrates it's 20th Anniversary in 2022!

Celebrating 20 years

we decided to go after the bestWell-known and much loved worldwide, Jim Shore’s Heartwood Creek collection started from humble beginnings 20 years ago. Since then it’s became an award-winning staple in homes around the globe, bringing a bit of nostalgia and smiles to faces far and wide. Jim remembers the very first day… 'A little over 20 years ago Jan and I were at a crossroads for our business. We’d had our own company for a while, but truth is we’re artists, not business people. We needed a partner, someone to handle all the backroom and logistic and marketing and commercial aspects of the industry. After a good deal of thought we decided to go after the best… Enesco. So we packed up the car with samples and drawings and headed to their corporate headquarters in Chicago. We didn’t have an appointment or an introduction. Just hope!

When we got to their big office building I walked in and explained to the receptionist why I was there. She looked at me like I’d grown another head. But she made a call or two and told me to take a seat in the lobby. About half an hour later a young man comes down an introduces himself as a consultant, not even an Enesco employee, and tells me he was sent to get rid of me! But out of politeness he says he’ll give me 15 minutes and tells me I’d better talk fast. I don’t remember exactly what I said or what designs I showed but it seems to have made an impression! After 15 minutes we were still talking. Half an hour later we had designs and samples spread all over the lobby.

Then he helped me pack everything up and we moved to a conference room upstairs. After a while a parade of marketing and product and executive types joined us and we spent the afternoon talking about every aspect of my art and the business. My head was spinning! And poor Jan was still waiting for me out in the car! But at the end of the day everyone was smiling and I had a contract in hand. It wasn’t the most auspicious beginning! But it’s been a great partnership ever since. And I’ll always be grateful to that group of people who met a stranger one day and took a chance.'

Heartwood Creek

Every piece has a storyEvery piece has a story! Jim’s signature look of handmade, hand-carved art inspired by themes of folklore and tradition has captured the hearts of tens of thousands of people worldwide since. It's thanks to the loyal and dedicated fans we can enjoy Jim's artistry today, and everyone who had met Jim somewhere at his events around the world can confirm that he's very appreciative of the love and support he receives. He makes sure that everyone gets their chance to spend a few minutes and talk to him, sometimes meeting and greeting for hours!

Jim's dedication to his fans comes from his personal, rather negative experience with his own idol... 'Many years ago, when Jan and I were just starting out in this business, we had a small booth at a big art show in Pennsylvania. One of the headliners at the show was someone whose work I’d admired for years, a real hero of mine! This guy had a signing event as part of the show and I spent money we didn’t have to buy something and get it signed. After standing in line for half an hour or so I finally made it up to table where he was sitting, in the presence of my hero! He didn’t even look up. Just scribbled something illegible on the back of the piece I’d bought as I was quickly ushered away by his handlers. I was disappointed beyond words! And I promised myself then and there that if anyone ever honored me enough to want my signature on one of my designs I would return that interest, and express my gratitude as best as I could!

Jim Shore event
I’m proud to say I’ve kept that promise, and my events around the world have become more than just signings. I love the chance to meet and talk with the people I actually work for. A man can get pretty isolated working every day alone in a studio! It gets my creative juices flowing to hear your thoughts about subject matter or design combinations or colour choices. You’d be surprised to hear just how much of my finished art starts out in that kind of conversation. And it’s important (and inspirational) to me to hear how my work becomes a part of people’s lives and families. It’s humbling to hear how people display my work in their home, and an honor to know they think enough of it to give it to someone they love. I try never to forget that interaction and I always try to express it in my art. I guess what I’m trying to say is I can’t wait to get out and get back on the road again!'

Since 2002, Jim’s small collection of Santa’s has evolved into a broad selection of gifts for many occasions and thousands of new designs not only in the Heartwood Creek collection, but in partnerships with other well know licenses like Disney, Peanuts, Peter Rabbit and Looney Tunes.

Disney Traditions   Looney Tunes   Peanuts   Beatrix Potter

'Time is a funny thing, twenty years can seem like an instant. I remember the beginning of my partnership with Enesco like it was yesterday, showing a small collection of seasonal designs based on the folk-art imagery I grew up with. In the twenty years since it’s become more than I ever dreamed, a chance to share my vision with the world and an opportunity to do the work I love every day. And it’s gratifying more than I can say to hear how my art has become a part of people’s lives and family traditions, that it’s at the heart of their Christmas celebration or that it’s a special gift for someone they love. I am truly blessed. But none of this came easily. It took the hard work and dedication of so many wonderful men and women who believed in me and the work we were doing together. I will always be grateful.'
jim shoreJim Shore Cake