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Sunday, October 16, 2011

: small business inspiration : BEEBOLT :

i have something super fun today!
a while back, i won this linky party!
my prize? this great sewing book AND a $25 giftcard to beebolt.

look at this cute bag i made with the fabric!! [psst ; you can buy the bag here]

so, i went online, checked out beebolt and ordered two yards of fabric.
i started emailing with kate and was super inspired by her business
[come on ; she runs a fabric shop!!]
i had the chance to interview her ; and was so impressed.

here we go : 

1) who are you? what do you do? where at? where can we find you? 
 *I am a Minneapolis based textile designer who gets her kicks out of sharing my love of fabric, sewing and quilting with others.  I have two businesses.  One is as a freelance studio and the other is a design focused e-commerce site for the home sewing and quilting enthusiast .  You can find me working out of my home studio (sometimes in my pajamas) covered with threads and surrounded by fabric, color and all kinds of strange items that inspire me.  Currently, beebolt is an e-retailer so you can find us and our incredible selection of fabrics, patterns and books on the web but stay tuned because I am considering having a brick and mortar presence in Minneapolis!
You can find me on facebook, twitter, my blog, at beebolt annnnd my design site

[gerties blog is here]
2) how did you get where you are today? how did your business start? how long did it take? 
*I started my career as a textile designer for Target and left to go freelance when I decided to start a family.  Along the way, I started designing fabric collections for the quilt world and basically fell head over heels in love with the independent sewing and quilt industry. It took me about 3 years to muster up the time, money and guts to start beebolt.

3) how to do you manage everything? family, fabric, health, ect.
*My life is really like a scrappy quilt- busy, pieced together, not exactly planned and a little unconventional but beautiful at the end of the day!  As a single working mother of 13 year old twins it is a HUGE challenge to find balance.  I have learned to ask for help and support from those around me, including my kids who scan images for the website and keep me current on social media. 

My personal fabric stash is quite vast and I consider myself a complete junkie!  I am constantly rescuing handwork from garage sales (really, how could they sell that?)  My textile collection is fairly organized in plastic bins by type and color.  I tried to label the yardage for awhile but that went by the wayside.

I am working at managing my health better than I have in the past.  Being diagnosed with celiac disease this summer has really caused me to eat more mindfully and without my running shoes, I’d probably lose my mind.

 [find this fabric here]
4) we would LOVE to know the truth ; how hard is it to run a business?! what have been your biggest struggles? your biggest accomplishments?
 *Running a business is a lot less glamorous than it looks and it is a ton of responsibility.  Very little happens without my energy going into it.  I am the IT department, the janitor, the bookkeeper and the customer service specialist in addition to being a designer. 

There is never enough time or money to execute things and it can be a little lonely running a business.  There is sometimes this little voice that creeps in and says “Who do you think you are to do all this?”  That voice has to be banished!  My passion for design, fabric and sewing fuels me to keep moving forward even when times are tough. 

My biggest accomplishment is that my kids see me pursuing my dreams and using my creativity to support our family. 

 5) where would you like to see yourself and your business in the future?
*I would like to see myself as a grandmother sewing quilts for my many grandchildren (no pressure boys) and expanding the beebolt community to connect and inspire people to tap into their own creativity!  Oh, and if you could throw in the man of my dreams that would be delightful!

 [pattern found here]

 she also had the chance to head to the sewing summit [jealous!] - you can read her write up here.

how fun was this?!?
a few months ago, i had the idea to find and interview small business owners that really inspire me, and kate was my very first!
doesnt she totally make you wanna drop what youre doing and sew something?!

show her some love ; and remember, if you are looking to buy some fabric for holiday gifts, support local, small businesses!