#67 Shoot for the Moon! Busy busy!

Holidays and personal stuff!

Okay – so this is a notable year. This is the first year in over 25 years that my Christmas cards have ever been later than the day after Thanksgiving! Also the first time ever my tree was not up with house decorated before Dec 1!!! That is how busy I have been! Zebra Patterns is really taking off big time. I think with such an amazing market in Houston, as well as my book – Blocks Across America being released last week and just plain word of mouth and my catalog – sales have been increasing tremendously! I am writing a second book now.  My kids are getting older – next year we will have two in High school and our oldest is at U Md. I think I have set up pretty well to not be feeling any empty nest syndrome! In fact we might need them to move sooner so we can store patterns in their rooms! lol.

In the Pipeline

I have developed a whole new Basket Blooms block of the month pictured a few entries ago. I have printed over 300 copies to start with for the program. Used to be that I would print 12-24 patterns and now I am printing in the hundreds! Yikes! Today I finalized plans to be picked up by Checker Distribution. They are one of the largest distributers in the US for sewing and quilting. I am also working with a few National catalogs and with some other really cool industry companies with great surprises to come! Really cool surprises!!!  I have a concept for my third book – I think it will be my baby jungle animals. That is all still coming together but i will let you know when it all firms up.

 

The Business

Now with my first book published by C&T publishing – an amazing company – how did it all go? Everything was exactly on time! I met all my deadlines and they met all of theirs and I am sitting here at my computer with a case of published books! Crazy! I have been booking many local book signings and I have many guild lectures and workshops planned. I am (thus far) very happy with choosing the publishing through a known company over self publishing. I am sure I ended up with a much better end product. I have taken copious notes on how to improve and what was done efficiently – but so far so good.

I would say I have completed my 5 year plan and then some! So what is my next ventures? Short term I am gearing up for pattern sales. The days of having 24 patterns in stock seems like it might not be adequate. I am going to be working on increasing inventory and continuing to create stamps and new and exciting products.

I  have a baby bee in my bonnet about the possibility of opening a design studio/small quilt shop locally in Columbia as we have no local Columbia quilt shops any longer. I can imagine a smaller shop with batiks and the best threads and fusibles on the market. Who knows if this will come to pass – but it is good to put the concept out in the universe and see what happens! I may be designing my own line of fabric soon – with a great company – so I will let you know what happens there as well.

I have a wonderful lady – Patti Rusk who has turned into a studio assistant of sorts. It has been so great having another bright creative quilter around to bounce ideas off of. My boys are happy about that too! They were my exclusive sounding board! I have also met an amazing lady in Delaware who sews like nobodies business – Mindy Williams who I am working on samples with for my next book. Mindy is also great for feedback and creativity. Her husband Rick is incredibly creative as well!

I have been working VERY VERY Hard. It is all paying off but it has been overwhelming at times. I have to tell you that it is thrilling learning so much from different people and companies! I feel I am setting a good example for my children about how to shoot for the moon and pursue a dream. I have been doing a ton of research on better and more cost effective printing and folding avenues for my patterns. With the increased volume comes the opportunity to get much better pricing. Shopping and procurement practices are all so different with the internet! When I worked as an art director for several large corporations I would have to see a rep or travel to a store to purchase supplies. Now everything is available on my ipad 24-7. It is really great!

Happy Holidays to everyone! Be safe and enjoy your family and friends and then get sewing!

Debra

 

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