Aleene Jackson Craft Museum


Aleene and daughters

The Creativity Sisters have been musing about the Aleene Jackson Craft Museum for years. Heidi is the keeper of the history and her storage room is bursting at the seams with memorabilia, so we've decided it's finally time to start logging, photographing and scanning everything and sharing it all here at the official site of the Aleene Jackson Craft Museum.

We're going to see if we can get Mom to stop dancing at the senior center long enough to add some a'musing stories to our Aleene Jackson Craft Museum. Yep! That's right, Mom turned 87 in January 2011 and she is still dancing up a storm!

There's a lot of stuff to go through so please be patient with us while we do our stuff. We'll let you know whenever we have new info posted here.

We're so excited because there is so much history to share!

  1. 1924

    Aleene arrives!

    Here's the earliest photo that we have found so far in the archive files. Aleene Jackson was born January 20, 1924 so we think that this photo was taken in mid-1925 with her mother Vera.

  2. 1942

    The marriage

    Here are pictures of Mom and Dad around the time they married in 1942. Mom would have been around 18 and Dad would have been around 20 years old.

    V. Aleene Jackson and Frederick Elwood Hershman

  3. 1944

    Where the business started!

    LADIES AND GENTLEMEN . . . drum-roll please . . . where it all began . . . this is Mom's Seller's Permit dated 7-31-44. This would have been the date that she officially opened her first business - Arcadia Florist in Arcadia, California. She was 20 years old.

  4. 1947

    Baby Candace arrives!

    Here's a great 4 generation photo taken in May 1947 of baby Candace at 4 months along with Great Grandmother Nettie Alice Evans Jackson, Vera Jackson and Aleene.

  5. 1948


    THE EARLY YEARS . . .This photo was taken in July 1948 after the birth of our brother Fred. Candace is the toddler and that handsome man - he's our wonderful father, Woody Hershman. Not much was shared in print about Dad over the years. He was a behind-the scenes kinda guy. He was responsible for all the early family photos and he handled all the art layout and printing for the early-years Aleene's instruction sheets, newsletters and books.

    Dad currently lives on Whidbey Island, Washington with our step-mother Carol Lee and he celebrated his 87th birthday in April 2009.

  6. 1949

    Aleene's Make Your Own Corsage Kit

    On Friday April 1, 1949, this ad ran in the Los Angeles Examiner announcing that the Aleene's Make Your Own Corsage Kit was available for purchase at Bullock's Downtown (Los Angeles).

    The kit included everything that you needed to make 25 corsages including: "gay ribbons, floratape, corsage pins, wax paper, wire...a whole kit to give you fun and pleasing results. The kit sold for $2.95.

  7. 1950

    Aleene's Floral Supply new store!

    OK - we're going to try to build the timeline for you of the Aleene's business. As we shared, Aleene started her first business in 1944 at the age of 19, a florist shop, located in Arcadia, California. Her first child, Candace was born in January of 1947 and Aleene decided shortly thereafter that she needed to close the florist shop. She started teaching flower arranging classes out of her home. As the class attendance grew, so did the number of delivery trucks and her neighbors soon grew weary of the constant stream of trucks delivering flower making supplies.

  8. 1950

    Aleene's Wood Fibre - the history

    While the earliest wood fibre instructions we find in the Aleene's archives are dated 1951, it wasn't until the August 1954 issue of The Petal Pusher, the official newsletter of Aleene’s Dealers, that the first full article appeared that offered the “first in a series of educational articles designed to acquaint the floral enthusiast with the many materials used in floral designing. Here is the story of how Wood Fibre was made reprinted in its original entirety from The Petal Pusher image posted to the right:

  9. 1951

    The start of Aleene's television career

    Sometime around 1951, Aleene got the idea to go on television with her "Make Your Own Corsage" kits. She had first learned about television in 1942 when she had seen it being previewed at the old Ambassador Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard. During the Easter Parade in Los Angeles, there was a television camera and monitor set up to show people what televisions could do in the very near future. She recalls, "It was amazing to see. We take it for granted today, but for us back then, it was like going to the moon would be for a later generation."

  10. 1952

    Aleene on KTTV - HIA Television

    We're not sure of the exact dates, but based on Aleene's hairstyles in other photos at this time, in about 1952 Aleene became involved with helping book hobby model guests for segments on a show hosted by Dick Whittinghill on KTTV in Los Angeles.

  11. 1952

    Aleene's Fibre & Floral Supply Co. New Location Grand Opening

    In November 1952, Aleene's opened their new location in Temple City California. For this event, Aleene arranged for searchlights and television coverage. It was quite an event for this community.

  12. 1953

    Rose Parade Television Coverage

    On New Years Day 1953, Aleene joined Ray Maypole (KTTV) for color commentary of the line-up of Rose Parade floats. Aleene described for the viewing audience, the various floral decorations on the floats lined up on Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena, California.

    In most of her photos of this era she could be found sporting one of her trademark wood fibre flower corsages. On this day, it was of course, a red rose!

    The Rose Parade grand marshall on this date was Richard M. Nixon.

    This week would continue to be a stellar one for Aleene. She was featured in the January 5, 1953 issue of Life Magazine

  13. 1953

    Life Magazine

    1953 started off with a bang for Aleene when her business was featured in the January 5, 1953 issue of Life Magazine.

    The entire issue was devoted to the American Economy and Aleene's Fibre & Floral Supply Company was featured in this issue.

  14. 1955

    Aleene on Al Jarvis TV Show

    Aleene & Betty White on the Al Jarvis Show (1954) Why does this photo look like this? It is a photograph of the image on the actual television set of the era!

  15. 1955

    The Petal Pusher Newsletter

    In 1955, a monthly newsletter called The Petal Pusher served as the source of information for the Aleene's customers. The topic of the time was fresh vs artificial flowers and encouraging words were given to the students to "be as proud to display the exquisitely hand fashioned flowers from wood fibre in your home, as you would be to display an original painting, for both have been created by artists."

  16. 1962

    Aleene on Art Linkletter TV Show

    Aleene & Art Linkletter (est. 1963)

    In the early 1960's, Aleene's popularity grew and she continued to make regular television appearances on top national daytime talk shows of the time. Here she is pictured with her signature wood fibre flowers which she demonstrated on the Art Linkletter Show (CBS).

  17. 1965

    Aleene on Tennessee Ernie Ford TV Show

    Aleene & Tennessee Ernie Ford

    It was after Aleene had been in the world of television for awhile that that she had enough "gumption" to approach Tennessee Ernie Ford, who at the time had one of the most popular shows on national TV (The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show 1962-1965).

  18. 1967

    Aleene on Tom Frandsen FYI TV Show

    Aleene & Tennessee Ernie Ford

    Then came the Tom Frandsen FYI show on NBC in 1967. Tom insisted that Aleene become a regular show on his popular program. It was through Tom's show that the Aleene's Craft Caravan got so much exposure and helped to draw more than 20,000 to that first event.

    During the time that Aleene made her weekly appearances on The Tom Frandsen Show, she met lots of really interesting guests such as Lorne Green, who was the star of "Bonanza."

  19. 1967/68

    The Aleene's Craftmaker's Caravan

    Aleene & Tennessee Ernie Ford

    From Aleene's autobiography, Aleene, A Tacky Lady:

    "I don't know what inspired me to come up with the idea for a Craftmaker's Caravan, but like most good ideas, it was the follow-through that made it a great success, both for us [the Aleene's business] and for the crafts industry as a whole."

  20. 1972

    The Aleene's Craftmaker's Caravan

    Aleene & Dinah Shore & Beverly Sills (January 1972)

    Tiffany's interview notes with Aleene 5-6-09:

    Mom recalls that on her first appearance on the Dinah Shore show, there was also a first-time guest for Dinah. His name was Burt Reynolds.