Today, I am pleased to be telling you about a new May Sponsor Modern Organic Fabrics! You can follow along with the Modern Organic Fabrics blog for patterns, tutorials and life story here. In Melanie's words:
"Modern Organic Fabrics is an online fabric shop featuring organic cotton fabric in beautiful colors and patterns. Find designer quilting cottons, high-quality sateens and luxurious knits. Also, plenty of sewing patterns, including Ottobre Design magazines."
Melanie: I have been in business since September 2009.
SouleMama: What inspired you to start your business?
Melanie: I very much wanted to "quit my day job" and work at home. I was working evenings as a waitress, a decision made by my husband and me to avoid babysitters and daycare. I would be home during the day and he would be home evenings. It was difficult as we were rarely together as a family unit. I really, really wanted a job that would allow me to work from home. Waiting tables can be stressful and tiring and oftentimes I worked quite late. I felt like I was always tired in the morning and had to cut days short to get ready for work in the afternoon.
At some point I discovered craft blogs and I was immediately inspired. I thought, "I can do that!" My sewing skills weren't to the point where I could create items for sale, so I immediately thought about selling fabric online, inspired by many of the wonderful online shops already out there. I have a background in marketing, so I did quite a bit of research. I soon realized that there were a lot of fabric shops online and they were doing a fabulous job of serving the market. I decided instead to start a blog about fabric, called The Fabric Shopper. I felt what was really needed was a way to round up information about fabric and places to find it. The blog was (and is) a hit, but it was a lot of work.
When Cloud9 Fabrics came out with their first line of organic quilting cottons, I felt like I had found my niche. I knew that more lines were in the works from other companies and there would be enough stock to create an organic-only fabric shop. It was such a light-bulb moment for me because it represents my love for living life as eco-friendly as you are able and it would allow me to quit waiting tables and work from home. I also put The Fabric Shopper up for sale because I could no longer keep up with it, but it had such a wonderful fan base. There was a lot of interest and I sold it to the lovely Rosanne Nevius who has really taken it to a new level and is very passionate about the topic.
SouleMama: How does the balance of work and family play out for you?
Melanie: This can be tricky. I love being able to work from home, but I do sometimes feel guilty when I have to work and the children want attention. My girls are ages 9, 5 and 3. I do my best to balance time for them and time for work, but I don't really have a set schedule. My business is such that there are days when I'm really busy and have a lot of orders and days when there is very little going on and I can do more with them. I do try to devote time to sewing, blogging and other social media as well. My "office" is the dining room table, so I'm in the middle of the house and always with them while I'm working. They often "help" me as well. Some days it can seem very overwhelming, other days are easy. I feel that my girls need to know that my work is important and that they are important. When I waited tables I often wondered what I was teaching my girls about work by going to a job I disliked (not that there's anything wrong with waiting tables if you enjoy it, it's just that I did not). I like being an example to them of being able to do what you love. But life is never perfect and some days the dishes are piled in the sink, the laundry is mounded in baskets waiting to be folded and the girls need to entertain themselves outside in the yard or inside with paper and scissors. That's life, you do the best that you can :)
For today's giveaway, Modern Organic Fabrics is offering the following to one winner:
a $50 Gift Certificate to be used on any items in the shop!
In addition, Modern Organic Fabrics is offering a 10% discount for all SouleMama readers! To redeem, use discount code: SouleModern. Offer expires 5/23/10.
Thank you to Modern Organic Fabrics!
To enter, please leave a comment in today's post (one entry per person, please!). I'll close comments and announce the winner by 7am EST on Sunday.Comments closed. The winner is...
I'm loving the blues!
Posted by: violingirl