Originally started in the early 80’s, two friends named ‘Pat’ with various creative talents between them, collaborated together and started the business "Pat & Pat Products" in Hobart, the capital city of Tasmania, an island just off the south east coast of Australia. Designing the flora of the Tasmanian bush in a botanically correct and beautifully presented aesthetic, these gorgeous illustrations adapted well to screen printing.
The ‘Pats’ decided to not only bring the joy of the Tasmanian bush right into Tasmanias own kitchens, but soon recognised the marketing potential in targeting the increasing trade of souvenir hunters looking for something typically Tasmanian to return home with.
Screen printing the designs on quality linen tea towels, cotton aprons, and tote bags, Pat Honnibell, the artist and Pat Cleveland, the then gallery owner of the well known "HANDMARK GALLERY" in "SALAMANCA" were the perfect team to promote the product to a niche tourist gallery market.
In 2001 Claire Sheppard and her family arrived in Tasmania at a time when the Pats were beginning to look forward to making retirement plans, beginning with passing Pat & Pat Products on to a new owner who recognised and appreciated their vision and appreciation of fine art, fine design and quality.
Arriving in Tasmania with her husband Guy and 3 teenage daughters from Zimbabwe, Claire needed to find a business that would allow her to develop her creative talents at the same time as being available to her family as they all adapted and adjusted to a new culture and environment they had chosen to call home. From living and farming for over 20 years in rural Zimbabwe to living and making a living in suburban Hobart, Tasmania, things proved challenging, but with the continuing and kindly support from both the 'Pats', Claire found this delightful creative outlet as the perfect medium to make contacts, learn the ways of Tasmanian people and its beautiful flora and Fauna and so integrate into her new life.
After a few years as Claire’s confidence grew, she started adding her own designs. With great support from many sectors of the Tasmanian community. The T Towel Gallery was borne out of the necessity to reinvent her role, her life and get involved in discovering and promoting her newly adopted Tasmania - an.amazing new environment so uniquely different to Zimbabwe. Since then she has grown to love the genuine friendliness of the people, appreciate the seasons along with the constant beauty and diversity she finds everyday in this beautiful little jewel of a state, knowing there is no where else quite like it