Jootz is a partnership of two sisters, Judy and Lynn McGrane, currently living and working in the Philadelphia area,
Judy began planting the seeds for this creative venture in 2003, following a 25-year career in specialized transportation. Lynn was actively involved from the beginning but was able to jump in full time upon retiring in 2011 from a successful career as general manager of Bloomingdales and John Wanamaker department stores.
Judy speaking: "Our childhood was steeped in a very creative home environment, with two artistic and gifted parents, and talented siblings. We would now be considered a 'green' household; most often our 'fun' came in working with found objects in craft and artistic projects, in seeing beauty and potential in everyday objects. We played with paper dolls, hand-drawn and colored by our mother who loved fashion illustration.
"Our reverse-decoupage glass process sprang from these beginnings. Inspired by two different 'beautiful things' . . . paper luncheon napkins bought on a trip to Paris, and a portfolio of an art student's fashion sketches we bought from his estate . . . the process of combining two-dimensional artwork intrigued me. Original and classic artwork, colorful and interesting backgrounds, and gold leaf coalesced into the Jootz reverse-decoupage process.
"Several years of experimenting with adhesives and preservatives have resulted in the objets d'arte that we are proud to be creating today."
The inspiration for their unique, over-the-top ornaments, the Queen Beez, also draws directly from that creative childhood environment.
"Our parents' creativity and sense of fun made for magical holidays. We can clearly see the origins of the Queen Beez in the mobiles of angels' heads that our mother made, using Styrofoam balls, ;angel hair', sequins and glitter."
The Queen Beez and the reverse-decoupage glassware are hand-crafted by Judy and Lynn in their workshop in Springfield (DelCo), PA. But it's a family affair.
Their brother John McGrane handles marketing, photography and the web site. Cousin Helen Shallow and John's wife Sharon lend their talents to the glassware line.