100% Organic Cotton Fabrics
For home sewers, businesses, retailers, and anyone who gives a scrap!
On March 10th a dear friend and mentor passed away. David Moore was the President of Protected Investors of America when I first started working there back in the 90s. I worked there for 5 years and had the pleasure of working under Dave for much of that time. He was thoughtful, intuitive and taught me SO much not just about business but about life.
I thought I would take this opportunity to pass on some of the wisdom I learned from Dave.
Another thing I learned from Dave was to appreciate good food. He was a foodie before that word existed in our lexicon. If you had the pleasure of going out to lunch or dinner with Dave you knew it was going to be an experience you would remember.
When Dave retired I designed his new "un-business" cards for him. He retired to sail on his boat the Wu Wei with his son, Richard. On the back of his cards we had printed the explanation of Wu Wei:
"Wu wei doesn't try. It doesn't think about it. It just does. And when it does, it doesn't appear to do much of anything. But things get done. Wu wei is like a sixth sense - being sensitive to circumstances. One of the most convenient things about this sense is you don't have to make so many difficult decisions. Instead, you can let them make themselves."
That sums up Dave's philosophy and one I still struggle to emulate.
Even after Dave retired we stayed in touch. He was always just a phone call away with sound advice and thoughtful questions. My life was richer with him in it. His body is gone but his love and wisdom remains.
When Dave retired he gave me the paperweight I always admired on his desk and a picture that hung in his office. Both are still here with me and will always be treasured. To quote the Peace Pilgrim, he has made the "glorious transition to a freer life."
Smooth sailing, Captain!
So, how many of you have heard of Stitch Simple? Jen Madsen, the founder of this small but powerful company, liked to quilt but didn't like to prep the fabric. She found the washing, cutting and pressing tedious. She figured she couldn't be alone in this opinion. Upon further research she found no one offering ready-to-sew kits. Oh, there were kits to be purchased but none of them had prepared the fabric for you. Stitch Simple was born to fill this need.
What I personally love about Stitch Simple is that Jen is not afraid to try new things and she definitely listens to her customers. She believes (and I agree) that what sets companies like Stitch Simple apart from large fabric stores is the care and attention each customer receives. When you purchase a quilt kit from Stitch Simple, it not only includes all the pre-washed, pre-cut, pressed fabric you will need but it also includes a practice pack of pre-washed, pre-cut fabric pieces to get you warmed up. In addition the assembly instructions for some kits are for six different sized quilts and you get UNLIMITED assistance from the Stitch Simple Quilt Kit Support Line with every kit. I'd call that amazing!
In addition to their pre-washed, pre-cut and pressed quilt kits, Stitch Simple also offers a variety of prepared fabrics like fat quarters, full yards and even by the inch(!) fabric pieces all ready to sew with. They even offer custom hand rotary-cut orders - pinked edges, triangles, anything, really! If you don't see what you are looking for, ask. The flexibility and options they offer are truly mind blowing.
When it comes to being a retailer of the Harmony Art organic line, Stitch Simple offers the most comprehensive swatch sets of both our woven and knit fabrics. Stitch Simple also offers (to businesses only) our fabrics re-bolted onto those cute cardboard cores you are used to seeing in fabric stores. If you are a small business and want to carry our line but can't commit to a full 50-yard roll, Stitch Simple's reseller program might just be the answer for you.
Like what you just read? How about going to their facebook page and "liking" Stitch Simple?
Graceland Black/White is now in stock and available from NearSea Naturals, Stitch Simple Organic Cotton Plus and Pure Fabricz. I look forward to your feedback on this new muslin organic fabric and colorway. What do you think?
Have you ever wondered how designs are selected and how come a particular colorway comes to be? Well, in this particular case, you can all thank Hot Mama Gowns! The founder and designer, Deidrea, contacted me and wanted a new black and white design for her beautiful nursing gowns. She looked through our password protected library of designs and selected Graceland and asked that I color it in black and white.
By splitting the production run with me, it allowed Deidrea to get the fabric she was wanting at a lower production commitment than is normally required. It also allowed me to offer this fabric to you.
By doing more what I call "custom runs" we hope to support the needs of the businesses we serve as well as bring more color and variety to the organic cotton world as a whole. If you have a business and want to work together to bring something special to life, feel free to contact me.
I was in North Carolina in early December. I met with a GOTS certified dye house and completely "clicked" with the owners. Ya know when you meet someone and it's like you are simply on the same frequency? It was like that. We both believe strongly in doing the right thing for our customers, our environment, our communities. Neither of us believe in cutting corners or doing shady things like adding dye to get the weight of a fabric to appear heavier than it is. YES, companies do that! Eeeww.
I bring this up because when I was in the Carolinas I had a lot of time to myself in the car. I started thinking about the way things are manufactured these days. How cost has become such a driving factor. It seems to be valued over quality much of the time.
When I lecture I often recommend that people not buy cheap crap. The cost to people and planet are way more expensive (and hard to solve) than the just avoiding the items in the first place. The more I thought about it though, people aren't just selling things cheaply, they are selling CRAP and when it is cheap for some reason we let them get away with selling us crap. That's the problem. We accept crap.
Example: My mother-in-law loved her Ugg boots and wanted me to have a pair. She bought me a pair and within a couple of months the sheepskin interior was worn out and my ankle was rubbing against plastic. Ouch. Well, as I am sure you know, Uggs are NOT cheap. We called the company and were told, "No, they should not wear out that quickly. Send them back and we will send you a new pair." Done and done. Three months later, same thing happens. We call them yet again. We discover this time in talking with the customer service person that the new Uggs aren't made in Australia, they are made in . . . you guessed it . . . CHINA! I am sure they did this to save $$ but they definitely lost quality. At this point, we asked if there were ANY still made in Australia? Yes, different style and color. So I ordered those. That was over 3 years ago and I still am enjoying them and the sheepskin is still intact.
I went through the hassle of returning 2 pairs because I expected more for the money that was spent. I wondered though, would I have bothered with a pair of $20 knock off Uggs from Walmart? Probably not. In my opinion, there lies the problem with cheap crap. We don't expect it to be worth much and therefore we get what we pay for. Unfortunately, it isn't just ourselves that end up being hurt in the process; it's the factory workers that are paid poorly, the planet that is exploited, the landfills that grow enormous, the Gyres that spread. It's the vicious and unfortunate state of things.
We like to play victim. Blame mutli-national corporations but they are rich and powerful because we buy their crap and we don't hold them to any standards of quality. So I have reframed my statement. Cheap isn't the enemy, crap is. We've allowed it. 99 cent stores are all about this. Whose going to complain about something that only cost 99 cents? We should, or we shouldn't buy it. But to do both is to only exacerbate the problem.
Do you want to join my crusade to AVOID CRAP? Ok, I'll hop off my soapbox.
For the last several years I have offered a FREE ROLL of Harmony Art organic cotton fabric to the first person to send me a gratitude list to welcome the new year. The number of items on the list has to equal the number of the year we are entering (example the year 2012 requires 2,012 things to be grateful for). For the second year in a row, Tania has done it!!!!
To quote the card that accompanies this beautiful book: "Once I started writing I couldn't stop. I filled the book in about 2 weeks! I love this practice so much. Many many thanks! Seems to inspire those around me as well."
So, I contacted Tania and together we agreed that instead of ending the giveaway, she would pass it forward. SOOOOO it isn't too late!! If you want to get in on the fun . . . I suggest reading this post which goes into details about the giveaway.
Thank you Tania. I am very grateful for you . . . and all of you who have started the gratitude challenge. . . the giveaway is still on!
Founder of Harmony Art organic design.