Kris Ruff Bio Photo


I live for color and pattern! Beautiful colors lift my spirits and I’ve never met a polka dot I didn’t like. I fell in love with Scandinavian design in the mid-70s when my dad hung a Marimekko wallhanging in this office. That influence shows up in the simple shapes and saturated colors I use in my designs. I love to add lively linework and a bit of whimsy to create playfully energetic prints and patterns. 

My design career began after earning a Fine Arts degree from University of Wisconsin and returning to my native Minneapolis to work as an advertising art director. After ten years I left to start my own company, GoWear, creating a line of skydiving t-shirts. That may sound like a strange choice, but I’ve been a skydiver since 1987 and skydivers love t-shirts, so GoWear was a natural way to combine skydiving and design.

I was drawn into surface design when a friend told me about Spoonflower, back when they were first starting out. My first fabric designs were pretty crude but I loved the process and kept at it, learning everything I could about pattern and product design. Since then, I’ve had wonderful opportunities to design for all kinds of products, from mugs to rugs, kitchen linens, luggage, ceramics and more. I’ve even done wall decor which feels like I’ve come full circle from the wallhanging in my dad’s office all those years ago. (See a partial list of collaborations here.)


©Kris Ruff Flowerbox Floral artwork