I believe it was around the end of July when Steve and I started discussing fabric design. We were talking about how people would probably really like fabrics featuring their city or town, especially if it's a small town that doesn't usually get a lot of notice.
As I am from a small town and also currently have merchandise for sale in another small town, this idea was especially intriguing to me. I started doing sketches and learning how to use Inkscape and, before I knew it, I was ready to order some samples.
We ordered from Spoonflower and I can't say enough good things about them. They have ten different fabric types to choose from. So far, I've ordered the cotton-linen canvas for tote bags and the organic jersey knit for scarves. Both are fantastic. My orders (I think I placed four last month) have all arrived several days earlier than expected. When I email with questions, they are answered immediately. And I love that Spoonflower is a small business, based right here in North Carolina, that cares about using natural dyes.
So far, I have designed two patterns for Davidson, NC, three patterns for Charlotte, NC and four patterns for Blacksburg, VA. The Davidson and Charlotte totes are in retail stores only right now, although I will happily take orders for them as well. The Blacksburg totes will be available in my Etsy shop in the very near future.
I've already sold out of this design and am expecting more fabric early next week to make more. It is interesting to see which designs are the most popular and I think that information will be super handy as we design more fabric.
I've talked with a few people who are planning to order several Blacksburg totes to give as Christmas gifts and I love the idea! What fun to give someone a bag made with completely original fabric featuring a place that is dear to them.
In fact, I love the idea so much that I am hoping to design fabric for more locations this fall. But I need ideas! If you're interested in a local tote for yourself or for gifts, let me know what you'd like to see and we can work together on the specifics.
After all the excitement of last weekend, I am super thankful for a weekend at home. We'll be celebrating Steve's birthday and I can hardly wait for the fun to begin!