For this first post I wanted to share with you all where my love of quilting started and where it's brought me so far after one year in business. In November 2016 I decided to make a change. I left a high stress job to pursue a creative biz on my own. On this blog I hope to share everything I learn along the way and I hope to get to know you a little better as well.
So let's start at the beginning...
My mom was inspired to take a beginners quilting class when I was around twelve years old. I remember watching her put together her first quilt and how much I admired the finished product. My sister and I wanted to join in! So she taught us how to sew and from there I was hooked...
This is the first quilt I ever made in high school! On my drill team in high school we were allowed to bring a blanket to the games when it was cold. The only requirement was that it had to be in school colors. I thought I was being real fancy by free-motion quilting my name in the border.
When I was a senior in high school I made all four of my best friends a quilt to take with them to college and off to school we all went!
While getting my degree in interior design at Baylor University, I had a part-time job that (still to this day) is one of my most favorite jobs I have ever had. I worked at an antique store in Waco, TX with a group of ladies who truly took me in under their wings. There was so much freedom to be creative and try new things! (I even made some dresses out of paper - but that is a post for another day!) The shop owner taught me SO much about running a small business. At the time I didn't realize just how much I was learning and how valuable it would all become.
I had my sewing machine with me in college and continued to make new things when I could find the time. I made pillows, new sofa cushions, chair cushions - anything I needed to make my apartment feel home-y. I could disappear into my own head for a couple hours to unwind from all the stress that school brings. It was therapeutic!
Shortly after graduating I got a job and moved to Fort Worth, TX. Not only was this job super stressful, I was also putting a ton of pressure on myself to love this job because it was what I had a degree in. After years of schooling, all-nighter projects with no sleep...this was supposed to be IT - right?! THE job I was supposed to love and do for the rest of my life. Something was missing...
After five years at that firm I had a wonderful opportunity to work with other small creative business owners but putting together a local holiday market. This gave me the space to step away from a job in interior design and reflect on what it was I was missing.
I was working in a creative field - sure. I was seeing all the new trends in furniture, textiles and surfaces - great. I was meeting interesting people and seeing some AMAZING homes - yup. But was I actually getting to do the making? Nope. You select the fabric, you design the chair and you pass it off to someone else to fabricate. Then for the next year or two you do paperwork until the end of the project. You call the manufacturers, you pester vendors and you chase down payments.
Don't get me wrong - the result is wonderful! I loved install days! They were extremely tough physically and mentally, but the result was incredible. I also learned an incredible amount about balancing color, proportion, texture, pattern and all the other elements of design. However, I missed making things with my own two hands.
I realized that the most enjoyable part for me was actually getting to know the vendors and watching them work in their craft. I would spend time with vendors asking them about their process and how they learned to do what they do. I worked with some truly talented folks!
SO after being inspired by all the local small business owners I was surround by at the holiday market - I knew that's where I wanted to be. I had prayed for years for the inspiration to find a career I would love. It turns out I had all the tools - I just needed to start using them...
So, around Christmas 2016, I started sewing...
First, the custom stockings just in time for the holiday. You can shop my current selection here.
Next I took orders for custom Easter baskets.
While I was making these custom items for folks - I was also researching. I was reading every blog and listening to every Podcast I could find about building a creative business. (I will also be sharing my favorites with you soon so stay tuned!)
By springtime - I was back to quilting...
This quilt I made with patterns from Suzy Quilts. Here patterns are modern, easy and always turn out great.
At my first pop-up market I wanted to add another item to the shop. I new I needed to at add a small item with a lower price range so that everything in my booth wasn't over $100. So I stared at my pile-o-scraps and decided I could make about 15 of these baby shoes.
They were a huge hit at the market so now they are a shop staple! You can shop my current selection here.
Now - here I am! It has been almost a year since this new adventure started and I have loved every minute. I can't believe how much I have learned and I know there is SO much more ahead. Everyday I develop my signature style a little more and am slowly finding my place in this wonder sewing community.
I am so excited to see what the next year holds!