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Our History

Our History

To millions of needle workers, Erica Wilson is America's First Lady of stitchery. A graduate of the Royal School of Needlework in London, Erica was invited to teach in the United States in 1954. News of her classes spread and she was soon teaching groups all over America in classes, lectures and seminars. When students couldn't remember all the stitches she taught them, Erica wrote her first book "Crewel Embroidery" published in 1962 by Charles Scribner's Sons, which subsequently sold over one million copies! She wrote sixteen other books and produced and starred in two television series for WGBH seen on PBS nationally and the BBC in England and Australia.

Her television series and books brought her fame on both sides of the Atlantic. She opened her first store in Nantucket, which remains a "must visit" attraction for the past 45 years. She became the exclusive designer for a national kit manufacturer, designed sheets, fabrics and wallpaper, wrote a bi-weekly syndicated column and became the spokesperson for a national organization teaching needlework. She produced four videos on needlepoint, quilting, knitting and cross stitch. Erica designed and manufactured exclusive needlepoint kits for the Metropolitan Museum of Art as well as her own wholesale collection available in through fine Needlework shops.

Her shop in Nantucket draws needlework enthusiasts from near and far. Before Erica passed away December 13, 2011, she worked side by side with her daughter Vanessa Diserio. Over the years, Vanessa has worked to turn the shop into a destination for unique fashion, custom designs and collaborations with designers from around the globe. Erica's husband and Vanessa's father - Vladimir Kagan, was a furniture design icon and his pieces can be enjoyed in the shop today.

Vanessa and her husband Matt Diserio, global water thought leader and investor for Water Asset Management, divide their time between their homes in Nantucket, Palm Beach and New York. They have three daughters Olivia, Sophia and Gigi who help with the family business and a little rescue dog “Max” who also loves to frequently visit the shop!