Tish Bachleda has been part of Pennsylvania’s Lebanon Valley most of her life. Born and raised in the Richland area, she first established her creative flair as a stylist with local hair salons. After several years of success while raising a family, she decided she wanted to help others in deeper ways, and worked as an advocate for Domestic Violence Intervention of Lebanon County. She helped victims of domestic violence find their voices in the legal process to help defend themselves and re-establish a positive path for themselves and their families.
While doing great social work with DVI, she rekindled her creative passion by learning to hook rugs, and design hand-sewn and painted folk art. Thanks to her heritage, she developed an interest in the Pennsylvania-German and Swiss cultures and appreciated their impact on early American folk art. Then in 1997, Tish established The Tweed Weasel while continuing to raise her family. The original gallery of her work was simply a repurposed enclosed porch at her home.
Since then, Tish has perfected her craft, designing a variety of textile floor coverings, hand-crafted fabric works — dolls, vegetables, fruit, seasonal decor, and more. In 1999, The Tweed Weasel moved with the Bachleda family to nearby Schaefferstown, where the town’s former local ‘Smith Bakery’ building was renovated and restored to become the new home of The Tweed Weasel. The new gallery was located right next to their restored 1830-era limestone home.
After several years of growth, Tish and her husband Mike acquired the former Backtown Barn located just down the road along Main Street. After a year or two of upgrades and renovations, Tish moved her gallery to the current location inside the Tulip Barn. Since the complete renovation, the gallery has been visited by tourists and buyers year-round. The site even made the short list of unique places to visit in an edition of National Geographic Traveler magazine.
The former bakery building was then converted into a complete pottery studio, where Tish and Mike work together create redware and stoneware folk art designs for utilitarian use and seasonal decoration.
Now fully established as a professional artisan, Tish’s work is owned by collectors across the United States, as well as in Canada and Spain. The quality of her textile work has allowed her to be included among the country’s top traditional artisans as juried by Early American Life magazine. Her attention to detail has caught the eye of antique dealers in recent years, and Tish has been commissioned to restore family heirloom rugs and early treasures threatened by age decay and wear. Most notably, famous antiques collector and Where the Wild Thing Are illustrator Maurice Sendak was one of Tish’s rug restoration clients before he passed away in 2012.
Tish enjoys that her ideas and work help clients create artful home environments that they’ll enjoy for years.