Merryweather Home Gift & Design Partner Website

Life Embroidered with Beauty

by Colleen Wadeson

People, place, and passion are influences which shape, define, and inspire a life embroidered with beauty for Jessica Merryweather Pollard, the visionary founder of the Merryweather store in Bend, Oregon.

Jessica’s formative years were steeped in idyllic conditions within the northeastern region of Ohio’s Appalachian Plateau. Through successful business ventures and engaging pursuits, her parents were foremost examples of adventure and innovation; they modeled an entrepreneurial spirit, impeccable attention to detail, and excitement in trying new things.


“Beauty is an experience…it is something felt, a glow, or a communicated sense of fineness.”

–D.H. Lawrence

The Merryweather family created their home in an 1810 farmhouse appointed with sophisticated antiques, luxurious rugs, distinctive art pieces, and finely crafted items from a neighboring Amish community. Nestled within their extensive 100-acre property, two spring-filled lakes were surrounded by organic gardens, stoic oaks, blue spruce, black walnut, and heritage apple trees. On their working farm, the Merryweathers collectively bred Morgan horses, taught lead line classes and dressage clinics, and competed in seasonal horse show circuits across the country. Magnificent Morgans, an exquisite stallion, standard poodles, and Siamese cats complemented what Jessica recalls as tangible quality and living beauty in their whole environment.

During her teen years, Jessica’s family transitioned to St. Louis – a city built on the bluffs and terraces above the western banks of the Mississippi River amid rolling prairies, shallow valleys, and the wide flood plains of Missouri. For a number of years, the family lived in a contemporary house, which was naturally flooded with light and surrounded by woodlands punctuated with flowering dogwood and Eastern redbud trees.


“True alchemy lies in this formula: your memory and your senses are but the nourishment of your creative impulse.”

–A. Rimbaud

Beyond the bucolic landscape of Ohio and the architecturally-rich cityscape of St. Louis, the semi-arid steppe of the Sangre De Cristo Mountain foothills in New Mexico remains a most impressionable place for Jessica. En route to California during a family trip, a stop in Santa Fe led to a gap year before college living in the oldest capital in the nation. Through an incredible experience working in a gallery on Canyon Road, she learned to thread a loom, select fabrics from supply trucks for handmade textiles, and progressively added layers of understanding to her visual repertoire in Santa Fe’s timeless art district. Jessica eventually returned to the region for a number of years and describes the intensely picturesque blue sky, adobe architecture, crunchy ground, and fragrant, cascading wisteria of Santa Fe with delight.

Line, shape, texture, space, and color are design elements that are woven as themes throughout Jessica’s life and realized in her home-gift-design business in Bend’s iconic Box Factory. Originally operated as the Brooks Scanlon lumber mill, the renowned site has a long history of employing women dating back to WWI. Ironically, Jessica opened her woman-owned business in July 2020 at the height of a very different war: COVID.

Challenges of local mandates, international restrictions, and a surge of newcomers to Bend compelled Jessica to simply let her light shine and become an ambassador for Bend. Merryweather remains constant in the community as a welcoming, peaceful place of joy.


“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.”

–M.L. Cook

As a bridge between past and present, Merryweather occupies the former Bend Art Center location and axiomatically advances the tradition of creativity in an imaginative, transformed space. A meander through Merryweather is comparable to viewing Wassily Kandinsky’s abstract art, which expressively reveals the gift of synesthesia (“to perceive together“). The integrated flow from front to back and around the space engages multiple senses at once through thoughtful arrangements, tasteful displays, and the interplay of color and texture in Jessica’s carefully curated collections. Her expertise in art history, biology, and anthropology is visibly evident within the range of eclectic assemblages and elegant accessories. There is something for everyone in Merryweather; locals and visitors alike frequently find different, original items that are unavailable elsewhere.

Connections with interior designers, a robust vendor network, and continual sourcing efforts all contribute to what Jessica deems the responsibility of an owner: to elevate the in-person shopping experience with interest and vitality that is distinct from the anonymity of online shopping. With a commitment to small, independent makers, Merryweather showcases a spectrum of talent from various countries and cultures, including the United States, Europe, Lithuania, Africa, and Nicaragua.


Through a decade of professional experience with California Closets – combined with nearly two decades of home décor service in Central Oregon – Jessica’s role has organically translated into specialized design services for her diverse clientele. From selecting tiles, textiles, wallpaper, floor coverings, and accent décor to suggesting signature wall art and furniture pieces, many of her casual in-store conversations intentionally segue into on-site consultations. Jessica has an intuitive capacity to see and think outside the box and customizes her recommendations accordingly. Whether the goal is to update a specific space or revitalize a series of rooms, Jessica encourages her clients to be daring, mix things up, and incorporate their personal history into a visually compelling story within their homes.


For an aesthete at heart, Jessica believes that our hearths and homes should be unique, unscripted expressions of who we are; where we live should creatively celebrate the people we love, highlight the places that inspire us, and accentuate the passions that enliven our souls.

“Some people look for a beautiful place, others make a place beautiful.”