I know, quit complaining, right? I mean seriously, how much can you possibly stand to hear me moan and groan about my nervous stomach and anxiety over this whole process of trying to become a textile designer. This has been a long and trying journey so far. OK…so here’s the “story” of my experience and interviews at Quilt Market.
The night before day one, I could not get to sleep. If you were following me on Twitter, you know, I was up way late, up way early and was losing my mind. Not to mention the fact that I’m still nursing my baby, who I left at home, and who I have never been away from for more than a few hours. Heart wrenching. A few tears were shed.
Once I got to market the next morning, within minutes I had my first appointment. And it went well. I got great feedback and was asked to resubmit in a different format and add some things to show my line in finished product within the next 10 days. I had two other companies who liked me and we had a really great connection. Crossing my fingers. I had two complete rejections which was ok. They said, and it’s true, that the market is getting saturated with designers. Scrapbookers and graphic designers – everybody is designing for fabrics and it’s just very competitive right now. They both told me that before they even looked at my designs and then looked and gave me advice and feedback. That was very nice.
In the midst of the interviews, I got to visit with some people who have been mentoring me through this process as well as some new friends. I had the best time meeting Kay Whitt of Serendipity Studios. She is just without a doubt the sweetest thing ever! We had talked before market about intellectual attorneys via email. She was wearing this super stylish coat! I love it! I bought the pattern to try making one for myself. I told Kay it will be cold weather again before I get it done! I think Kay and I could have talked all day about dust bunnies in our machines, top stitching, button holes and dishonest people. Super wonderful person!
Amy Butler is a “neighbor” of mine. She lives a few towns over from me. I have met her once before and I was absolutely shocked that when I walked over to her booth she greeted me with, “Hi Trish! You made it here! So good to see you!”. One time I met her and she remembered my name, remembered the thank you card I had sent her for helping me out, wow! I hope I can have a memory like that! I mean, she is one busy person so that’s pretty impressive. No doubt, one of the reasons why she is so well liked. Not only does she make amazing things but she is one heck of wonderful people person. So very warm and just nice, nice, nice. One of the things I’m trying to push with my line is for it to be green. And Amy and I had a nice conversation about organic cottons and dyes, and recycled materials and where the demand currently is. SO, listen up…if you are someone who thinks it’s important for us to support farming in the US, support organics, support sustainable business practices – you need to let the textile companies know that you want and will pay for organic cottons. It would be great to see there be a cry for green products in this industry!
(Are you sick of seeing photos of me yet? Sorry, my first market - playing major tourist!) Patty Young had a colorful little booth and her handy husband was with her over in the Michael Miller area. You gotta check out her blog and read about what happened before she got to market. Holy moly! But as you can see, her booth looked fabulous. And her new sewing patterns – they are really cute.
Lila Tueller, she started all of this! Oh, she may not remember BUT Lila was kind enough to browse my portfolio last fall and sent me the nicest, longest e-mail about how I needed to take my work to the next level and that I had really great quality work. She gave me all kinds of tidbits of advice that got me started on my portfolio. So when I met Lila finally in person, she could not have been nicer. She made my day because she was just gushing over my portfolio and made me feel so good on a day when I was feeling incredibly nervous and doubtful.
And her niece Chelsea,
you’ve heard me say before, amazingly easy patterns! Looking for something cute to make, easy – I mean I made my girls Easter dresses from her Lily pattern in about 3 hours.
All in all, a great trip. I took that first leap. I made all the connections. I networked. And now I have 3 great leads I’m working on. Within a month, I should either know if I’m getting my own line now or if I have to try again later. I’ll keep ya posted!
I can say, my stomach feels much better now. I got so many emails and voicemails from family and friends who said they were praying for me while I was at market and I have no words to tell you how much I appreciate that.
I was asked to provide a giveaway for a website called TryHandmade – way cool! Hop over and give them a peek and subscribe to their newsletter. This country is packed with fantastically talented women!
I may be slow to post for the next few weeks…drawings to complete, orders to go out, shows to prep for, kids to take care of, and oh yeah, I actually have a “real job” too! So what’s new with you? Drop me a line and let me know what you have going on in your sewing room!