We are pleased to present...
Founder of Lani Enterprises & Lani's Needlepoint
in Studio City, California
Lani Silver was born and raised in Studio City, CA, a suburb of Hollywood and Los Angeles. Her father was a Plastic Surgeon and her mother, an opera singer and art teacher. Lani and her brother, Brad, were raised in a very affluent and unconventional neighborhood brimming with movie stars, writers, producers, directors, and musicians who were all affiliated with the many studios that were practically in their backyard. Lani recalls her grammar school years, "From my earliest years at Carpenter Avenue Elementary School, I was fascinated with all the possible ways I could be creative, whether it was drawing and painting, ballet, acting, or music. I did it all. It was impossible not to be influenced by that environment."
Zen Happiness Symbol
From a Series of 24
Lani's mother actively encouraged not only her own children's' creative development, but also organized art classes for all the kids in the neighborhood. This further instilled in Lani a lifelong obsession with art and design. Her mother has, throughout Lani's life, exerted a strong influence, providing her with unflagging support, being available to critique her daughter's efforts and guiding Lani in her many artistic pursuits.
The 50's Kitchen
Lani was drawn to mathematics in high school but knew instinctively that it would not ultimately satisfy her need for creative expression. Her true passion remained art, but many at the time viewed art as a pursuit not to be taken seriously. After completing high school, Lani attended California Western University for one year, hoping to get into their School of Performing Arts, but was instead guided to an elective art class that completely changed her interests.
Kimono on Stand
Lani elaborates, "Since Cal Western did not have much of an art department, I transferred back to Los Angeles and attended California State University Northridge. I studied mostly 3 dimensional art and photography. I think the photography was the most influentialfor it taught me to see images in a small square through a lens and form those images with design principles of balance and texture." Her professors were intensely serious and purist photographers and they demanded the same from their students.
During her college years, Lani worked in a Fotomat booth. Her boyfriend's mother taught her how to needlepoint so Lani would have something to do to pass the time. Lani muses, "I don't think she ever knew what she actually did for me."
After Lani graduated from CSUN with a Bachelors degree in Fine Arts, she attended the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, thinking that she would go into the Fashion Design field. She became fascinated with textile design and won a contest sponsored by Monsanto with some Hawaiian type designs that she named Hono-Lani-Lulus. Lani comments, "This interest in textile design was a natural transition to needlepoint for me. At this point I started designing my own canvases for me to stitch, not being particularly thrilled with any that I could find in a needlepoint store."
Ancient Chinese Coins
Lani's first real job was in the Buying Offices of Bullock's Department stores where she met a girl whose parents were one of the founding members of the National Needlework Association. Bob and Harriet Marantz were distributors of needlepoint supplies and also sales reps for handpaint needlepoint artists. Upon seeing Lani's original artwork, they suggested that she speak with a woman they knew who designed needlepoint. Lani landed a job with her and proceeded to become knowledgeable in all aspects of the handpainted needlepoint business. By the time her employer sold her business and retired, Lani was primed to go out on her own. That was exactly 25 years ago.
The Front Porch
In the years that followed, Lani's line of designs was continually evolving. She started out designing custom personalized Rainbow names and depictions of all the various breeds of dogs and cats. Then it was off to a million antique teddy bears and other cute little items. From there, her interest in antiques and collectibles took over, as she puts it, "I found my Victorian period." Currently Lani finds herself finally painting the most exciting and inspired pieces of her career. Theses run the gamut of vintage, floral, holiday, Judaic, shabby chic, garden, and oriental in style. She adds, self assuredly, "For the first time, I feel that I have come into my own and have created a style all to myself."
Teatime with Granny
With the help of her husband, Mark, Lani's company, Lani Enterprises,
represented in most of the needlepoint stores in the U.S., is flourishing. Lani has also operated a retail shop for 23 of the 25 years that she has been in business. Lani's enthusiasm is unflagging, "It is an exciting place, where I teach classes and interact with all the great stitchers that come by." Her store, which will be featured on an upcoming Caron website, inventories a huge selection of fibers and canvasses which can be viewed on the store website.
Pocket Watch Collage
Lani's interaction with her customers has had a profound effect on her design output, influencing both her skill and and choices of subject matter. She elaborates, "The ideas I get from helping others design stitches and fibers for their work sends me off in a whole new direction for my work. I find myself painting canvases to use these same stitches and fibers in a way that is even more exciting than the last piece. I also feel that finishing is a very important factor. I have been developing unique pillow and frame techniques so that becomes part of the creative process."
Lani considers herself extremely blessed and fortunate to be able to make a living doing something for which she harbors such an intense passion. She is especially grateful for the ongoing support of Mark and their son, Shane. Lani elaborates, "There have been long and late nights spent at my drawing table. I look forward to working with Shane, who is a budding artist on his own at 9 years old. He used to sit on my lap when he was little and watched me design canvases and has even given me ideas. Now he wants to do some on his own. We shall see!"
What Lani aspires to most at this point in her career, is to continue with the rewarding projects she is currently engaged in and to turn others onto the joys and rewards of stitching. To this end, she is concentrating specifically on designing for and teaching children. As Lani states unequivocally, "They are our future."
The Collector's Closet
For more information, contact Lani Silver at:
Lani Enterprises (Wholesale)
Lani's Needlepoint (Retail Shop)
12416 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604
Phone: (818) 769- 2431 (Retail Shop)
Fax: (818) 769- 2431 (Retail Shop)
Phone: (818) 789- 7602 (Wholesale Inquiries and Orders Only)
Fax: (818) 905- LANI (Wholesale Inquiries and Orders Only)