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About the Brand
SISUMOI was founded in 2020 by Barbara and Alexandra Ahlfield, a mother-daughter team focused on bringing the art from the gallery to the streets in every-day life-style products. This female-owned online retailer features Barbara’s globally awarded and celebrated art on apparel, tech accessories, bags and home goods.
The Brand Artist, Barbara Tyler Ahlfield, has had a successful decades-long career as a highly published fashion illustrator, working for many of America’s top retailers- Lord & Taylor, Nordstrom and John Wanamaker to name a few. In the last decade, Barbara has transitioned into fine art, specializing in large – scale, award-winning glamour portraits of people and pets which have shown in galleries globally.
Barbara’s daughter, Alexandra Ahlfield, an MBA marketing executive, is living her dream: to bring her mother’s inspirational artwork from the gallery to the streets in wearable art.
“My mom’s signature glamour art style is the heart of SISUMOI. From image selection to placement, color palate to printing and maintaining the original art’s integrity – we take every design concept seriously to achieve a truly magnificent product. We are proud to donate a portion of all proceeds to our philanthropic partners in our brand’s core causes so each Sisumoi purchase gives back.”
What is the meaning of “SISUMOI” (see-soo-mwa)? “Sisu” is an Ancient Finnish term for a universal capacity to channel a magical source of strength in the face of adversity. “Moi” is French for “Me”. We all face setbacks in life – in Barbara’s case, a life-long struggle with extremely limited vision. At times, we all need to channel our sisu to overcome these challenges. Our products aim to remind and inspire our customers of their potential and to activate their sisu to live their best and gifted lives.
Sisumoi [see-soo-mwa] believes we all have unique gifts and a responsibility to honor them to their fullest potential. We provide globally celebrated & awarded fine art accessories which inspire and empower you to stay true to your gifts and live your best life.
Our vision with Sisumoi TV is to create a community of leaders committed to their dreams and who inspire others to activate their gifts through their sisu stories. Every month, we feature a sisu story.
Barbara Tyler Ahlfield
American master artist, painter, and illustrator Barbara Tyler Ahlfield delivers the essence of pure glamour; the award-winning artist has gifted the world with a broad spectrum of true-to-life portraits reflecting a delicate blend of dramatic, classical, evocative, realistic, and emotionally layered strokes. The high realism depicted in her work stems from her sketching and re-sketching a subject orchestrated with details, textured layers, pigmentation, forms, models, props, live music, and wine.
Ahlfield moved from a flourishing career as a fashion illustrator to the field of fine arts. Her experience with fashion illustration has influenced her work as a painter, becoming the thematic and technical foundation of her contemporary work. The concepts of beauty and glamour, the origins of her inspiration, are quintessential in her paintings.
Her signature painting method is rooted in her fondness for romancing with human facial expression and modern allegorical posing. Ahlfield’s scenes convey a world of fashion and elegance. She has combined her love for fabrics, style, and painting in a natural progression. Her paintings capture the tactile qualities of velvet, the rich luster of satin, the feel of taffeta, and the nostalgic, crispy texture of vintage lace and floral patterns, taking the viewer on an indulging journey of romantic fantasy.
With a strong foundation in art training, Ahlfield studied at The Ohio State University, Columbus College of Art & Design, and the Schuler School of Fine Art. As a fashion illustrator, her roster of clients has included very recognized firms like Coty, Carlisle, Dillards, Foleys, Garfinkels, Hutzlers, Joskes, Lord & Taylor, Marshall Fields, Marshalls, Nordstrom, and J. Wanamaker’s.
As lead fashion illustrator for Lord & Taylor, she saw her double-page illustrations in the Sunday edition of the New York Times.
During her extensive career, Ahlfield has received several honors including the NORMA award for lingerie advertising and cosmetic advertising, the Seklemian award for reflective color advertising, the Federated Dept. Store advertising award (Lazarus Division-three consecutive years), and she is a member of the Society of Illustrators. She was named “Artist of The Year” at the Top 60 Masters Awards by ArtTour International Magazine, an honor presented to her during the ATIM Masters Award at the Museum of Art and Design in New York.
Be it newspapers, group shows, art fairs, exhibitions, or musing art galleries, this world-class representational artist has been featured coast to coast for her work. Recent exhibitions, such as “Once Upon a Time in New York City” and “The Essence of Beauty” at The Viviana Puello Gallery in New York, highlighted her skillful delivery in creating one-of-a-kind high-fashion portraits, continuing to surprise her audience with new inspirations that find their way onto her canvas.
Barbara Tyler Ahlfield creates dramatic, evocative, and emotionally layered portraits that are whimsical and profound, elegant and refined, technically accurate yet spontaneous. She captures the psychology of her subjects through harmonious compositions that emanate intimacy, delicacy, and strength.