University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
School of Architecture College of Design

Ellie Karanauskas

Date of Interview: May 21, 2009
Location of Interview:

Karanauskas' Residence

New York, New York

Length of Transcript:



Audio Clip:

17 pages

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Biographical Summary

Born in Tettnang, Germany, Ellie Karanauskas moved with her family to the United States after the war and grew up in California. She graduated with a B.A. in English from Lone Mountain College, San Francisco, and spent the next year and a half working and traveling in Europe. Karanauskas moved to New York in 1972, where she was hired as an assistant to Frank Huggins, the Vice President of Sales for Jack Lenor Larsen Incorporated. Here she developed her love of textiles and her passion for sales. Karanauskas remained with Jack Lenor Larsen Incorporated for 23 years, part of which time she worked as an outside sales representative in New York. In 1984 she opened and managed the Jack Lenor Larsen Incorporated Seattle showroom, then later the Chicago showroom. She returned to New York to become Vice President of Sales and National Sales Director for Jack Lenor Larsen Incorporated. Karanauskas is currently the New York Sales Manager for Pollack, and is still enjoying working with, and selling, beautiful textiles. 


Interview Topics

Karanauskas explains the unusual way she was recruited to Jack Lenor Larsen Incorporated; her move into sales; becoming National Sales Director; working at Jack Lenor Larsen Incorporated.; the company’s philosophy; and her respect for Jack Lenor Larsen. 



Caravan (1963)

Designed by Anita Askild

African Collection


Laotian Ikat (1972)

An Homage to Jim Thompson Collection


Funding for these oral histories was provided by a Craft Research Fund Grant from the University of North Carolina, Asheville Center for Craft, Creativity & Design.


Contact Information

Goldstein Museum of Design

364 McNeal Hall,

1985 Buford Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108

P: 612-624-7434 |

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