Monday, 12 May 2014

My Inspiration Monday - Fabric Fixation

How did your business come about?
When Lilly was a year old a friend of mine (who was a fantastic sewer) showed me (Amanda) the most adorable dress she made, and fabrics which she had recently purchased. With a nudge towards the sewing machine, she taught me how to make it. I couldn't believe how simple it was, and how pretty it turned out. I was hooked, and started spending quite a bit of my time browsing Fabric & Pattern shops online and started making babies clothes and accessories. Towards the end of 2011 (after a year of spending far too much money on fabrics) I saw that Fabric Fixation was for sale.

 I needed a bit of a challenge so I made Kelly an offer and on Christmas Day 2011 she sent me an email saying it was mine. Panic then set in as what did I know about running a business? Before having Lilly I was a Primary School Teacher, so the two were complete worlds apart. So with help via email from Kelly and help from my mum (who is an accountant) I hit the ground running and haven't looked back since.

Where did the name come from?
I bought the business with the name, but those who love fabric will understand that fabric is a fixation, it is an addiction, and we all have mountains of fabric stashed away somewhere for that project we will do some day. 

Where does my inspiration come from?
The joy I get from this business is seeing the beautiful creations that my fabric gets turned in to. I love it when customers come back to me and tell me what they have made, or email pictures. I have had quite a few customers who have never sewn before. I get these lovely emails asking for all sorts of advice and guidance, then a month or two later the photos are sitting in my inbox showing off their first projects (which are usually very ambitious). I love seeing other people's success and joy at completing a project, and that is why I do what I do.

What do you love about what you do?
Choosing fabric!! Well actually, it is extremely stressful sometimes as when Reps arrive they come armed with suit cases full of everything you can imagine. I'm quite lucky because they come and visit me at home, so I sit with a cuppa (and usually Lilly too, who I have turned into a fabric addict at the age of 4) and we spend an hour or so looking at fabric collections, deciding on which ones we like, which ones customers would like, and which ones we can actually afford. I usually make a yes and maybe pile which I then go through at least three times until I can bring it all in on budget. But it's loads of fun and the Reps are just lovely.

Where do you find time to run your business?
I do most of my work at night when the girls are in bed. I make up the days orders at night and if there is any time left then I will do a little admin work, otherwise my admin work gets done during the days that Lilly is at pre-school and Bella is having a nap. Having the Fabric Reps come to my house is a key factor in making this business work as they come when I'm home and the kids aren't a problem at all. As for my sewing, well that is pretty non existent. I do it when I can which is not often enough so I settle for loving the creations that my customers make and share with me.

What's next for you?
I'm enjoying what I do, and I am enjoying the size of my business. It's doesn't take me away from being a mum which is important for me. It's a business which my family can all be part of. I have been tossing around quite a few future plans. I think if I don't go back to teaching once the girls are both at school then I will open a fabric shop, but whether that is in Christchurch or somewhere in North Canterbury where we live, who knows? 

So watch this space because you may just see some advertising for weekend craft workshops in the country side, or country Crafternoon Teas. One thing I think for certain is that the fabric will win out over teaching as who doesn't love being surrounded by beautiful fabrics every day?

Special Offer
For the month of May, Amanda is giving readers of justalittlebitcute a gift with each purchase. All you have to do is put in Just a Little Bit Cute in the comments box when purchasing from Fabric Fixation online when checking out. Easy!

You can find Fabric Fixation here...
Shop Online:

These are some of my fabric faves I will be purchasing this
week from Fabric Fixation...

Happy Sewing xx

Images used with the kind permission of Amanda van Rooy