Today, I have an interview with Adrianne from ilovefabric.com (and a great giveaway below!) I Love Fabric (ilovefabric) specializes in fresh, contemporary fabrics from Art Gallery, Robert Kaufman, Moda and Free Spirit. Since the shop is so new, and has a unique back story, we thought it would be fun to do this “interview style”.
Those of you who have been following Diary of a Quilter and other quilting blogs over the years (here’s what the blog looked like on Aug 2010) are probably also long time admirers of Pink Chalk. We were all sad when Pink Chalk decided to stop selling fabric last year, but then super excited when Kathy Mack announced she was passing the Pink Chalk torch to Adrianne Ove, also known as Little Bluebell. I first me Adrianne at Quilt Market a few years ago. I knew from following her that she was talented, but I was also struck by how genuine and kind she is. I’m so excited for this new venture!
Amy: Adrianne, with all the economic challenges we have seen with both online and local quilt shops, why did you decide to jump in and “re-open” Pink Chalk?
Adrianne: I do have admit that I had a lot of skepticism at first because so many of my favorite shops were going out of business. I always felt that the online fabric shopping experience was still missing that “happy dance” feeling you get when you can see and touch fabric up close. My idea was not to just re-open Pink Chalk, but to create a shop with rich imagery that was a joy to browse. I get a lot of ideas for projects looking at fabric (in person or online) and I wanted to have a shop that presented collections, colors and bundles in an inspiring way.
Amy: Is this why you changed the name from Pink Chalk to ilovefabric?
Adrianne: There are a few reasons I did that. It was my idea to change the name. Kathy was supportive of us continuing as Pink Chalk Fabric. In fact, I shared my vision for the business with Kathy because I wanted her to be comfortable with the future legacy of the store she had started. I loved the Pink Chalk brand and I was an early and frequent customer. I loved everything about it – the colors, the logo, the blog and the bird! What I wanted as a customer was to experience the joy of shopping for fabric online. The perfect name that captures that joy was “ilovefabric.” If you look at our new logo, you will see that we pay homage to Pink Chalk with the colors we use, the lettering, and we happily kept the bird. We know where we have been, and where we are going, and we’re excited! I have been continuing my favorite Pink Chalk feature, “What Goes with What,” and will be doing more tutorials and other engaging activities with our community.
Amy: I know a lot of quilters dream about owning their own fabric shop. (I’ve worked in a fabric shop and I know how much work it is!) Now that you have one, is it everything you ever dreamed of?
Adrianne: (Big laugh) Oh, yes! It’s exciting to go to work every morning knowing I have a building full of fabric waiting for me. It IS also a lot of work, more than you might think, and just a small portion of that is buying fabric. I meet with the fabric manufacturers, update the website, fabric inventory, and of course shipping our customer’s orders daily. My favorite part so far is working with individual customers. I love it when someone comes to me with an idea, but needs help picking out fabric, or they know some of the fabrics they want, but would like a few more for their project. That’s when I get to put on my designer/quilter hat on and start pulling bolts of fabric, take photos, and send back some ideas. The next thing I know, half my day is gone providing “customer service,” but really, I’m just having fun!
Amy: How large is the business today?
Adrianne: I’m the only full-time employee right now, but my husband my kids – Lucas (10) and Hannah (8) help too. Here is a video they made of us busy at the shop. We had just gotten our shipment of all 303 Kona cottons and we were organizing the new bolts on the shelves. It’s one of my favorite memories from when we were setting up the shop.
We’ve had a great first few months since we re-opened with plans to grow already. The shop is evolving as we continue to make small changes until it’s perfect. The shop’s personality is so important to me because I feel like it’s an extension of my designer spirit. I want you to see all the possibilities in our custom bundles and color coordinates just like I do in my mind’s eye. My goal is to design a beautiful, organized and inspirational shop that is fun to visit. Once we get the structure in place, we will start hiring staff and expanding the inventory.
Amy: You mentioned ‘designer spirit.’ You are a pattern designer, too?
Adrianne: I guess you can say I’m creative person in general! If it’s creative or crafty, I love it. And yes, I do have a few Little Bluebell patterns that I’ve published. I love it when other quilters send me photos of their finished quilts using my patterns. Every email motivates me to come up with a new pattern!
Amy: So what does the future look like for ilovefabric?
Adrianne: Well, we will continue to focus on modern fabric, but I also want to build on the community of sewing and inspiration that Kathy started with Pink Chalk. Let’s keep the ideas flowing. It’s exciting to share and be a part of the larger sewing community. I love participating in quilt-alongs and block swaps, or following a tutorial and chatting with other quilters. We’re going to do more of that and make it super easy for everyone to join.
We also have quite a few talented customers who have sent in photos of their amazing work, but they aren’t bloggers or designers. I think their work should be seen! I want to create virtual showcases and host contests to highlight the amazing creative work of the ilovefabric community.
Lastly, I want to do more with the greater online quilting community, such as with your readers. We all have a lot of creative energy that’s contagious and the more we interact, the more fun it is for everyone. That’s why I want to start with a great giveaway.
Amy: I totally agree on the contagious creative energy from the quilting community. I’m so excited to watch your inspire, capture, and share that energy. Thanks again for chatting with me today, Adrianne! And now let’s hear about this giveaway!
Adrianne: We are giving away a fat quarter bundle of Curious Dream by Angela Pingel for Windham Fabrics. This fabric won’t be available for purchase until December. I brought home a bundle from Quilt Market especially for you guys!
Woohoo! I’ve been so excited to see this new collection by Angela. Here’s a sneak peak of the prints in this collection.
To enter to win this Fat Quarter bundle, check out the ilovefabric website and sign up for their newsletter. Come back here and leave a comment telling me you’ve done it. I’ll pick a winner from the comments on Monday, November 14.
Thanks again Adrianne!
WINNER: DEBRA GRANTHAM November 10, 2016 at 3:53 am
I subscribed and took a look around your store. Your idea of what goes with what is great! I always look at those as I tend you get stuck when it comes to choosing fabrics. When I am Stuck I seem to waste valuable sewing time. Thank you!