2019 Recipient

Amy Howard ‘78
Amy Howard’s illustrious career was inspired by childhood summer art classes, entrepreneurial endeavors, and a high school trip to Europe. 

After graduating from Briarcrest in 1978, Amy created the very first double degree in Art History and Business at the University of Memphis. With a drive to pursue artisan level craftsmanship in her work, Amy later moved to Italy to apprentice with expert furniture finishers. Upon her return, the Amy Howard Collection was born. 
Alongside her husband, Gene, Amy designed and manufactured furniture for dozens of showrooms and private clients around the world. In time, the Howards began to notice individuals wanted to learn how to replicate the finishes they created, and the couple turned their custom work into a line of high-performance DIY products. 
Amy Howard at Home is now a leading name in the DIY and refinishing space, and the product line can be found in thousands of Ace Hardware stores across the globe.
In 2015, Amy published her first book, A Maker’s Guide, part love letter to creative souls and part comprehensive roadmap for starting a business. Amy’s second book in 2018, Rescue, Restore, Redecorate: Amy Howard's Guide to Refinishing Furniture and Accessories, details the techniques that made her the go-to refinishing and “use what you have” redecorating expert.
In 2017, Amy founded A Makers’ Studio to enable creatives to grow a business and community through crafting, teaching and mentoring. It also provided for the creation of the RE•NEW•ALL Candle Collection, which are hand-poured candles by survivors of human trafficking. 
These days, you will find Amy providing free, weekly training on Amy Howard at Home products and mentoring A Makers’ Studio business owners in her Memphis headquarters.