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

Stephanie Odegard

Date of Interview:


Location of Interview:



Length of Transcript:



Audio Clip:

September 12, 2012


Stephanie Odegard Showroom,

New York, New York


15 pages

View Online Link


Listen to Audio Clip

(This audio requires QuickTime)



Biographical Summary

Stephanie Odegard graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1969 with a B.A. in Humanities.  She worked as a buyer for the Dayton Hudson Corporation, (now Target Corporation), before opening her own yarn shop in Grand Marais, Minnesota.  Moved by a desire to help others, Odegard joined the Peace Corps in 1976 and later worked for the United Nations and the World Bank.  Her assignments took her to Fiji, Jamaica, and Nepal.  In Nepal, Odegard helped Tibetans develop a carpet industry. These experiences lead her to found Odegard Inc. in 1987, a company designing and importing hand-woven rugs. Odegard also established GoodWeave™, an organization ensuring that carpets are not made with child labor.  Among her many awards are the 2008 Twin Cities International Citizen Award from the International Leadership Institute of Minneapolis, and the 2004 Aid to Artisans Award from Innovation in Craft. In 2013 Odegard was awarded the University of Minnesota Alumni of Notable Achievement Award.


Interview Topics

Odegard relates how she first heard about Jack Lenor Larsen when she was working in India and Nepal and finally met him in New York; she describes Larsen’s experimentation with different fibers; his sophistication; and his passion for native textiles and crafts.  Odegard concludes by describing Larsen’s significance to the textile world. 



Chan Chan (1966)
Andean Collection

Pomegranate (1974)
Afghan 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 |

[directions and maps]