100% Organic Cotton Fabrics
For home sewers, businesses, retailers, and anyone who gives a scrap!
Normally I start the year with my annual gratitude challenge but this year I am a little behind. However, I believe it is NEVER to late to be grateful so here we go:
Be the first person to send me a list of 2,017 thoughtful things you are thankful for and win a FREE roll of organic cotton fabric. The fine print: the free roll must be chosen from my "limited release" fabrics (scroll down for list) and although the entire roll (approx. 50 yards) is FREE, the recipient is responsible for the shipping (UPS ground) charges. You are only eligible to win this giveaway one time.
What are YOU grateful for?
If you want to read more you can look at some of our past posts/winners here: 2015, 2013 and 2012.
I'm happy to say Whispering Grass is back and in a new colorway. This time it's orchid and comes with a coordinating solid Orchid color. Of course I love all of my fabrics but this one is nearer and dearer to me than any other. Why? Well, it is one of the first organic cotton fabrics we ever printed. Back in 2005, our first print run was done in South Carolina and we printed 3 designs: Whispering Grass (aqua), Sweet Jane (pink) and Eyes of the World.
My husband and I flew to South Carolina to oversee and take some film footage of the printing. I remember it was SUPER hot and humid at the plant. I was young and naive. My husband still had long hair and so did I.
I remember being stunned by the size of the machinery. Pictured above is just ONE part of the process. I remember the colorist was a gem. The plant manager. . . a good ole boy. I'm sad to report this plant and the second USA printer we used have closed down. This print run pre-dated GOTS. When we did this printing we were truly the first company to bring color and design to organic fabrics and offer it to home sewers and small businesses. Now, I can't keep track of all the new organic fabric lines there are so many. Now, we have GOTS which keeps the standards high and consistent. Now, we have an Orchid colorway of THE original Harmony Art design. I hope you enjoy it. It's been some journey. . . and so it continues. . .
It was September 8th, 2006 when our first rolls arrived at this warehouse in South Carolina. For the last 7+ years Peggy has been inventorying and shipping Harmony Art's organic fabric to our customers.
What a godsend she has been. Her attention to detail, quick turn around and responsiveness have been truly outstanding. She has been a joy to work with. I have had plenty of challenges creating and producing organic fabrics over the years but I can honestly say NONE of those challenges were ever with my warehouse. I believe Peggy is responsible for my ability to write that. The older you get the more you value and respect the people in your life you can count on.
Late last year the warehouse was sold to a new owner. They were smart enough to keep Peggy on but sadly they wanted my space for another customer and so the story goes. We are grateful to have found a new location in the northeastern part of the country (Connecticut to be exact) to hold and ship our fabric.
Today our organic fabric was ALL loaded into a truck for its journey northward.
I am excited and sad about the move. I know with any changes there are challenges to overcome but I am looking forward to a new relationship with a new warehouse. Peggy has left some big shoes to fill.
In the words of Dr. Seuss:
“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”
I'm smiling, Peggy. I wish you a wonderful rest of the year! You deserve a great one and you will always be an important part of the Harmony Art story.
No longer forward nor behind
I am offering the Gratitude Challenge again this year! Be the first person to send me a list of 2,014 thoughtful things you are thankful for and win a FREE roll of organic cotton fabric. The fine print: the free roll must be chosen from my "limited release" fabrics (scroll down for list) and although the entire roll (approx. 50 yards) is FREE, the recipient is responsible for the shipping (UPS ground) charges. You are only eligible to win this giveaway one time.
If you want to read more you can look at a couple of our past posts/winners here: 2013 and 2012.
In late May I received a call from my friend Cara. "We're calling your from REI. Wanna backpack the Appalachian Trail with me and Lorrie next month?" My response was silence. Not what Cara expected from her most-likely-to-be-hiking friend. I'd backpacked -- once. Up Half Dome in Yosemite. It was hard. very hard. I wouldn't call it fun. That was one night. They were proposing 4 nights and 5 days. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE LOVE LOVE hiking. It's where and when I feel the most sane but hauling everything you need to live changes the experience entirely. That much I did know. After unsuccessfully trying to convince the sisters to opt for camping + day hiking I relented, and against my better judgement and my husband's warning ("What are you nuts? You hated it. You swore you'd never backpack again.") I bought a plane ticket. It was arranged. They would drive from Texas and meet me at my aunt's house outside of Atlanta. We would hike the southern most part of the A.T.
Lorrie was the mastermind. She sent us itineraries, packing lists and links to various sites to purchase hiking poles and the like. I assumed she had done this before. It wasn't until we were on the trail that I learned this would be her first time backpacking and that I with my 1 night some almost 10 years ago was the most experienced. shudder.
In preparation I hiked our local trails slowing adding weight to my pack. 10lbs. -- no problem. I could even still keep up with my Saturday hiking group (they have a reputation for being ruthlessly fast). As the pack got heavier my fear grew stronger. I am not sure I can do this! When the pack fully loaded weigted close to 40lbs, I may have cried. I can't do this! I scaled everything down. Only the bare minimum. One long sleeve shirt, one short sleeve shirt, one pair of pants, etc. I was ruthless. Lorrie would bring the stove and water purifier, Cara the tent, and me the food. I purchased the 5-day meal combo. It weighted 10lbs! With water, food, sleeping bag, clothes, etc. I got my pack down to 35lbs and I boarded United flight 1446 SFO to ATL (via Chicago). It took 20 hours - but that's a whole other story.
Before departing I watched this video.
At minute 3:29: "In our avoidance of discomfort, we may become more uncomfortable." That struck a cord with me and echoed through my head. . .
"The more you need to be comfortable, the more likely you are to be uncomfortable." Nowhere is this more easily experienced than when you are backpacking. However, the more I have considered this more I have come to believe that this is not just trail wisdom. It's much, much bigger than that.
"The more you need to be happy. The more likely you are to be unhappy."
More what? Money, fame, friends, sales, likes on facebook, comments on your blog, shoes, fine wine, fancy cars, bigger house, new clothes, remolded kitchen, praise, vacation time -- the list is endless.
The trail strips everything away. You are down to basics: water, food, shelter. Your most important possessions are your feet and knees. Wants are simple. Basic. Then you return. Back to reality and hot showers, fresh vegetables, a bed. They take on a more sacred role. It's easy to fall into wants disguised as needs. Our culture and economy is based on this. . . but for now (and hopefully always) . . .
The trail lesson continues to ring in my head. Happy is here. NOW. :)
For years we have been do our annual gratitude challenge which offers a FULL ROLL of limited release Harmony Art organic fabric to the first person to submit their gratitude list. (FULL DETAILS HERE) It took until November of 2010 for the first winner (Tania) to come forward. It took until March of 2012 for our next winner (Terri) to emerge. This year in serious record time Mary & friends completed the list and selected Silent Stumps Sateen for their roll (pictured above).
For the last few nights I have read 100 items each night after dinner. What fun. Thank you Mary. I hope you enjoy the fabric!
If you are still working on your list, don't stop! There is a good chance we will be offering the challenge again next year.
Since December 1999, we (husband and I) have been marking every new year with a gratitude list. Our challenge is to create a list of things we are grateful for that equals the year we are entering. The list must be completed by midnight on Dec. 31st. So, this year we came up with 2,013 things we are thankful for.
Over the years, the challenge has morphed and changed. It went from a one night marathon event to a list we begin on Thanksgiving each year. Also, my dear friend Mary Sue has become a VERY important contributor to the list and we electronically pass the list back and forth until we collectively meet our goal. This year we were so in to it we ended the year with more - over 2,200 items!
If you have been following my blog closely, you may have seen that for the last six years I have offered a FREE ROLL of fabric to the first person to send me a gratitude list equaling the current year. I have not imposed a due date but have offered it simply to the first person to complete and share their list with me. In six years, I have had two winners. On November 16, 2010, Tania completed her list of 2,010 things she was grateful for and selected as her FREE ROLL our Solstice printed interlock. In March 5, 2012, Tania did it again! We decided that instead of ending the giveaway, she would pass it forward. So the new rule was created - You are only eligible to receive a FREE ROLL of fabric once but you are welcome to participate in the gratitude list every year. On March 7, 2012 a new winner completed the list. Terri D. completed her list of 2,012 to be grateful for an earned 50 yards of limited release fabric.
I am offering the Gratitude Challenge again this year! Be the first person to send me a list of 2,013 thoughtful things you are thankful for and win a FREE roll of organic cotton fabric. The fine print: the free roll must be chosen from my "limited release" fabrics (scroll down for list) and although the entire roll (approx. 50 yards) is FREE, the recipient is responsible for the shipping (UPS ground) charges. You are only eligible to win this giveaway one time.
I am grateful for the people who read this blog and for any entries I may receive.
"All you need is ignorance and confidence and the success is sure."
- Mark Twain
I have often said I had no business going into business. My background (education) is in Human Services (aka social work) and although I had a successful career designing textiles before launching Harmony Art organic design, I had zero business training. When I say zero, I mean zero. I did not take one business class in college.
What I did have was the two things noted above: ignorance and confidence. I had NO idea what I was getting into. I actually think in some strange way not knowing is helpful. You can't get freaked out by things you haven't thought about. You simply face them as they arrive at your doorstep.
With this series of blog posts I plan to examine some of the right moves and some of the wrong ones I have made. For the record, I refer to my costly mistakes as my personal investment in my MBA (the hard way). Please feel free to comment or email me with your own reactions, questions or struggles. What I do know is that we are not alone no matter how it may feel that way at times.
This week my friend Elaine posted on Facebook:
Thinking of you today, Harmony - I'm wearing my favorite Eyes of the World skirt for a green Monday.
This got us talking about creating a Green Monday Movement. What if each of us made a conscious effort to do something "green" every Monday? It could be wearing organic cotton, remembering your fabric bag when you go shopping, biking to work, eating an organic meal, planting a seed, recycling, up-cycling, picking up a piece of trash, taking public transit . . . the possibilities are endless!
I am not personally much into Twitter, but Elaine suggested we start a #GreenMonday hashtag (is that the right word?) and see if we can take this concept viral! Do you think we can do it? Let's try!!!
I encourage you to post pictures or comment on the Harmony Art facebook page next Monday (September 26th) and every Monday after that about what you did on "Green Monday". Or you can add a comment on this blog too. Feel free to spread the word on Twitter, your own facebook page or blog . . . and let's see what happens! If nothing else, it will be fun for the few of us who take the call to action and perhaps, just perhaps it will catch on.
To quote Elaine again, "Mondays have been blue for too long!"
Founder of Harmony Art organic design.