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University of Southern Maine
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- For the American film visual effects editor, see Katherine Chappell
Kate Cheney Chappell (born 1945) is an American businesswoman, artist, and manufacturer. Along with her husband Tom, she co-founded personal-care product manufacturer Tom's of Maine in 1970, as well as wool clothing manufacturer Ramblers Way in 2010.
Kate Cheney was born in 1945, descended from the founders of Manchester's Cheney Brothers Silk Company, brothers Ward, Rush, and Frank. It became the largest silk mill in the country at the time, and the family opened other textile mills including one for velvet. The Cheney family included accomplished artists; John Cheney was an engraver, and Seth Wells Cheney created portraits. A number of Seth's works were donated to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. The Cheney home was turned into a museum which is managed by the Manchester Historical Society.
Chappell is a 1963 graduate of Oxford School in West Hartford, Connecticut. She attended Chatham College and Sarah Lawrence College before she and her husband, cofounder Tom Chappell, moved to Kennebunk, Maine in 1968 to raise their family. Kate and Tom now share a summer home on Monhegan, Maine. Chappell became the Vice President of Tom's of Maine, starting the business jointly after developing a saccharine-free, natural toothpaste for their children. It was the first natural toothpaste to receive the American Dental Association's seal of acceptance. Her artistic skills were utilized in overseeing the packaging, advertising and media for the company.
Chappell founded the Kate Cheney Chappell '83 Center for Book Arts at the University of Southern Maine, which was launched in 2008, and serves as Chairwoman on the Advisory Board. Her teacher, professional book artist and USM faculty member Rebecca Goodale, was chosen to be the program coordinator. The Center provides an area for workshops, exhibits, and discussions by artists from across the United States regarding artwork pertaining to the illustration of books.
In 2010, Chappell and her husband founded Ramblers Way, a wool apparel company. The clothing is made from American-raised Rambouillet sheep wool, silk thread, and vegetable dyes, and spinning, weaving, and knitting is done in East coast states to keep the sourcing local and sustainable. The silk thread used is a reminder of the Cheney mills, which Chappell recalled still functioning in her youth when she would go to the Cheney Hall remnant room with her mother.
In 2009, Chappell was one of five women to receive the Deborah Morton award from the University of New England that year. It is presented to "outstanding women who have achieved high distinction in their careers and public service or whose leadership in civic, cultural or social causes has been exceptional".
Chappell's artwork has been acquired and exhibited by a number of institutions including the New York Public Library, the Portland Museum of Art, and the New Britain Museum of American Art, where her piece "Explosion of Amphibian Deformities" was selected by Director Douglas Hyland for inclusion in the "Director’s Favorites: 1999-2015" showing. The Kingswood Oxford School commissioned a sculpture from her called "All Life Interrelated", and it was installed at their science building in September 2015.
- "Kate Cheney Chappell". Bloomberg Businessweek. http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/person.asp?personId=21933939&privcapId=4366115&previousCapId=4366115&previousTitle=Tom%27s%20of%20Maine,%20Inc.. Retrieved December 10, 2013.
- Tsetsi, Kristen J. (February 18, 2013). "Fabric of their lives". Journal Inquirer. https://www.journalinquirer.com/living/fabric-of-their-lives/article_80712117-f34b-5bdc-ae8a-ba9f741c0248.html. Retrieved January 6, 2020.
- Gentile, Annie (June 21, 2018). "Art Gallery Dedicated At Cheney Homestead". Hartford Courant. Archived from the original on January 8, 2020. https://web.archive.org/web/20200108172721/http://www.courant.com/community/manchester/hc-mr-manchester-cheney-homestead-art-gallery-dedication-0621-20180621-story.html. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
- Buckberrough, Sherry (2010). "Kate Cheney Chappell (b. 1942)". [email protected]. New Britain, CT: New Britain Museum of American Art. pp. 70–71. ISBN 0-9724497-2-8.
- Florence, Mari. "Chapter 2: Environment". The Enterprising Woman. Hachette Book Group. ISBN 978-0-7595-2487-3.
- "Kate Cheney Chappell 83 Center for Book Arts". https://usm.maine.edu/bookarts/overview. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
- Reidy, Chris (March 22, 2006). Colgate will buy Tom's of Maine. Boston Globe
- "UNE honors five prominent Maine Women with Deborah Morton Awards Sept. 22nd". UNE.edu. September 9, 2009. https://www.une.edu/news/2009/une-honors-five-prominent-maine-women-deborah-morton-awards-sept-22nd. Retrieved January 7, 2020.
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- "Museum will exhibit Chappell’s artwork". The Portsmouth Herald (Gannett). October 28, 2015. https://www.seacoastonline.com/article/20151028/NEWS/151029100. Retrieved January 7, 2020.
- Kate Cheney Chappell Art Space
- Kate Chappell corporate biography
- Cheney Silk Mills history, from the Manchester Historical Society