Monday, April 4, 2011

A Weekend Full of Sewing "Stuff"

A few weekends ago, I had the privilege of visiting the traveling Quilting & Sewing Expo in Cleveland. My husband was over joyed to go with me,to say the least . ha ha But all in all, he said that he was glad to go and see me in my "eliminate" as he calls it. It was a great experience! The show was mostly targeting quilters. Seeing that I have not really branched off to do quilts, I still was able to appreciate all the hard work that goes into them. They had some amazing quilts on display. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take photos of them, but trust me, they were beautiful. I spent some time chatting with a few ladies in the shops. Found a few new fabric businesses in the area, which was nice. Of course I picked up a few yards and fat quarters of fabric. How could I resist? It was a sewing expo!! It would have been a sin to leave, without purchasing at least a little fabric. (Well that's the story I told my husband) ::wink::

I went to get some inspiration. I find that when I am around other people who love to sew, knit, create,..I feed off of them. Sometimes I feel like a lone ranger in my craft. This little trip gave me more than I expected! That day, Valerie Mayen was a guest speaker!!!

If you are a Project Runway fan, you will recognize this name. She was the cute, dark haired, funny girl on season 8. Unfortunately she ended up getting 7th place, but I still think she was good enough to make it further. She shared with all of us her experience on the show, behind the scene secrets, her view on designing, and her love for making beautiful well made items. She is originally from Texas, but moved to Cleveland to go to design school, and fell in love with the city. She spoke about where she started in her career and how she ended up becoming a fashion designer. What surprised me the most, is that she has only been sewing for 5 years!!!!!! Still can't believe that! WOW! The girl is brilliant. I am amazed at how far she has come with her business. What an inspiration. Not only working on her own designs, but her passion to support other designers/seamstresses in the Cleveland area. She shared that when she was finished with design school, there were no resources outside of the school. She needed to find a larger space, with good quality machines to work with, and there was literally nothing. So she decided to open up her own place to do just that. In a campaign called "Buzz & Growl" which she describes as being a place to encourage people to launch their own businesses by having that little "buzz" to start off with, to the large "growl" out in the world. Starting local, and then ultimately sharing your work global (like she has done). The "buzz" represents the sound of the small sewing machine at work, to the "growl" of the industrial machines you use later on. What a wonderful way to give back to the community! Here is a video describing Buzz & Growl by none other than Val herself:

Not only was her story encouraging to me, she was also very sweet in person. I had the privilege of meeting her!! I have heard that she is super nice, but after meeting her myself, I believe it to be true. Such a humble, sweet individual, that is just oozing with talent. She was kind enough to allow me to get a picture with her. Yes I admit, I was a bit nervous to ask.(I think I need a tan after seeing this picture! yikes!) ha ha

I bought a few little fabric flowers at her booth (which I love) and drooled over some of her beautifully tailored coats she had on display. The name of her company is called: Yellowcake!. She also has an etsy shop: Etsy

What an inspiration to me as I start off my own little company. Who knows where it will take me. ::smile:: I am so excited!

1 comment:

  1. what a great post! I had no idea about Buzz & Growl before. I've got to research this now! Valerie is really great and super sweet, we actually went to school together. I eagerly awaited each season 8 episode all the way from Morocco where we would down load it. She did so well and I totally think she could have gone all the way. Thanks for sharing such an awesome post!