Saturday, August 30, 2008

Featured Auction of the day..

Sweet Chili Designs has this cute fairytale knit set available, just click on the picture to go to the auction.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Designers Questions...Answered

Does the amount you get per custom define your design style, or does your design stlye define the amount you get per custom?

In other words, do you feel free to create what ever strikes you, or are you held back because of the price of materials, time it takes to create the set, etc., and you feel you won't get that back in the selling price? Are you always creating new designs, or are you sticking with what is selling for you?

Most the designers in the group feel free to create what they want. They don't really go on a budget for materials, and they don't hold back much on the time it will take to add a certain element to a design. Although, what was brought up was they will skip some pieces if they don't feel it will bring up the value of the set. For example, they might skip making matching leggings, since the end selling price might not be effected that much. Some of them design around trends, and would like to totally do a design that reflects their style.

Buyers Questions...Answered

If you could tell the designers to do one thing, what would it be?

Get your sets out ON TIME! Don't make the buyer email you for shipping info. We don't like to do this! Keep communication open...meaning keep in touch with the buyer at least once when payment and measurements are received, and again when the item has shipped. If you are going to be late, please give an ETA, and please send us an email letting us know you are going to be late. Answer all the customers emails in a timely manner.

Here is what was said by buyers in the group:

"Please treat your buyers how you would want to be treated if you were the buyer in the transaction"

"I would tell anyone in business to try to enjoy their work and try to find something they love and would be proud of."

"You don't have to be chatty, but do answer all emails with appreciation of the fact that this is your customer you're talking to, and to her the outfit you're making for her is the only important one."

Do you prefer to buy sets or single items?

All of us agreed we like to bid on sets. If we can see our child wearing a single item, such as an appliqued top, with something already in our childs wardrobe, then we will bid, but in general we like to get the whole outfit in one auction. We also don't mind buying seperates on Etsy, because of the BIN feature we know we will get all the pieces we want.

Featured Auction Of The Day

Todays feature is this darling Fall ruffle set from ServaneBarrau.

Brassy Apple Give Away Winner...

Thanks to everyone for the nice comments on my interview and to the Boutique Buyers blog for the chance to be interviewed and "meet" so many fun new bloggers!
By random number generator we've selected a winner for the Girls DIY kit!.........drumroll please...................Congratulations to Christy!
Christy said...
Great Interview! Great giveaway too - love your jeans!
Please email me at: with your shipping address and I will get this out next week! thanks again to everyone who played!


Thursday, August 28, 2008

PishPosh interview

Cute Name!!Where do you sell? On Etsy and a little locally.

Have you ever sold anywhere else? In the Beehive Co-op, Atlanta, GA. Great shop if you are ever near!

Ever sell on ebay, if not will you? No I haven't. I may try my hand at it one day, but for right now I love being in the Etsy world.

When did you get started? I used to send my Mother patterns for little girl's clothing that I liked, and she would make them for me. Until one day, in March of 2004, I cracked open my first pattern...and haven't quit since.

Did you have a career before this? I have had LOTS of careers before this (giggle). Let's see, I was a nanny, I was a US Marine. I worked in the accounts payable dept. for a large, family owned business in Atlanta. I was an assistant manager for The Limited for about a year. And I was a hairdresser back in the 80's and early 90's.

Have you always been interested in design, any schooling? Nope, no schooling. Yes, I have always loved design. I have doodled many ideas on paper. I have had an obsession with fabrics for about 20 years now. It started with decorating. Folks have often told me I had a knack for putting fabrics together. Now I do it with little girl's wardrobe's in mind.

Any advice to young girls who want to become designers? DON'T WAIT! Just jump in, the water is warm! Start with a pattern or two - even if you have to put two (or three or more) patterns together to help get the design you want, do it. Then you will begin to start making your own and you will never stop. Who knows, it may lead you into designing fabrics!

How do you get your name out there? Do you advertise or spend a lot of time blogging? Gosh, right now it's just listing through Etsy and my clients. People see my designs on other children and ask "Where did you get that dress?". My blog has only been up and running for 24 hours, so I guess that wouldn't count :).

What makes your designs stand out? Definitely the fabrics.

You did really well last season with that fabulous photo, why do you think that took off the way it did? I guess that style of photography is what is popping right now.

What do you want our readers to know about you? I will just take this right off my blog: I LOVE Mexican food and hate gossip. I get brutal headaches if I eat peanuts. I drive the speed limit (weird hu?) I sing in my church. I chew ice (bad, I know.) I drink coffee to the taste level of cake batter. I don't like crowds. My sister can make me laugh harder than anyone. I always wear my hair up in a twist or ponytail....(I don't even know why I wear it long). My husband and 4 children are my engine. Clothing design is my thrill. And my faith is my reason.

What is something special or a favorite of yours? Chocolate covered pretzels.

Are you part of any online boutique groups? No, I am not.

I love your photos, do you take your own, if so what kind of camera do you use and are you self taught? Oh gosh. The good photos were taken by a photographer by the name of Jennifer Anderson in VA. The "not so good" ones are taken in my studio, in a little corner, and I use a Nikon D40. I am self taught and in great need of lessons!

Inspiration? Giving, giving and more giving. And by folks with a strong faith. I really want to be like that when I grow-up. I am working on it.

Hobbies? Don't laugh...organizing. I organize my studio about twice a week. And my kid's closets. It feels SO good when it's done! I like wrapping presents too, isn't that funny? (You can laugh at that one.) When I know I am giving someone a gift, I think..."Oh, what can do different?" Even if it's for my kid's friends. I like to read. I used to love to run, but don't anymore. But I should (laugh.) Dinner and a movie with my shoog (my husband). And sewing for the caboose.

Married, children? YES! Married to Adam (AO) and we have 4 children...Andrew 14, Emily 13, Isabel 6 and our little China doll Molli who is 3.

Favorite ebay or etsy sellers? Gosh, I am not on eBay a whole lot but I do order fabric from there at times. I love working with Chakra and ShuShu Style. I have LOADS of Etsy designers that I love but here are four..."Sky Girl Style" - she makes the cutest lil' booties for babies! "My Little Chickadees" - you MUST check out her necklaces!! We own a couple. "Little Tile Gnomes" - CUTE tiles for coasters! "Enna Design Shop" - just cute little stuff. "Apple Blossom Baby" - great baby/child gifts!

What can we expect from you this fall? It's a secret :) Kidding. Peasant,
peasant and more peasant.

How are you leaving the world a better place? Teaching my kids to anchor deep. And that they don't have to finish EVERYTHING on their plates :) Give to the poor, don't eat for them!

Thank you so much! This was fun!!
You can find Pish Posh Girls at:

Ending in less than 24 hours


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Designers Questions...Answered

Here are the questions that were proposed to the designers in the group:

Have you ever blocked a bidder before?

What would a buyer have to do to get on your blocked list?

It was about 50/50 in our group. Things that would get a bidder blocked are, non-payment, being excessively rude, bidders always wanting favors from the designers, buyers that have a reputation for scamming or ripping sellers off. These individuals would get blocked, even if the designer has never sold to them, but has heard about them through friends and groups.

How do you become a part of a design group? Do you have to be an eBay seller. I've been really successful sewing for a local boutique. I'm looking for a way to branch out.

Here is what was said in the group:

"I think each group has a different philosophy on this. There are design groups for people new to eBay custom boutique and/or new to sewing all the way to design groups who will only take on designers who have been with eBay for x amount of time and have been listing and selling consistently. It might be a good idea for someone new to this venue to join a larger board like CBD and check out their groups thread. This could give them the info they are looking for. They may even decide not to join a group at all."

"For the group questions I agree with joining a group board first if you are new. Also maybe trying a launch group instead of a design group where there aren't as many guidelines. "

"As far as the group question, I think not to worry about it to start off with. I think best just to concentrate on yourself when you are just starting out on eBay, the rest will follow. Otherwise I guess the thing to do is to look around, figure out who the groups are and then asq a few members to ask about applying???"

Buyers Questions...Answered

Here are some questions that were asked in the group. More to come Friday!

My buyer just emailed to say she loves my new set, but in so many words, she won't bid on it because she knows who's winning it. She didn't mean it in a bad way, more like she really likes the other person and doesn't want to bid against her. Do other buyers do this also?

This really varies depending on the buyer. In our group, we have about 5 experienced buyers, who have been doing this for a long time. When we were in certain buyers groups, sure, we didn't want to outbid our friends. Now, we see it as all is fair in bidding, and we go ahead and bid regardless. So to answer the question, the buyers in our group do bid against each other.

Here is what was said in the group:

I used to have a hard time bidding against maybe a 1/2 dozen buyers I am friendly with, but not anymore. I think lots of buyers in eBay groups feel this way when they initially know people and like them, but most everyone gets past it because if we frankly want the set we will bid unless we know we will get designers to agree to make more later."

"There are some people who place such crazy (I should say appreciative) bids that I would hesitate to keep bidding because I know I will never outbid them if they really want it"

Would you let a designer know you weren't pleased with a set?

The overall consensus was it would depend on how much we paid for it. Also, it depends on what is wrong with it. If it was a quality issue, or a sizing issue, then yes, we would say something. If it is an issue where we don't like the fabric close up, or maybe we didn't end up liking the pattern, etc., then no, that is our fault. No one wants to be known as a "problem customer", but we feel we pay a good amount for these sets, and we want them to be well constructed and fit our children properly.

Has a designer ever done anything in the past that really blew you away? If so, what was it?

We couldn't figure out if this was in a good or bad way, LOL. But in a good way, yes, we are constintley amazed at all the talent out there! Some designers have sent us some very nice extras that exceed out expectations. Those are obviously appreciated, but in no means necessary to recieve our business. Even just a thank you note brings a smile to our faces. Also, a certain designer was mentioned for her overwhelming talent...Nat from SmallSomething.

If I commission a designer to make something that is "my design", basically, I am only able to verbally express what I want, LOL, and it arrives, I have been blown away thinking, "This is exactly as I pictured it".

Do you have a monthly budget for buying customs or do you impulse shop?

Ummm, we basically impulse shop. I think we all have some sort of limit, but we just bid/buy when we see something we love.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Rave Reviews For August

The month is almost over, can you believe it is almost time for school to start? Every month the buyers in the blog group are going to share some recent customs we have received. These are going to be sellers we would recommend to other buyers. The below designers have met and exceeded our expectations, as far as quality, turn-around time, and customer service.





Who's At The Top...$$$

1. BowzNStuff_Boutique ~ "Fall Feliz Dress" ~ MeliMelo, Ateam, M2Minc

2. BowzNStuff_Boutique ~ "Fabrications Owl Set" ~ MeliMelo, Ateam, M2Minc

3. BowzNStuff_Boutique ~ "Witch Costume" ~ MeliMelo, ATeam, M2Minc

4. ServaneBarrau ~ "Cat In The Hat" ~ MeliMelo

5. ServaneBarrau ~ "Small World" ~ MeliMelo

Featured Auction of the day...

My daughter's best friend is in love with the Wizard of Oz. This set is perfect for the Oz lover in your life. This set from The Charmed Child is filled with details. Just click on the picture to go to the auction.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Favorite Items Of The Week





Featured Auction Of The Day

Todays feature is this gorgeous, stunning, beautiful dress set from Jade of Too_Lovely_Designs. The fabrics and color combos really do put me in awe every time I look at this auction. Total eye candy, and what an adorable little model! Great job Jade!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Designers Questions...Answered

Do you ever do custom orders for your buyers? Such as, you will let a buyer pick out the fabric, design style, etc? Why or why not? Do you usually charge more for these types of sets, or the going rate that your other sets sell for? Would you let a buyer mail you fabric to use, and if so do you take a certain amount off the cost of the set?

The designers in our eBay group said yes, they do take custom orders when time permits. They also need to have enough fabric to do a custom set. Some of the designers have had fabric sent to them, and that is fine too. When figuring the cost of the set, they will take off the amount spent on fabric. This question got the designers talking about how much they quote, and how hard it is to quote pricing on custom sets. Many of the designers in the group would like to be informed by the buyer of how much they are wanting to spend. That way the designer knows your budget beforehand. Then they can come back to you and say, yes, I can make something in that range, or no, I can't. If you have a set design in your head, and you are not willing to compromise anything about the design, it is best to ask the designer for a price. If, let's say, you are open to any design ideas...lets say you want an appliqued pair of overalls with puppies, but you can leave all the details to the designer, then you can tell them your price range since it is not as specific. I hope all this makes sense, LOL! And, from what I am reading in the group, many of the designers have trouble with how many customs they are taking on. They really don't like to turn down the business, even if they have a list of orders to fill. Be sure if you are asking for a custom to say it is completely okay if you need to pass it up :)

This one was posted for the buyers, but I will discuss it here:

What is your consensus on groups overall? Should a designer be in one or not be in one?

This one was kind of split. Some of our buyers don't always search by groups, so in that case it wouldn't matter to them. Most of us search by well known groups, because there are so many and there is only a handful we can even remember to search! Basically, if you are already an established designer with a good emailing list, and get repeat business from your clients, then a group may not effect your sales. If you are a new designer, we think it is more important to be in a group so you can have a searchable term in your auctions, and have the help of more experienced ladies in your field.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Buyers Questions...Answered

Here are the questions we discussed this week. I am going to be doing this two times a week...Wednesdays and Fridays. We are just so chatty in the group I can't keep up with it all, LOL!

What websites do you visit to search for customs?

Mostly just eBay and Etsy, but also mentioned were designers websites, Journal Modsite, and this blog. Most of us also buy direct from the designer off eBay, so we don't need to search websites.

A buyer said:

"I also find out about new sets/launches from being on TONS of designers mailing lists! Which I love, because often times, if I catch their email soon enough, I can be one of the first to see the set & bid!! "

Do fun and inventive launch themes catch your attention?

Most of us said YES! We love launches, but only if it is something we are interested in buying. For example, if your launch is centered around Sesame Street, many of us wouldn't look at it, because we are not interested in that and wouldn't buy it anyway. We love the creativity in launches, and I personally love the launches that are centered around a new fabric line.

A buyer said:

"I LOVE launches & themes! I especially love a launch around a new fabric line (hope one of the groups does one with Patty's new line...fingers crossed!!), Holidays too!! "

Would you consider bidding on multi-set auctions?

We all agreed that it is too big a risk to bid on multi-set auctions. Most of them are over a 6 month to one year span, and within that time frame so much can happen. The designer could have a family emergency, they could get out of sewing all together, many unexpected situations can occur. And because after a few months we can't file a complaint with PayPal or eBay, we would be out the money. In the long run, you are getting a huge savings by buying multi-set auctions, but the risks don't outweigh the rewards.

Would you avoid a whole design group if you had a bad experience with one of it's designers?

We all said no...EXCEPT, if we took it to the leaders of the group and nothing was done about it. We feel like design groups should hold all their designers accountable for their behavior, and if they have a designer that continues to be a problem, it is going to effect the reputation of the whole group. That designer should be asked to leave the group, in our opinion. If you have a shaddy designer in the group, the whole group is going to appear that way.

Here is what our buyers said:

"I would not avoid a whole design group if I had a bad experience with one of their sellers, but I would hope a design group would try to get a designer who was problematic accountable or ask them to leave to protect their buyers and the group's reputation."

"I would only do this if I knew the designer had generally bad behavior (e.g. shilling, shoddy work, being months late . . .) and I knew the design group knew it too and did nothing about it. If you keep your name in with someone who is doing this, it is going to tear you down as a designer by association."

I am in search for several items. Good sources for preppy and fun designs of either grosgrain printed and jaquard (sp) ribbon. (familar with J. Caroline, Crafters vision, Lesbonribbon.)

Blank acrylic items that take fabric inserts such as travel tumblers, coasters, key rings

Good wholesale sources for cute girly accessories.

We really had no idea about this. I asked the designers and got this response:

Most cottage industry crafters buy wholesale and hold their suppliers very close. I know I have spent a lot of time and leg work sourcing supplies and establishing wholesale accounts. I think the best thing to do is to search eBay, Etsy, and the internet first. And then attending a trade show is also a great way to source supplies. Many vendors will be insulted and won't respond to questions about sources so I wouldn't recommend sending ASQ to people.

I have so many more questions to list! Check back on Wednesday!

Featured Auction Of The Day

Todays feature is this gorgeous set by Amazing*Gracie*Inc. You can purchase a matching chenille jacket separately, so the set can last well in to Fall. I just love these fabrics! So soft and girly!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Interview with Meg from Brassy Apple & Giveaway

Where were you born and raised? I was born and raised in Idaho. After a brief move to Arizona and back again when I was young, I married an Idahoan and we have settled in Idaho for now and are raising our family.
How many children do you have? My husband and I have 3 children and one on the way due the end of October. I have a stepson age 14, a daughter 7 and a son 4. We didn't find out the sex of the new baby so it will be a surprise to all come October!
What are your hobbies (besides designing and sewing)? Photography! That seems to almost go hand in hand with designing, sewing and selling doesn't it? I grew up loving the arts so I took many classes and study courses in drawing, painting, artwork, musical instruments and dance. I love to sketch now and then and help teach my daughter the basics of drawing, etc. Oh and Blogging! Can blogging be a hobby? It sure is fun to me! I love to share my photos, tips, tricks and especially tutorials of fun projects I come up with!
How did you come up with your name? is there a story behind it? I wanted something that reflected my designs and style. I've always considered them a bit bold. Whether it's the color combinations or the design elements in them. I like to have something a bit "unexpected". After searching through the Thesaurus for words that would describe bold "BRASSY" seemed to fit me just right. But Brassy what???? After going through several options of things I loved to associate with Brassy I loved the idea of the forbidden "apple" if you will, from the Bible story of Adam and Eve. Seems to fit my designs. Tempting style………….so Brassy Apple was created!
Where do you sell your designs? I sell them on my website, which is having a makeover and it will debut shortly (if it hasn't already by the time this interview is posted) I used to sell on Ebay and have toyed around with the idea of selling on Etsy too instead of just being a customer there! How long have you been selling your designs? Hummmmmm……………..not sure I remember! LOL. I think I have been selling my designs on and off for around 4 years.
What got you started? I've always like to be busy with my hands and creating something makes me even happier. Once I plunged into motherhood I felt the urge to create with paints, fabrics, etc – anything – to get back to the "roots" of who I was while still being a Mommy.
Do you remember the first set you sold? The first set I sold I believe was a pair of cowboy overalls which sold for about $30.00. I was thrilled of course to have someone want to buy what I had created!
Have you noticed a change in your designs from when you first started? I have gone through several different style changes and ideas trying to my niche and what I really enjoyed creating, designing and sewing. Learning new skills along the way and really getting it down to a few "signature" items rather than spreading myself out like I did in the beginning helps to make my designs better. What type of designs are you working on now? Women's aprons, lots of DIY kits, skinny scarves and patterns!
What is your inspiration for your designs? Mainly my love for the taking the ordinary or "off the rack" style and putting a twist to it. Giving it a little originality and having a customer just love how it looks on her or for the person she bought it for!
Is there any other designers you admire? Several! Too many to list!
What is your favorite design you have created? Probably my Shaggy Mosaic Jeans. They can be done up so many ways and they really started my business off and going. Now I offer the DIY kits so you create your own!
Who is your favorite fabric designer? Again, too many to list but I really love the sincerity and down to earth personality of Jennifer Paganelli. She is so sweet and I treasure the relationship I am able to have with her. She is a great mentor and always willing to give advice and friendship.
If you could max out your credit card at one store, what store would that be? I have to pick just one? That's a toughy!...................... First one that comes to mind is Pottery Barn! I would love to completely re-do my entire house with their furniture and accessories from the towels to the sheets, dishes and furniture!
What can we expect from you in the future? Patterns! It's been a long process of researching, sketching, asking questions, finding good resources, then throw 5 months of pregnancy sickness at me plus a family that still needed me. BUT it's something I feel driven to do and would love to complete. I'm working on it. It's fun to be able to share a design pattern that comes from your head to your sketch pad and then printed out on big sheets of paper with everyone to enjoy.
***We also want to thank Meg for offering this great giveaway from BrassyApple, a Girls Sweet Tangerine Shaggy Mosaic DIY kit (as seen above). This giveaway will last one week, so post a comment and Meg will draw a winner next Friday!***

It's a Bird... It's a Plane... It's SUPER Mom!!

She wakes up at the crack of dawn to get her shower in before the kids arise. As DH finally rolls out of bed, she quickly makes it up behind him. She scoops up all the dirty laundry from the night before and tosses it in the basket. She prepares the kids’ school lunches and starts breakfast. If the kids aren’t up yet, she makes her way to each of them and gives a gentle shake to wake them from their slumber. Make the coffee, pack the bookbags, make sure the kids are dressed, teeth and hair brushed, and off to school. The house is quiet. But don’t let that fool you. Soon, a load of laundry is running, maybe the dishwasher, vacuum and OH! The toddler’s still home, of course, so a little song in the background,

"We’re going on a trip, in our favorite rocket ship. Zooming through the sky… Little Einsteins..."

And it’s only 8 a.m.!

WOW! No one said being a stay-at-home-mom was easy… and I would venture a guess to say that many moms who have all the stay-at-home-mom duties also work OUTSIDE the home! I remember those days… as a matter of fact, I’m considering going back to that routine. Goodness, what am I thinking?? I’ve been working INside the home full-time now for about 7 years. And it’s been quite the challenge just keeping up with that!

So, my question is… how do we do it? How do moms manage to be the administrators of their homes, volunteer, hold outside jobs and/or run their own businesses, cart the kids here, there & everywhere AND maintain their sanity?? Certainly, we must have "Superhero" in our genes! The other day, my husband told me he wished I would just spend more time with him... sitting... in front of the TV. WHAT?!?! Is it okay for me to do that??

In this busy, busy world we live in, is it okay for a mom to take a break? I mean, let’s face it. Our job is a 24/7 thing. I don’t know about you, but for me, there just aren’t enough hours in the day! So, does it make you feel guilty to just STOP every once in a while? I hope you’ve answered, "No!" We NEED to pamper ourselves and have "mommy time" every now and again to recharge our patience batteries and build up our energy levels. And besides, we simply deserve a TREAT, don’t we? That said, I’m sitting here trying to think of what I treat myself to... hmmm... still thinking... Well, what do you treat YOURself to? Bloggers, I’m waiting... give me some great ideas! How do you pamper YOURself?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Feature of the Day

I love the colors of this jumper it is the perfect transition set from summer to fall. Click on the picture below to go to BugnBelle's etsy listing.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Designers Questions...Answered

These didn't get posted on Friday, and I know some of you are anxiously awaiting them, so here they are:

What attracts you to want to join a certain design group? Is it mostly about the design style of the group, or about which group your friends are in, or which groups get the higher dollar amounts? Would you turn down an offer from a group that tends to be more popular, if you really got along well with the members of your current group?

This was kind of split in two...some of the designers approach groups as a business opportunity, and look at it as only that, and some would rather have a group that meshes well with each other, and is very friendly and supportive of each other. Not that a designer that approaches it as business can't be involved in a group like the second example, but it is my understanding from what I read in our eBay group that the number one priority is making a good business decision.

They would also like to be involved in groups that are consistent in listing, launches, etc. And groups that have the same high standards in quality of craftsmanship, and customer service, as they do. Being inspired by other designers, and challenged by the group, were also mentioned.

Here are two quotes I pulled out from our group:

"Probably the thing that is MOST important to me, though, is that there is harmony in the group. I will not walk into a drama fest. It DOES help to have at least one friend in the group ahead of me... that way I can find out if she thinks I will meld well with the other designers."

"I guess the simplest answer is that selling custom boutique is a business for me so I approach that is how I approach groups - the best business decision I can make at any given time. Having said that I wouldn't stay somewhere I was really unhappy even if it was a high profile group - that wouldn't be good for business either - I would be unhappy and irritated all the time."

If you are in a group, do you get pressured from your group to list at certain times? Do you feel as if you have to maintain a certain dollar amount? Are there any rules like that, or can you just list what you want when you want?

Okay, from what I have read it seems as if the larger the group, the less pressure. And it really depends on the group if there are these certain rules or not.

Here are a couple more quotes:

"From my own personal experience, the 'bigger' the group the less the rules. In my early experiences of group membership there were so many rules and regulations and people getting kicked out"

"I know some groups have policies on listing, and honestly that's probably a good idea because otherwise you get people who are inactive and you never know quite how to handle them. Are they there or aren't they? Should they be able to participate in making group decisions when they never list? And the one that really gets me should they be able to complain about stuff when they never list! LOL!"

Favorite Items Of The Week

I changed the title of this post from favorite auctions, to favorite items, because we are now incorporating Etsy items as well. And I also wanted to note that these are now the designs that the whole group picked out, not just me, although I would love to take credit for all of them, LOL!









Who's At The Top $$$

1. BowzNStuff_Boutique ~ "Fall Feliz" ~ MeliMelo

2. ServaneBarrau ~ "London" ~ MeliMelo

3. BowzNStuff_Boutique ~ "Witch Costume" ~ MeliMelo

4. ServaneBarrau ~ "Snow Girl PUPPET Dress" ~ MeliMelo

5. ServaneBarrau ~ "Snow Girl" ~ MeliMelo

Friday, August 15, 2008

Interview With Patty Young Of Michael Miller Fabrics

Do you have any professional training in graphic design, textiles, or the garment industry?

My professional background is in Graphic Design. I have a BFA in Design & Photography from the University of Central Florida and I've been designing professionally (whether it's on paper or textiles) for 15 years.

What is the process for designing a new fabric line? Did you actually hand draw all the designs and motifs to begin with?

Some of my designs were hand drawn and some of them were computer generated. The more geometric designs, like the "Mod Dots" and the "Mod Blooms", were completely computer generated (using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop). The more ornate ones, like the "Birdie Damask" and the "Flora", were hand drawn first, then scanned in and then traced over digitally using my Wacom tablet.

Where did you get your inspiration for your new fabric line?

I was inspired by my travels to the South of Spain. This beautiful region, Andalucia, is just South of Madrid and includes such colorful cities as Seville, Cordoba and Granada. My husband, Jon, and I spent 9 glorious days in Andalucia for our Honeymoon and I took hundreds of pictures of everything surrounding me, from tiled floors, to Flamenco dresses, to flowering gardens, to street markets. Oh, and the food... I cannot forget the food. Yes, I took pictures of our meals as well, LOL! Everything was just so colorful and flavorful, I couldn't resist.

So, as soon as I decided to take the plunge and design a fabric line, there was no doubt in my mind I wanted to pay homage to this amazing land. Out came my honeymoon photo album and the memories started flowing and my hand started sketching. Except for the food. There really isn't a good way to transform a plate of paella into a fabric design.

How would you define your design style? Did this design style come to you easily or did it take a while to evolve?

I would describe my design style first and foremost as MOD (I'm sure that didn't come as a surprise to any of you! LOL!) I enjoy all things modern and minimalist whether we are talking about furniture, clothing or even architecture. I am obsessed with mid-century modern artifacts. When I set out to design Andalucia, my goal was to give these designs a modern approach and I think I succeeded. Even my most ornate of patterns still retain some of that modern style I adore so much.

How long does the fabric design process take from start to finish?

I can only speak from my own experience with this particular line, but Andalucia has been evolving for approximately 16 months so far. And I don't mean 16 months of working on it every day & night. The design process probably took me about 6 months, but then you go through several rounds of revisions before you turn in the final files. The designs go to a mill overseas to be produced, and the first strike-offs (or proofs) could take anywhere from 6 - 8 weeks to arrive at your doorstep. Then you need to go through each and every print with a fine-toothed comb and return the proofs to the mill for re-strikes. Again we are looking at another 6 weeks or so. There is a lot of idle time at this point, but I'd say after all is said & done, Andalucia's gestational period will be about 18-months! WHOA! That's almost as long as an elephant! LOL!

How many fabric lines do you plan to do in a year?

I'd love to do 2 lines a year if time permits, one in the Spring and one in the Fall. I'm already hard at work on my second collection (gotta do something with all that idle time, right?!)

Are you still going to be designing children's clothing?

That is the million dollar question, and believe me, one that has been on my mind a lot lately. I saw MODKID develop from it's beginning stages when it was a hodge-podge of styles into a line that has a style of it's own, different and recognizable. I enjoyed every second of it and the friendships I've forged (with both fellow designers and customers) while I've been on eBay and Etsy have been priceless! So, I'm not really sure how to answer this question. Part of me wants to give my clothing line a break so I can concentrate on all my design-related projects (yes, there are more! LOL!) and part of me wants to continue with MODKID... mostly when I see my little one, Sydney, wearing one of my creations. There is such a sense of joy and pride that is hard to describe.

Time will tell.

What inspired you to want to become a fabric designer?

I must admit that if I hadn't been involved in boutique children's clothing I probably wouldn't have developed an interest in designing textiles. I've always enjoyed creating repeated patterns and designing beautiful things, but my designs always ended up printed on paper goods... mostly direct mail and some brochures and catalogs. But after I left my corporate job and decided to stay at home with my girls, this desire to put my creative juices to work evolved into my clothing line, MODKID, which eventually evolved into a strong desire to create my own fabric for MODKID... and the rest is history as they say.

What is your first passion...designing fabric or clothing?

My first passion is art, period. Ever since I can remember I've doodled on whatever surface was available which got me more than my fair share of detentions when I was in school. I've never wanted to be anything else but an artist. I remember perusing design magazines and books all the time when I was a teenager... most of these were interior design and architecture books, because my father is an Architect and Civil Engineer. When I went to college, I enrolled in the Art Department but didn't know at first what my concentration would be. I tried it all... Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, even Art History, but eventually fell in love with Photography and Graphic Design. I felt like I could express my modern style best through both of these mediums. My passion for clothing and fabric design did not develop until years later, after I had my children.

Do you have any fabric designers that you admire?

Too many to mention! But for the sake of keeping this interview relatively short I'd say that I admire Amy Butler for staying true to her style through the years, which is so beautiful and elegant, yet clean and modern. I also admire Sandi Henderson for her commitment to the craft and perseverance to achieve her dreams. Her support and friendship during this incredible journey of mine have been invaluable.

Where and when will we be able to buy your fabric?

Andalucia will debut at the International Quilt Market this Fall in Houston (October 25 - 27) via Michael Miller Fabrics. It should be available in stores a few weeks after that. Please check my blog at and Michael Miller's website at for updates.

You've had a busy year with a new greeting card line and fabric line, what's next?

LOL! Yes, it's been busy! I do have a couple of surprises up my sleeve but as it is with most things, it's still a bit premature to mention. I have so many ideas and dreams all the time. I'd love to get my designs produced on paper goods, housewares and what not, but it is all still in the planning process. Just keep checking my blog for updates. I don't enjoy keeping secrets so as soon as I am able to share, I'll share BIG TIME.

Thanks for all the support, everyone!


Patty would like to offer readers 10% off their purchase price in her ModGreetings or MODKID stores on Etsy if they mention seeing this interview on 'Boutique Buyers Blog' at check out. The 10% coupon is valid until August 31st and will be given as a Paypal refund after payment receipt. Thanks a bunch!!!

Click Here to go to ModGreetings

Click Here to go to ModKid