Tim Curran Honored with NTCA’s Lifetime Achievement Award

Tim Curran NTCA Joe A Tarver Award Winner 2016Congratulations to our own Tim Curran on being honored as the 2016 recipient of the Joe A. Tarver Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Tile Contractors Association!

Tim is a cornerstone of the Crossville culture, serving as co-president of the Curran Group—our holding company. He’s a consummate leader, providing our organization a strong foundation and the room to excel in our industry. His genuine commitment to the Curran Group’s core values of family, respect, partnership, integrity and improvement is integrated into all aspects of our company. Because he cares about our employees, partners in business, and our customers, he has nurtured a professional environment that has been successful for three decades and stands ready to welcome the next chapters for Crossville and for the tile industry.

Screenshot 2016-04-27 14.28.23The prestigious Joe A. Tarver award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated lifetime achievement in the support and growth of the overall tile and stone industry. Tim certainly fits the bill as a worthy honoree. The great work and leadership Tim has provided has brought Crossville to thirty years of success while likewise positively impacting the tile industry as a whole. Under his counsel, our company has developed innovations and set high standards that have taken not just our company, but the entire industry further.

All of us at Crossville are excited to see Tim receive this honor, because we know firsthand that he is immensely deserving of the recognition. Thank you, Tim, for all you’ve done to build our company and grow our industry!


Before and After: Master Bath Transformation With Crossville’s Sideview Glass

Screenshot 2016-04-21 20.32.01Nationally acclaimed interior designer John McClain was behind the amazing transformation of a now stunning master suite in a Windermere, Florida residence. The lucky homeowners asked for a soothing place to unwind, and the firm of John McClain Design certainly delivered. Here’s a look at the project, with a focus on the dramatic master bath that incorporates our glamorous Sideview Glass tile.

The homeowners turned to McClain for his ability to blend traditional elements fused with clean lines and touches of glamour. Their primary goal for the renovation was to create a luxury retreat ready for relaxation, and they specifically asked that the color blue be artfully incorporated. With McClain at the helm of the design transformation, the dated space found new life. The renewed suite is now a getaway with soothing blue hues found in walls, draperies, and accents, combined with structural updates, unique design features, and accents of glitz and glam. The beautiful bedroom, sitting area, and master bathroom are sophisticated and serene.

Here’s a look at the “befores.” (It’s hard to believe it’s the same space!)

Before images of master suite

Perhaps the most transformative aspect of the renovation is the alcove for the chromotherapy soaking tub. The heightened, arched ceiling over the tub creates an ultimate focal point, especially with the continuous installation of our sparkly Sideview Glass that carries from floor to the curved surface overhead and the glitz of the dramatic, generously proportioned chandelier. The area is glamorous yet inviting with a calm and relaxing vibe. Sideview-master_bathroom_freestanding_tub_custom_Door_chandlier_john_mcclain_designThe rest of the suite is just as beautiful, with custom designed furniture and cabinetry, gorgeous granite countertops, and perfectly appointed accent pieces.

The supplier for this stunning project was Crossville Tile & Stone in Orlando, and the contractor on this project was Hardwick General Contracting.

John McClain Design and his custom furniture showroom, Gilded Home, are both located in Winter Park, Florida and service clients nationwide.

We first learned of this project because John McClain Home tagged us on Instagram when sharing a photo of the project. Be sure to do the same when you’re sharing on social media, as well; tag @crossvilleinc so we’re sure to see and share!

Images courtesy of  John McClain Design

Behind the Designs, vol 6: Crossville’s The Common Thread for the Cure Scarf Design Contest

In this series of blog posts, we have been featuring the designs we received for our biennial The Common Thread for the Cure scarf design contest and sharing the “concept statement” the creators provided to convey the ideas behind the works of art.

We’ve received 33 entries, which are now being considered by a panel of esteemed design professionals (click here to revisit our blog post announcing this year’s judging panel). We’ve also opened the voting to the public, so we’ll have an additional winner this year chosen by popular vote. We invite you to click here to vote anytime between now and April 30th.

Here’s the sixth, and last installment in our series. Enjoy this look at the inspirational designs and the moving concepts behind them.

One of a Kind Piece of Art: Colleen Smith

One of a Kind Piece of Art

I wanted to create a scarf design that looked like a piece of art. Something one of a kind just like each person’s experience with Breast Cancer. I created an abstract watercolor painting using various tones of the pink Brest Cancer Awareness color and contrasting black.  Just like life, painting with watercolor is unpredictable. You have to live in the moment and you don’t have total control over the outcome. I started out purposefully marking the paper with my brush, idea in mind- but it felt too controlled, and I quickly abandoned it for reckless paint dipping, water spraying, and finger painting. I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out, but when I let go and created something in the moment it turned out beautiful. I was inspired by stories of people dealing with Breast Cancer who despite their struggle and loss of control, chose to appreciate every moment we are blessed with.”

Life’s Circle: Dawn King

Life's Circle


A Network of Support: Hanna J. Hayes

A Network of Support

“Most of us have been touched by breast cancer in one way or another. Whether it be a family member, a friend, a colleague, or you personally, we know it takes a network of support to combat this disease. We have worked to create a meaningful design that will portray just how impactful a network can be to the success of conquering breast cancer.

The abstract lines surrounding the central iconic ribbon represent a few things. The first being the network of support that surrounds the breast cancer community. Secondly, these lines are slightly faded to show that it may not always be clear who makes up that network of support. Lastly, the sketchy ribbons are illustrated using a natural near-white hue to symbolize purity.

Next, the abstract ribbons surround a defined and contrasting ribbon. This represents a multitude of meanings for us. We wanted this to bring into focus the survivors of breast cancer and how they have conquered this fight and turned things around — much like the ribbon is turned in the opposite direction of the surrounding lines. We must also remember those who have lost the fight to breast cancer with this defined ribbon. We remember and honor them with the pink identity of this battle.

In contrast to the soft, flowing lines within this network, we also wanted to display signs of stability and structure. The Crossville logo lent itself perfectly to outline and surround this design. In terms of the breast cancer fight, the logo represents the hills and valleys that are associated with the lengthy process of fighting breast cancer. However, we also need to remember that there are peaks to these mountains, which represent triumph and defeat of the disease for many. The mountains remain darker in value to keep us grounded in the fact that this fight is not over — which is why it is so important to continue raising awareness for breast cancer through means like Common Thread for a Cure!”

If you missed the previous posts in our “Behind the Designs” series, click the links below:
vol 1
vol 2
vol 3
vol 4
vol 5

Behind the Designs, vol 5: Crossville’s The Common Thread for the Cure Scarf Design Contest

Common Thread for the Cure Scarf Design Contest banner

We’re thrilled to have received 33 entries in our second biennial The Common Thread for the Cure scarf design contest! The designs are now being considered by a panel of esteemed design professionals (click here to revisit our blog post announcing this year’s judging panel). We’ve also opened the voting to the public, so we’ll have an additional winner this year chosen by popular vote. We invite you to click here to vote anytime between now and April 30th.

Here’s the fifth post in our “Behind the Designs” series. Enjoy this look at five creative and inspirational designs and the moving concepts behind them.

Nature’s Illusions: Marian R. Jacobs

Nature's Illsuions

“Mountains create both positive and negative space in nature. They can set a horizon line, secure a solid base in the landscape or become more ethereal when viewed from a distance. When sunlight and clouds pass by mountain ranges, there are strong movements of shadows and reflections. The form of the mountain morphs in the light and the dark, creating interplay between positive and negative space. This is the theme for the design of this scarf.

The intent is to take a solid mass, the mountain, and break it apart. The pieces float upward toward the sky, and create shadows and reflections. As the pieces dissolve upward, they begin to take on characteristics of other elements of nature. The forms morph into something abstract. Is it water, is it snow melting down the mountain, is it the sky meeting the mountain, is it shadow or light? It is completely random and abstract.

It is all about the illusion that is created by spending time looking at nature. It is an individual perception of what appears before you. Similarly, healing comes from nature. Opportunities to interact with natural surroundings can reset the mind body experience. Nature can calm people in stressed situations, create meditative opportunities, and fill a person with wonder. The expanse of a mountain can bring strength to surroundings, offer solace in it’s permanence and extract whatever someone needs to see to find comfort and peace.

The color of the scarf is intended to have a white background with a black pattern, reinforcing the positive and negative of the elements. Another variation would be the reverse, using a black background with white forms. Finally, a third variation could be a burn out overlay, or several cut outs of the geometric forms, allowing for purposeful holes in the fabric.”

Hidden Treasure:  John M Gay

Hidden Treasure

“Everything came full circle for Dana Divine the day she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Immediately, she needed to make life choices that would absolutely affect her future. She needed questions answered yesterday and would make decisions in hours. She had a sense of urgency in wanting everything and everybody around her, to come together for her healing process. Instantly, pieces of the puzzle in her life started to make sense. She gAthered information from her friends, her community and strangers’ perspectives. She sought the confidence of clergy, of chefs, and of stylists. She spent time listening to a homeless woman’s dreams. She recognized her mortality in the same moment. Old and new friends became her net and network. Strange women that she would commune with weekly, during chemotherapy treatment, eventually became close confidantes whose similar stories were the ties that bound them together. A reminder that “…”we’re all in this together.”

Shortly after Dana was cancer free,s he wrote “Dog Parks and coffee Shops.” Themes of urgency, healing & bonding from her personal battle informed the music and lyrics. When I achieved the email from Crossville, I immediately called Dana, asking her to a team on designing the BCA Scarf.  I requested that she give me an original song, to analyze, that was inspired by her cancer walk. Next, I would design a master plan that would be inspired by her music. Finally, the Parti Sketch for the design would become the pattern for the scarf.

The development target zone is a 1.5 mile section of abandoned track embankment, traversing the grand Boulevard & Oakland neighborhoods, from Green Line to Lake Front in Chicago. The development will Educate, Entertain & Employ (E3) a Micro financially challenged community with the Macro affluent Bronzeville. E3 will become a community Amenity including:

1. Walk, Run & Bike Path

2. 5 pavilions (inspired by the Chorus)

a. Dog Park + Coffee House

b. Collard Greens (sustainable Tech Center) + Hip Hop (Retail Outlet)

c. Fine Dining + Flaming Hots

i. Restaurant with organic food grown 15’ below

d. Red Bottoms + Hi-tops

i. Mixed Use building with Retail on Cottage Grove

e. Goat Cheese + Laptops

i. Restaurant with an internet cafe, both with Lake views

3. ADA Access.

Breast Cancer Awareness is the cause that can activate a response to a lack of education, entertainment & employment in some of our neighborhoods. This Parti sketch is an urgent response to violence and economic discourse. This development as an economic engine can be a healing catalyst, creating construction jobs and permanent jobs. E3 is the hidden treasure, creating neighborhood change. Conceptually, the TRAIL will be expressed as crushed red granite with solid bands (Buenos Aires Mood: polo) placed, mocking the songs rhythm (every twenty feet) and the Pavilions will be shipping containers with fabric sun-shades & BIPV’s in a mountain logo configuration, creating our “Bystander Effect.”

We combined our life puzzles as the music binds us together.”

Flying Geese: Monica Barton

Flying Geese

“When I opened it, the familiar Crossville Mountain imagery immediately reminded me of the Flying Geese quilt block. From that quilt block came my inspiration for the scarf.

In nature, geese have discovered that they can reach their destination more quickly and with less energy expended when they fly together in formation. By working together harmoniously on teams, sharing common values and a common destination, they all arrive at the destination quicker and easier, because they are lifted up by the energy and enthusiasm of one another. This is also true of the cancer journey.

In quilting, the Flying Geese pattern is a sub-unit. Often several Flying Geese sub-units are pieced together to create a single quilt block. The Flying Geese sub-unit can be assembled in many ways, Basket, Bird In the Air, North Star, creating very different visual outcomes. Many of the blocks that use the Flying Geese are representative of journey, travel or direction.

In my scarf the Flying Geese sub-unit represents the individual battling the disease. At the center of the scarf the sub-unit is combined into modified Flying Dutchman representing the loved ones supporting the individual. The idea that from one standard unit come many different results is symbolic of each individuals cancer experience.

I chose a dark neutral palette to represent the seriousness of the disease and the somber mood when first given the diagnosis. The bright pink stripe or ribbon, the color most associated with breast cancer, runs down the middle of the scarf, representing the Common Thread.

This design was done as a tribute to my mother and all other victims of cancer, regardless of type, taken too soon.”

Tapestry of Life: Veronica Eddins

Tapestry of Life

Heart on Fire: Frida Dunayer

Heart in Fire

“The Common Thread is a wonderful charity activity, which has giving me a meaninful and fulfilling experience to share with the design community. My inspiration for the scarf design was the creation of a joyful and positive image; one which would bring a smile to the face of the person wearing it or looking at it.

My experience as a medical designer has demonstrated that good design yields positive clinical outcomes. I wanted to continue that philosophy in the creation of my scarf. The center of the design is a vibrant, flaming heart containing the image of two women looking upward. This image focuses on hope from within the essence of our being; the human heart on fire with passion. The shape of two women also reflects symbolism of working together to fight this illness. The backgrounds of the scarf are striations of color in motion representing the fibers of our lives tying us together in a common cause.

My initial concepts of joyful blasts of color became much more intense as I developed the design and felt more engaged in the cause we support. The time spent on the project is just a small personal contribution of effort and participation in Breast Cancer Awareness activities; supporting the members of our design-construction community who want to help the ones that suffer from this disease.

Our gift to the cause can be considered successful as we inspire additional members of the public to get involved and support the cause. Unfortunately, many of us start getting involved only when a friend or a family member fall victim to this sickness. This project will demonstrate the need of working together, sharing our efforts and love to withstand the cancer threat, promote breast cancer awareness, and ultimately its cure.”

 If you missed the previous posts in our “Behind the Designs” series, click the links below:
vol 1
vol 2
vol 3
vol 4

Behind the Designs, vol 4: Crossville’s The Common Thread for the Cure Scarf Design Contest

Common Thread for the Cure Scarf Design Contest banner

In a series of blog posts, we’re featuring the designs we received for our biennial The Common Thread for the Cure scarf design contest and sharing the “concept statement” the creators provided to convey the ideas behind the works of art.

We’ve received 33 entries, which are now being considered by a panel of esteemed design professionals (click here to revisit our blog post announcing this year’s judging panel). We’ve also opened the voting to the public, so we’ll have an additional winner this year chosen by popular vote. We invite you to click here to vote anytime between now and April 30th.

Here’s the fourth installment in our series. Enjoy this look at five inspirational designs and the moving concepts behind them.

Flowers and VinesGeorge Luis Peterson

Flowers and Vines

“The title my scarf is Flowers and Vines. The flowers are inspired by the human cell of Mitochondria. Everyone receives a copy of their birth mother’s Mitochondria, which represents that all of us are connected in this community, and that we are all one human family. The flowers are actually blue and pink colored mitochondria, as each petal, which I duplicated and arranged in the shape of a five petal flower, and used the mountain imagery in white. Since breast cancer isn’t limited to the women, using blue and pink was used to represent all of us. I sketched a drawing of Mitochondria as scene under a microscope. I used blue and pink to represent all humans, with the background of the cell as the Crossville signature brown. Green vines denote life. Brown vines denote the branches in our families that we have lost. Branches with pink buds and partial green together or separate on brown vines, denote Survival, Renewal, Strength, and Hope. Growing up my mother shared with me how most of the women in her family had breast cancer, and how important that cancer screenings were to her mother,and sisters. Both of my paternal grandparents passed away from forms of cancer, with my grandfather of stomach cancer my grandmother of lung cancer.  My father’s only sister survived uterine cancer. Cancer affects us all and connects us all. I felt that using Crossville’s Mountain Imagery back and forth to create  vines was a creative way of keeping Crossville’s dedication to this cause always in the minds and hearts of everyone working to find a cure. The vines are also a symbol of common threads. The blue background represents the sky and the promise of a new day! Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this great cause, and for considering my submission.”


Pieces of Hope: Anne-Michael Sustman

Pieces of Hope

“The design inspiration comes from the strikingly geometric, repetitive shape of the Crossville Mountails logo. Utilizing varying shades of blue, and an idea that the Crossville Mountails are weaving a web, the scarf expresses a tessellating spiral that almost becomes disorienting within a sea of a deeper, darker, similar shade of blue. This is probably much like how women feel during the process of being diagnosed with breast cancer. I imagine they must feel like all of life is tinted, everything appearing in varying shades of sadness and despair. Getting a diagnosis like that must feel like helplessly falling into a dizzying, downward spiral, so many worries and fears stretching out into a sea of disorienting “what ifs”. But it is my hope for each woman in this situation that they are able to find and reach out to organizations for support, organizations that benefit from groups like Common Thread for the Cure. And that it is this support that becomes the beacons of strength and hope in their lives while they are fighting this horrible disease. This hope is represented by the pink pieces of Crossville Mountails, and as they start to assemble themselves on the scarf, the individual pieces of hope and support from friends, family and organizations become stepping stones of stability on the difficult path to remission and recovery. In my life, I find that something pretty can bring a little joy, even on very bad days. My goal for this design is to give these women who are fighting breast cancer a little something pretty. Hoping that having a beautiful scarf to wear will also be one of those small pieces of hope, that make every day on the road to recovery just a little bit more bearable until the disorienting sea of their life once again becomes calm and clear.”

Freedom: Leslie Vollbrecht


““Just because I have cancer, it doesn’t mean I cannot make mistakes or be selfish, but it almost becomes an expectation that because you are a cancer patient that you somehow become the perfect person. These expectations can be tough to live with on a daily basis.”

(Kate Granger, “Having cancer is not a fight or a battle”, the Guardian)

Being brave, courageous, and positive is often the expectation of cancer survivors. The public, the patient’s healthcare providers, their friends and family and even passersby can easily incite the “battle” on cancer without realizing it. And it’s not a stretch to consider that family, friends and people within a cancer patient’s support system would also feel the pressure to be a constant pillar of strength and positivity.Anyone going about their lives without a medical condition or illness has the freedom to be happy, sad, angry, silly, depressed, optimistic…. any range of emotion and mood swing without fear of consequence.Strength, hope, faith, courage, acceptance, positivity, self-esteem, spirituality, perspective, participatory, expression, balance, optimism.It’s often overwhelming to think about maintaining those emotions constantly, not to mention, unrealistic.

What better way to demonstrate support and encouragement than to champion freedom from emotional expectation.

The design represents breaking down expectations. Expectations manifest in the grey geometric forms that are articulated and scattered –like a mass would be if it were broken apart. The geometric forms are not dispersed randomly, but have a loose structure and pattern that are representative of a support framework like the Common Thread for a Cure Foundation and others. The geometric forms are grey in direct correlation to the negative and constricting concept of barriers and expectations be to shattered. The negative (white) space is newfound freedom. Acceptance takes the place of expectation as represented by the more organic forms (ribbons) that emerge from the space where expectations used to be. Ribbons remain pink because that color is so strongly connected and associated with breast cancer awareness, and enriches the grey and white environment. The design evolved to replicate the soft and transparent qualities of watercolor and provide a sense of movement to the scarf, mirroring the ethereal and fluid nature of changing emotions.”

Portal to Peace: Dave Tran

Portal to Peace

“This design wants to transport the viewer into another realm to keep them in a relax state of mind during their fight and challenges that face them. It is very difficult and at sometimes very hard to deal with facing a life altering situation. The thought of a threat in individual’s wellbeing, will make anyone in a negative state of mind. When facing the hardest challenge and obstacles, one can glance at this design, and be transported to a beautiful place and reminded that this place is a reflection of oneself. As one doubt oneself of overcoming the challenges that are facing them, this is to inspire and motivate oneself to defeat that cancer (that is doubt) and obtain a peaceful mind. A place where one can enter a place of serenity and peace.

The scenery, along with the colors, are to encourage oneself to be in a calming state, as one are at a place of uplifting and atonement. When looking at this piece and closing one’s eyes, one is taken to the place where one can hear the ocean flowing, feel the light of sun hit the soul and feel the warmth of the sand gravel underneath one’s feet.  A person can lift their head up, spread their arms wide and enjoy the breeze passing through the body, as if one’s spirit is free.

The concept of wrapping a scarf around a person with a printed palm tree branch design, is to elude that one wrapped in a place of love and happiness. Studies show that a view or any images of nature can improve the psychological state of a person. The design is to provoke the feel when sitting underneath a shaded tree and how at that moment on one can feel safe. Nature can provides shade to protect one from the harsh rays of the sun. Also, trees are deigned to filtrate the harmful CO2 in the air and exhaust out the O2 back in air for us to breathe.

The strokes of love and care are showed by the oranges and the pinks of the pallet and are complimented with the blue tones to stimulate the cool breeze. The glow of a sunset will set now but will eventual rise again.  The landscape shows the point where two worlds meet, land meets ocean, symbolic of the transformation or continuation that one is facing on their path to fight their battles.

The design is to take one to a place and remind them that they are the embodiment of nature and of its beauty.”

Ode to Bravery, Hope, Strength & Courage:  Cynthia Grynspan

Ode to Bravery, Hope, Strength & Courage

Sun’s Wheel: Mai Xiong

Sun's Wheel

“Even in every storm, the sun fights to shine, and so it does brilliantly after every storm. Facing a storm that most of us fear takes a lot of determination and will power. The process one undertakes with breast cancer can allow for transformation and sometimes those transformations are not successful as we hope they would be, but we continue to battle our way through it, waiting for light to shine through. Rather someone is going through the battle themselves or not, it is an intensive battle that consumes energy, but through the support of loved ones, do we find determination, strength, and renewed energy. Sun’s Wheel is inspired by pinwheels, a simple childhood toy. Children love having the control of running around with the pinwheel in their hands and watching it spin as they blow on it or when the wind runs through it. It makes them feel strong and powerful. The pinwheel is also regarded as having spiritual significance in some cultures. Its symbolic meaning in some cultures is to turn obstacles and adversities into opportunities as the pinwheel can turn one’s luck around. Influenced by the Sun and Crossville’s Mountain logo, the rhythmic and layered triangular shapes enhances the pinwheel design. By incorporating Crossville’s Mountain logo in the background with an overall gradient, the design creates a slight shimmer affect, similar to sequins on a fabric, that when light reflects off of it, it shimmers. The triangular shape drawn from the logo is used to create the formation of the pinwheels. The formation of the pinwheels also represents the sun in hue and shape. The warm hues commonly associated with the sun is incorporated to signify the energy, battles won and lost, strength, determination, desire and love that comes along with having breast cancer. The breast cancer ribbon is shown through the design, as a reminder that support is the heart of it all and is pulled through with the help of energy, transformation, and determination. The simplistic design, accentuated with pinwheels and triangular pops of color creates an elegant design that is modernly dynamic and meaningful.”

If you missed the previous posts in our “behind the Designs” series, click the links below:
vol 1
vol 2
vol 3

Many thanks to all who have participated!

Behind the Designs, vol 3: Crossville’s The Common Thread for the Cure Scarf Design Contest

Common Thread for the Cure Scarf Design Contest banner

Our second biennial The Common Thread for the Cure scarf design contest is in full swing, with 33 inspirational scarf designs now being considered by a panel of esteemed judges (click here to revisit our blog post announcing this year’s judging panel). This year we’ll have an additional winner chosen by open voting. We invite you to click here to vote anytime between now and April 30th.

This third volume in our blog series features more of the designs we received, as well as the creator’s “concept statements” which convey the ideas and inspiration behind the works of art.

If you missed the previous posts in our “Behind the Designs” series, click the links below:
vol 1
vol 2
vol 3
We hope you’ll continue to follow our blog to see all the inspiring designs and keep track of the contest’s progress!

Many thanks to all you who have participated in this great cause!

Strength in Pink, White and Black:  Michelle de Schaaf

Strength in Pink, White and Black

“The Staff at Arkos Design all know someone who has been touched by Cancer.   Be it Breast Cancer or another type.    Everyone has their story to tell and they are all so inspiring, from people who are survivors to the ones who lose the battle.  But the individuals that that lose are inspiration to us all to keep fighting to find a cure and support the others who are still fighting the battle with cancer.   To know that we as designers could just design something of beauty that will help provide for individuals fighting cancer was inspiration enough.

We used the Crossville Logo to create a very strong geometric hound’s-tooth pattern in pink, white and black.”

“My design is a modified version of one of my original paintings titled, “Love’s Alchemy” with the Crossville logo layered over in a repeat. I felt that the imagery along with the title of my work fit this project well. Love is an essential need and becomes magnified during times of illness. In my work as a whole, I seek to create visual metaphors for abstract ideas and real objects. The imagery in this particular piece can be viewed as both a metaphor for transformative love and a novel depiction of the breast cancer ribbon.

Yin Yang: Beatriz Lopez

Yin Yang

My name is Beatriz Lopez. I’m from Chicago. I decided to participate because I think this is such a neat opportunity to do something to give back in a fun way. So I decided to give it a try.
When I hear the word cancer bad and good things come to mind.
Base on this feeling, I got my inspiration from the Chinese Yin- Yang symbol.
Yin Yang represents balance of all things.
To me this is a symbol that represents the balance between the good and the bad, dark and light.
It represents opposites that attract; fire and water, expanding and contracting, life and death.
Cancer emotions feel like that.
It’s that really horrible thing that can happen to anyone, anywhere. It’s something we cannot understand but have to deal with.
I have seen the battles of many people, some win some lose.
In this battle all emotions come to life.
The words on my design describe the positive and negative feelings of cancer.
I choose pink to represent all the positive things that come from this fight. It’s also the color of the pink ribbon. Gray words are the negative emotions.
The scarf is divided in half. Half pink, half white to represent the battles we have back and forth for balance. The same fight of living or dying. Do you stay positive or give up?
The curve lines in the middle are the energy flow of the human spirit between these feelings.
This fight is not only the fight of the ill but of the caregiver, the doctors, the support groups, the scientist that look for cures, the community that supports, the people that is already gone, the ones that die to young.
I thank you for the opportunity of expressing my feelings in an artistic way.”

A Mosaic of Hope & Happiness: Megan Unthank

A Mosaic of Hope & Happiness

“My personal preferences for scarfs are uniform colors and a pattern that is fun and repetitive. Designs like this typically are eye catching, exciting, and more of a conversation starter because people want to see and understand what the graphics are. It enables the scarf to be used with more outfits while still being a unique statement piece. 

For my design I used different mosaic style graphics to make a background pattern that also incorporates different symbols with in the pattern. I choose this concept for the background because I like the uniformity but also it gives the feeling of tile which is a nice tie in to the company. For the symbolism I used the butterfly and dove as symbols of hope, different floral and leaf patterns for life and happiness, the cancer ribbon and Common Thread Logo to show what the scarf is for, and incorporated the Crossville Mountain Logo. I determined to use varying values of the Pantone Color Serenity for the overall design because not only is it one of the colors of the year, but I think the color is bright while on the other hand is still neutral enough to go with many other colors, along with the emotions the color was named for. It is calming and peaceful and in spite of that has an underlaying sense of power. I choose to make only one of the Cancer symbols an rose color so that one of the Logo would pop but not make the overall design to contrasted and an eye-sore.”

Against the Current: Kerry Zwierzko

Against the Current

“The design for my scarf generally symbolizes the hardships and obstacles that are experienced by any individuals who have, or had breast cancer. Those that I have encountered throughout my twenty six years of life that have shared their cancer stories with me have made me realize they all have the same three things in common.

They are courageous. These women set their fears aside and fight for their lives.

They show perseverance. They are determined to fight and survive for their families, friends, and themselves. They aspire to improve, and they look only to the future to overcome the difficulties that life has thrown in their way.

They are beautiful, inside and out.”

When I sat down to design my scarf, I wanted to take all the strong attributes of these women and design something that encompasses their characteristics.

Koi Fish.

The Koi fish symbolizes several of the life lessons that are learned upon fighting against their cancer battles. These women learned to be courageous, ambitious, and resilient no matter the circumstances, all of what the Koi Fish in Chinese culture stands for. The Koi fish demonstrates these qualities when you examine their abilities to swim against the currents while traveling upstream in the Yellow River. It is said that they transform into Dragons upon completing their uphill battle.

The Koi Fish do the unthinkable, just like women with breast cancer. They overcome adversity and exercise their urge to go against the odds and meet their destiny.

My scarf illustrates their story.

Happiness Blooms from Within: Heather Townsend

Happiness Blooms from Within

“The concept for my Common Thread for the Cure scarf design comes from my own personal motto, happiness comes from within. I want the scarf to inspire happiness, strength, and support for the breast cancer community.  The biggest influence for my design is my grandmother who was diagnosed with breast cancer less than six months ago. She is a very strong woman who is now in recovery and still full of joy. I chose a rose as one of my design elements because they are resilient and beautiful, just like my grandmother and many other women who have been affected by the disease. My rose design mixes feminine colors and defined lines to appeal to both feminine and edgy woman. The rose has shades of pink starting with the light pink used in the breast cancer awareness ribbon and gradually evolves into dark purple at the center of the flower. These colors are fitting because in nature, pink blossoms convey joy and purple blooms signify accomplishment. I incorporated Crossville’s mountain imagery as leaves for the flower to become a design element and mimic the shape of the flower.  Another influence in my design came from my grandmother’s love of sewing and fabric. In High School, she had a job at a craft supply store where she spent her paychecks buying fabric to make her own outfits. Now decades later, she is still enjoys altering her clothes and helping me with sewing projects. To illustrate her hobby of sewing and love of fabric, I added various colored bands and line styles across the scarf to represent different stitch styles and thread colors. The circle patterns throughout the scarf were chosen because circles symbolize power, especially female power. Since men can be affected by breast cancer too, various circles throughout the design are the tint of blue used in the male breast cancer awareness ribbon to indicate male power. Every part of my scarf design has been inspired by my grandmother who has been battling the disease and the breast cancer community. Happiness will bloom with each flower, strength will grow with every circle, and support will be recognized with the breast cancer awareness colors.”

The Fabric of Life: Tang Fang

The Fabric of Life

“My friend, Cheryl, has been trudging through the battle of stage three breast cancer for a year now.  She never complains and she just endures treatment after treatment , and keeps on putting one foot in front of the other.  She does not talk about how each time when she goes in on a Saturday for her chemotherapy, there is a good chance that she will not have the, physical or mental, strength to go to work on Monday.  She never mentions that she is working long hours and overtime to finance whatever is not covered by her insurance.  There is not even a whisper of how some of these medical costs should be covered by her military veteran benefits.  Instead, she shows up to volleyball league games, when she can, and cheers us on or joins in for a match.  Instead, she smiles, laughs, mixes up a mean batch of guacamole, and cracks me up with her Bostonian accent when she says “cah”.  Most of her direct family is not around, and so she surrounds herself with her friends .  She not only has the strength of mountains, but she is the common thread that connects and pulls all of us, her friends, her nurses, and all of the people who have been through such an ordeal, a little closer.

This design is reflective of who Cheryl is to me.   She is poise and disciplined.  She is the soft but bold pink mountain ranges across the middle, exuding much love and warmth.  We are all the complementary blue being drawn to her and that path that she will continue to hike through.  We try as much as possible to cradle her and support her in this battle.  We are all part of the fabric of her life and hopefully, “The Common Thread for a Cure.””

Behind the Designs, vol 2: Crossville’s The Common Thread for the Cure Scarf Design Contest

Common Thread

Common Thread for the Cure Scarf Design Contest banner

As part of our second biennial The Common Thread for the Cure scarf design contest, we’re running a series of blog posts featuring the designs we received and sharing the creator’s “concept statements” which convey the ideas and inspiration behind the works of art.

The designs are with our panel of professional design judges (click here to revisit our blog post announcing this year’s judging panel), but this year, we’ll be announcing an additional winner determined by popular vote. We invite you to click here to vote anytime between now and April 30th.

To revisit Volume 1 of our Behind the Designs series, click here. We hope you’ll continue to follow our blog to see all the inspiring designs and keep track of the contest’s progress. Special thanks to all in the design community who have participated!

Free Spirit:  Michelle Stalmok

Free Spirit


This scarf is dedicated to my 86-year-old mother-in-law, who is a survivor of breast cancer for over thirty years.  I believe early detection, advances in cancer treatments, and the love and support of her family all played a role in her overcoming breast cancer.

My design is representative of a free spirit, strong determination, solid faith, and enduring love.  This boho, hippy-chick scarf is designed to be gender-friendly, so the husband, son, brother, or father can wear it to support the woman in their life.”

Hydrangeas for Susan: Valerie Melcher

Hydrangeas for Susan

“My scarf design is in honor of Susan Driscoll King and her brave fight with breast cancer. When I saw the email about the competition she immediately came to mind. 

While still in college I babysat for baby that belongs to a young couple who were both architects. Once I graduated, Susan, the wife, told me that she could get me an interview at Franklin Design Group, the company where she and her husband worked, but that I would have to get the job on my own merits. Fortunately I was able to get the position and I began my career as a commercial interior designer. Later, when Franklin closed its doors, the Kings decided to open their own firm and I gladly joined them on the adventure. I ended up working for the company for more than two decades.

I had the privilege to work closely with Susan for more than a decade.  From her I learned much about design and even more about life. Decades ago commercial architecture and design was much more a man’s world and she showed me how to be a steel magnolia…still feminine but able to get those contractors and engineers to value and listen to my directives, opinions, and solutions. Her vision of the profession and her talent as an architect influence me to this day. In so many ways my success in life and in my profession are thanks to her involvement and engagement in my life.

About fifteen years ago Susan was diagnosed with breast cancer. She went through the whole process of surgery, radiation and chemo. She was that steel magnolia through the whole process. She wanted to live to be able to see her girls marry and to be a grandmother to any children that they might have. When she came out on the other side we were all hopeful. She was in remission for a little over two years. But the cancer did return and when it did it appeared in her brain and in her bones. There was not much that could be done and she succumbed much faster than anyone expected. She passed away in August of 2005.

While alive, whenever someone she knew had a family member pass away, Susan would always send a live outdoor plant that the person could place in their yard as a remembrance. More often than not that plant was a hydrangea. So many people, me included, have hydrangea bushes in their yards that where a gift from Susan.

My design is an attempt to show both her personal side with the use of stylized hydrangeas because they were her frequent gift and her profession side with the boxes and lines within the image being a subtle way of acknowledging her connection to architecture.”

The Journey: Janeen Salzgeber

The Journey

“It’s cold, with a drizzly rain levelling right at your face and you can see a bigger storm coming on the obscured horizon.  You’re lost in the mountain’s cross roads.  Determined to press on towards your journey’s purpose, you carefully lay wide open an old fashioned paper map.  Still disoriented, you try to keep your wits about you but you need more clarity, perspective and direction.  Are you a lonely pioneer hiking or a cancer patient?  Both face the same gut punch of panic, the need for clarification and moxie to move on.

My scarf design depicts the collective message as a patient’s need for wisdom, community and strength.   The design weaves across the roads through the mountains and in each of our lives.  The opportunities given to us for choices.  They cut back and forth as the choices and the challenges of our journeys as a pioneer, a patient or a supporting community.  Choices as a traveler or as someone found on the traveler’s journey.  The Crossville mountain icon is abstracted by a repeating pattern but still recognizable and are the ups and downs of a struggle.  The mountain peaks symbolize life’s on-going joys, in spite of pain and fear that can happen when the road turns. Layers of mountains and lives lay one atop each other, generation after generation.  The center striping characterizes the different road that each of us take in our own personal journey.  The gradation that cut across the piece is our own dark places and our bliss that comes from our peace with God’s plan. 

Nine years ago, Crossville joined alongside all those struggling through their journey through cancer as a community of caring.  Although new to the Crossville family, it is no surprise to me that as a company, Crossville seeks ways to come join all of those and their love ones embattled in the struggle of cancer.  I am proud to be a sister of a cancer survivor, a daughter of a victim and I member of a community of caring.”

Our Faith:  Pamela D. Goff

Our Faith

“I am a two-time survivor of cancer – once, at age seventeen, and again, at forty. After forty-four years, I am living proof and a true believer that faith is one of the strongest foundation that grounds me.

People who overcome challenging situations and struggles inspire me and move my faith. It can be someone who has or had medical issues or someone who is going through personal/emotional challenges that instills faith within me. They surround me every day – my mom and my daughter.

Every day is a challenge for my mom as she takes care of my dad who is disabled as well as doing household chores and being in charge of rental properties. Her faith in God and gardening has kept her strong even at the age of seventy-nine going on eighty.

My daughter overcame the struggles of cyber bullying from her so-called “close friends” as well as school officials and family members who intimidate her. Not having a father figure present in her life added to her depression and brought her down many times in middle school and high school. With all of that going on, she managed to be strong, positive, and faithful, that she has retained a 4.0 grade point average throughout her schooling.

Many of my friends or people who surround me every day are positive people, including my second grade students in elementary school. They help me stay strong and resilient. With them and through my faith and belief in God, all, resonates within me to continue to overcome my challenges, especially with cancer.”

A Touch of Elegance: Cristina Strader

A Touch of Elegance

“This design was inspired by the new Cava – Bianco Statuario by Laminam. As described by its concept of “genuine allure” and “beautiful features” it resonates with the strength and beauty that those battling breast cancer emanate in the face of this disease. The veins come together in the book match as the support of friends and family do for loved ones, represented by the centered pink ribbon.

A scarf always brings a touch of class and elegance to one’s look as does a well sourced tile to an interior space. Therefore, this design goes hand in hand with Crossville’s support for the cause and The Common Thread For The Cure Foundation. We had done a project for a client whose business was about giving confidence back to those that have battled breast cancer that resulted in mastectomy through custom bras. A scarf like this would also promote confidence in those who may shy away due to “battle scars” and use “a touch of elegance” in place to uplift their spirits and inspire others.”