jgwhite is a contraction for Jackie and Gary White. 

Jackie and Gary meet, marry, move to the Philippines, and begin their family.
Jackie and Gary met in Orlando, Florida in 1972.  Gary was finishing college and preparing to enter Air Force pilot training while Jackie was attending college at Florida Technological University (now University of Central Florida).  In 1973, Jackie and Gary married and they moved to Valdosta, Georgia while Gary finished pilot training.  Upon finishing pilot training they were surprise to get an assignment to Clark Air Force Base in the Republic of the Philippines.  They arrived there just in time to see the fall of Vietnam. Gary participated in the airlift evacuation of Vietnam while Jackie cared for the babies that were being evacuated into Clark AFB.  It was an exciting time for them, young, newly married, on their own in a foreign country, and participating first hand in a historic event. It made a lifelong impact on them and they adopted two Filipino babies, Kevin and Tracie, to begin their family. 

Jackie and Gary spend their free time developing new hobbies.
Many of the Filipino people are very skilled with traditional craft techniques.  While in the Philippines, Gary watched and learned how the local craftsmen built furniture entirely by hand.  Also, while flying C-130 missions, Gary collected wood samples and different hand tools from through out Southeast Asia. Many of these shops did not have electricity so sawing, planing, sanding, and everything was accomplished entirely with hand tools.  A Filipino woodworker made Gary a set of hand tools, which he used to build several pieces of furniture.  At the same time Jackie was developing her needlework skills, concentrating on counted cross-stitch, and quilting. 

Jackie and Gary return to the US.
In 1978, Jackie and Gary returned to Little Rock AFB. For the next few years, as a hobby, Gary built some furniture and Jackie started making quilts for the kids.  Gary, his mom, and stepfather also opened a lumberyard in Beebe, Arkansas specializing in hardwood and imported lumber. 

Jackie and Gary make another addition to their family.
Their next child, Jared, was born in 1982, again changing their life.  Three months after Jared's birth the Air Force moved them to Wright Patterson AFB so Gary could attend college for a Master's Degree.  Jackie had an all natural birth with Jared, and the experience convinced her that here life's calling was to be a midwife so she could help other women have good birth experiences.  At that time the only way to legally be a midwife was to be a Registered Nurse first, so she applied to a nursing program. 

Jackie and Gary make yet another addition to their family as well as another move.
Gary completed his Master's Degree in 1983 and the Air Force moved them to Scott AFB in Illinois. Their fourth child, Jamie was born in 1984, at home, attended by a Certified Nurse Midwife.  Jackie resumed her nursing education at Saint Louis University. 

Jackie and Gary return to Arkansas and make the final addition to their family, as well as putting the gears in motion for jgwhite to be born.
In 1986, they were back living in Beebe, Arkansas.  Gary was instructing C-130 pilots at Little Rock AFB.  In his spare time he also built furniture and managed the lumberyard.  Jackie was finishing her nursing degree at Harding University.  Along came their fifth child, Jeni, again born at home with a midwife attending.  The arrival of Jeni set in motion the birth of  jgwhite.  Realization that squeezing five kids into two bedrooms would become increasingly interesting,  they started looking around for a larger house.  It didn't take them long to find a large old farmhouse with six acres.  It was an absolutely perfect place for the kids.  However, as is usually the case, it cost more money than they could really afford.  They decided that they couldn't live without the old farmhouse, so using magical math they convinced themselves they could afford the house and bought it. 

Jackie and Gary make their first attempt at earning a little extra money with woodworking.
Now they needed to earn a little extra money to help pay the bills.  Gary was still building some furniture and craft shows were popular, so Jackie and Gary hit on the big idea of selling furniture at a craft show.  They got into their first show, getting up early to carry all the heavy furniture to the booth, and did not make a single sale.  They quickly realized they needed a new idea.  Jackie was still making quilts for the kids; Gary had the tools to build furniture, and a collection of woods from around the world¡­ 


A New idea is born.
They were sitting at the kitchen table and Jackie said, "Why don't you make quilt designs out of pieces of wood."

Gary said, "Why would I want to do that."

Jackie answered, "Because they would be pretty and people might want to buy them."

Gary built a couple wooden quilt wall hangings. Since they were entirely handmade they wanted to sign each quilt, but the idea was Jackie's and Gary cut the wood so they couldn't decide who should sign the quilt. That's when they decided the combine their names and create jgwhite. 

 jgwhite  joins the Arkansas Craft Guild.
Soon they were in another craft show exhibiting wooden quilts.  The wooden quilts sold much better, but more significantly, the director of the Arkansas Craft Guild saw the wooden quilts and invited them to jury for membership into the Arkansas Craft Guild.  They joined the guild in 1987, and for the next couple years sold wooden quilts at craft shows throughout Arkansas and Tennessee.  The kids had no problem with this because they had a great time playing with all the other crafter's kids.  They also soon learned that if the show went well, they could convince their parents to stop at a store and buy some of the things they ¡°needed¡±. 

jgwhite begins selling wholesale.
By 1990, as the craft shows continued to prosper, many stores wanted to buy wooded quilts for resale.  In conjunction with the Arkansas Craft Guild they were selling wooden quilts in Dillards Department stores.  Smith Dale contacted them and sold quilts to stores in Japan. The wooden quilts were doing great, but making them became overwhelming¡­

 jgwhite gets put on hold.

Gary was now a Lt Col in the Air Force, and his job was demanding and time consuming.  Jackie had finished nursing school and was accepted into a Nurse Midwifery program at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.  The next two years were exciting, challenging, and difficult. Jackie went to Houston for midwifery training. Gary kept the five kids in Arkansas. During this period the Air Force mobilized and deployed for the Persian Gulf War.  Gary was the Operations Officer of the Department of Defense C-130 school at Little Rock so he didn't deploy.  However, he remained on constant alert for short notice deployment, so Jackie was on short notice alert to come get the kids and pack five kids into her little Houston apartment.  Life was interesting and for two years jgwhite was on hold.

 Jackie and Gary push for another move.
By 1992, Jackie finished midwifery school. She always wanted to work with the Indian Health Service, so she got a job with IHS in Ada, Oklahoma. It was the closest site to their home in Beebe, so they bought a log house with ten acres in Ada and Jackie move to Ada with four of the kids. Kevin stayed in Beebe with Gary for his senior year in high school. Gary was eligible to retire in May 1993, so for nearly a year the family commuted between Arkansas and Oklahoma.

 jgwhite is up and running again.
A clerk in the squadron's orderly room woke the sleeping jgwhite.  She was moving to a new assignment in Japan.  She knew about the jgwhite wooden quilts and asked Gary to build her one for the Squadron's going away gift.  Gary dug out the dusty tools and built her a wooden quilt wall hanging.  Once the tools were out he built a few more in his free time and jgwhite  was quickly alive and well again.



 A new idea for  jgwhite.
Upon retirement Gary moved to Ada, and built a woodworking shop out by the house.  Ada was recovering from the oil bust and jobs were scarce so jgwhite became his full time job.  Building wall hangings was fairly simple but boring, and by 1993, several other people were also building similar items, so Gary looked for new ideas.  That's when he hit on putting the wooden quilt designs into small boxes.

 The idea behind the box.
He combined his years of woodworking, craft shows, wholesale marketing, along with life experiences to design the boxes.  He wanted boxes that were attractive and exhibited moderately skilled levels of craftsmanship.  However, the boxes had to be relatively easy to build so that they would be affordable.  He wanted a box that people would be proud to own at a price they could afford to buy.

 jgwhite becomes full time.
In the fall of 1993, he built several boxes for photographing.  He applied to several craft show and was quickly accepted into several craft shows including Yellow Daisy in Georgia, War Eagle Fair in Arkansas, and an American Craft Council show.  Jackie, Gary, and the kids started building as many boxes as they could to sell at the shows.  Life was now working in the shop and traveling to shows.

 jgwhite hits it big.
Their business took on a new direction in 1995. The Philadelphia Buyers Market, Rosen Show always offered some free booths to craft guilds.  The concept is to help new artists introduce their work to a wholesale market.  The Rosen Show is strictly a wholesale show where gallery owners look for new work.  The Arkansas Craft Guild applied for and received a free booth.  The guild gathered up some work from their members and took it to Philadelphia.  Jackie and Gary sent a small box display.  The show lasted four days and at the end of the second day they called Gary to ask how many boxes he wanted to sell?  After two days they had already taken orders for over $10,000.  At wholesale that was a lot of boxes.  By the end of the show Gary had orders from over 40 galleries from across the US for more boxes than he had any idea how to build¡­

His boxes are attractive and affordable and most of the galleries quickly reorder.  Gary has stopped attending craft shows and now works full time building boxes to fill gallery orders.  He currently offers his work through over 90 galleries in 29 states including many Niche top 100 galleries. In 1997, Tony Lydgate included Jackie and Gary's boxes in his book The Art of Making Small Wood Boxes. In 2000, the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC bought jgwhite Fine Handmade Boxes to sell at the Renwick Gallery.  In 2002, Jackie and Gary collaborated with nationally acclaimed quilt designer Jinny Beyer to incorporate several of her popular designs into box lids.

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