Well-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!
Every 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!
'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.'