100% Organic Cotton Fabrics
For home sewers, businesses, retailers, and anyone who gives a scrap!
Meet Monique - the force behind our European distributor Pure Fabricz! Pure Fabricz is based in The Netherlands and has been handling our EU distribution since 2009. As luck (synchronicity) would have it, Monique was looking for colorful, appealing organic cotton bedding. She was frustrated when all she could find was beautiful shades of oatmeal and granola. Undaunted she decided she could make her own bedding. Her search for wide-width organic cotton fabric lead her to Harmony Art.
It was at this exact same time our European distributor was relocating to the Ukraine and was closing her shop. Instead of simply making a set of bed sheets Monique jumped into the fabric business! (She is someone who is not afraid of a good challenge from time to time.) Monique studied at fashion school, so she knew her way around a sewing machine. Prior to this career move she had several jobs, from shop manager to executive secretary. In addition, she is a volunteer at a local animal shelter where she is the editor of their quarterly magazine and the cat photographer!
Since their start in 2009 they have grown into a webshop (Pure Coverz) and wholesaler. They recently moved their business to a new premises with enough space to grow further. Pure Coverz sells all different organic cotton items for the home; bedding, home, bath and kitchen textiles.
The fabrics are now to be found throughout Europe in shops and webshops. Pure Fabricz has helped numerous small designers create the most beautiful garments with it.
It is a pleasure and joy to work with Monique. She is thoughtful, compassionate, detail oriented and a total sweetheart. I truly am the luckiest girl in the world. We wish Pure Fabricz a wonderful new chapter in their expanded (and organized!) location. If you have any friends in Europe looking for organic fabric, please refer them to Monique.
[NOTE: Pure Fabricz has THE largest selection of Harmony Art organic fabrics!]
I think many of us struggle with this puzzle. My next post or two or 10 or more will share with you some of my experience of juggling life and home and entrepreneurship. I also plan to use this space to answer as many business questions as I feel able to, so feel free to send me your questions. Let the journey venture forth. . . thanks for coming along.
Tomorrow my husband leaves for Russia. He will be gone for 2 weeks. In the 20+ years we have been together this will be the longest and furthest we have been apart.
He is going to Russia as part of the Fort Ross/Kashaya Expedition marking the 200th anniversary of the 1st Russian settlement in the continental USA - which just happens to be in our neck of the woods. Sus (hubby) will be traveling with 24 other people to St. Petersburg, Moscow and Tot'ma (the home town of the founder of Fort Ross). As the executive director of the Gualala Art Center, Sus is representing our local art community and traveling with some descents of the "first artists" of the area. Part of the reason for this trip is for the Kashaya (native American Pomo tribe) to see and identify artifacts and artwork that was taken back to Russia when the fort was disbanded - over 150 years ago. They will be touring museums, meeting with dignitaries, participating in a parade, and doing home stays while in Tot'ma.
He was trying to figure out what gifts he should bring with him. The idea of tote bags came up and immediate we thought of the Green Bag Lady. We called Teresa and she sent us some Silent Stumps Sateen bags as well as some other solid bags that we could screen print the Gualala Arts logo on. Teresa ROCKS! In less than a week we had the screen printed bags. Tomorrow they make they voyage overseas.
I can't tell you how happy these bags make me! The trilogy of Green Bag Lady + Gualala Arts + Harmony Art = BIG LOVE.
I hope the Russians like (and use) them and I hope Sus gets home safely with lots of good stories to share.
When I was a little girl I had a blue blankie. It went everywhere with me. Eventually it disintegrated and had to be thrown out. It was a sad day in my life.
A few months ago my dear friend Teresa (aka The Green Bag Lady) sent me a VERY special gift that she and her "Bagettes" made for me. When Teresa was visiting a while back we came across some dresses and skirts from my childhood that I still had! I gave them to Teresa for her youngest daughter to wear. When she out grew them Teresa couldn't bring herself to donate my 30+ year old clothes to Goodwill so she and the Bagettes transformed them into a quilt for me. I had NO idea they were doing this. Imagine my surprise and delight when I opened the package and found this thoughtful, one-of-a-kind, re-recycled gift! I was speechless, touched, thrilled! Teresa even incorporated a hood for me so I could wear it while I worked. When we renewed our vows on Bowling Ball Beach, I wore it. When we took a road trip to LA in June, I took it and wore it. I basically am 5 years old with a blankie again. . . and lovin' it! THANK YOU TERESA and THE BAGETTES! I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.
A couple of weeks ago, we were in southern California. We visited the City of Los Angeles Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant & Japanese Tea Gardens. I kid you not, you look one direction and see this:
You look the other direction and see this:
From their web site: "The Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant (DCTWRP), was designed to produce reclaimed water that will meet the requirements of the California Department of Health Services and the County Health Department for specific uses with the priority to protect public health. The main function of the plant, however, is to relieve the overburdened portions of the wastewater collection system between the San Fernando Valley and the City's main wastewater treatment facility, the Hyperion Treatment Plant, located in Playa Del Rey.
The balance of positive and negative forces, Yin & Yang, are ever present here. Obvious in the skillful blending of traditional Japanese landscaping with modern Occidental architecture, less so in the way the Japanese concept of "WA" or harmony is used to unite the desires of the human spirit with our more mundane requirements—the exquisite beauty of a Japanese garden with the need for an abundant supply of fresh water."
Pretty cool, don't you think?
In late March I had the pleasure of speaking in Madison, Wisconsin. I had never been to Madison before and I was blown away by how lovely the city is. I thought I would share some of my favorite things about Madison:
The PEOPLE! Here are two of the three people responsible for bringing me to Madison. On the left is Misty Lohrentz, Community Events Coordinator, Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center and on the right is Carolyn Kallenborn, artist, filmmaker and professor at University of Madison, Wisconsin. (Not picture is the super talented and busy Jennifer Angus.)
Owners (and sisters) of my favorite store in Madison, Anthology (store front photo below). I am not a shopper at heart so the fact that I bought 2 things there is truly noteworthy. (An organic cotton t-shirt and a hair clip. My next post is going to be all about the hair clip!) I honestly liked just about everything in their store. They are super cute and thoughtful with what they select for their store.
Cool photo taken my husband in the Museum of Contemporary Art. The Museum is FREE. We checked out the Houdini exhibition while we were there and also had a snack at the roof top restaurant. Additionally, there was a FREE movie that night at the Museum in one of the downstairs rooms. The movie was:
If a Tree Falls. I highly recommend it. Warning: it is pretty heavy.
One of the highlights of the trip was seeing the home my mother grew up in. Here it is! Next time I get to Madison I am going to bring my mother with me! I definitely want to go back. We saw a lot but there are still plenty of things we didn't have time to experience.
Thanks Madison! We'll be back.
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?
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!
This is a first in our Meet the Team series showcasing the fabulous retailers who stock and sell our fabrics.
Last month I took a trip to the Carolinas. One of the highlights was getting to meet the people at NearSea Naturals. NearSea Naturals was founded by Winnie Culp and her daughter Tara Bloyd in 2002! NearSea Naturals is one of the original organic fabric suppliers in the USA.
To quote NearSea: "With our focus on the triple bottom line of People, Planet, and Profit, we endeavor to make those choices easier and more enjoyable by carefully selecting sustainable fabrics, yarns, notions, and goods as delightful to work with as they are beneficial to people and the planet."
In 2010, they launched their sister site: American Grown•Spun•Milled which focuses entirely on USA produced fabrics, from seed to shelf. When it come to living and breathing your convictions, NearSea Naturals tops the charts.
Why a picture of these dapper shoes? Well, these are Tim's work shoes. What? Huh? See, when Laura, Debbie and Tim get to work they take their outside shoes off and put on their work shoes. Yes, it's a bit like Mr. Roger's Neighboorhood (but in a good way!). These guys take contamination seriously! The area that houses the fabric is kept as sterile and sanitary as possible. Yes, I removed my shoes before entering the "fabric zone".
Laura does the cleaning each week and when she mops, the mop water in the "fabric zone" is perfectly clear unlike the front room where "outside shoes" are worn. She says the difference between the water is staggering. Hummmm....maybe my house needs to be a shoe free zone too?
What sets NearSea Naturals apart in my mind is their thorough thoughtfulness. They stringently assess not just the fabrics they purchase but the manner in which they are handled and treated in their care. The warehouse team (above) were so kind and lovely. I am sincerely grateful to have them on the Harmony Art team. The world is a better (and cleaner!) place with NearSea in it!
Now, how about hoping over to their Facebook page and "liking" them (American Grown•Spun•Milled has one too: https://www.facebook.com/OrganicCotton). If you have ordered from NearSea Naturals feel free to leave a comment about your experience. If you haven't yet, go check 'em out!
Founder of Harmony Art organic design.