Today is the fourth and final day of the annual sewing and stitchery show at the Washington State Fair Grounds. We are wrapping up our first time exhibiting at this unique event. The last time I was at the fairgrounds was as a newlywed visiting the 1995 Puyallup Fair (since renamed the Washington State Fair). The scones, oh my the scones. These amazing treats have been a part of the Fair since 1910 and I was happy to enjoy a warm one yesterday. Twenty years ago Lori and I had just started our marriage and business. Today finds us with a maturing business (and marriage) and thousands of dollars in hand dyed silks at a sewing show. Next year we will be better prepared with small project kits for silk flower making and fabric embellishments.
Our silk customers have recommended this show for years and now we know why! With over 30,000 paid attendance we were happy to find the aisles full of crafty customers.
The Sewing and Stitchery Expo SewExpo is the largest consumer sewing show in America. There are more than 100 daily seminars, workshops and shows. There are over 400 booths packed with tools, supplies and fabrics.
I spoke to attendees from South Carolina, Arizona, Oregon, Idaho, California and Texas. I saw a license plate in the parking lot from Tennessee!
You can buy a four day pass for $40 or visit one day for $12 to see a non-stop series of demos on the Free Stage and fashion models on the Expo Runway. The daily hands-on classes always draw a crowd as participants learn a new technique and leave with a finished project.
We hope that if you found us there this year you will be back for more silk ribbon next year and if you have not attended this event before you will come see what all the fuss is about.
This time of year always has us scrambling; rushing to pack and ship orders in time for the holidays, rushing to get gifts wrapped for friends and family, rushing to complete our end of year inventory, rushing up and down I-5 to visit our loved ones.
Now that the new year has begun the next rush is on. Our annual local bridal show begins next weekend at the Washington State Convention center which was built right over I-5 where it passes through the center of downtown Seattle. We have new designs to add to our existing line of plantable invitations. We have new equipment going into this bridal season that we bought at last year’s Stationery Show in NY. We have just 7 more days to put the finishing touches on the invitations that we hope resonate with our Seattle customers.
Once that show is over we begin building a new (sturdier) crate for the NY Gift Show that runs Jan 31 – Feb 4 at the Javits center. At the end of February we are excited to be participating for the first time in the largest show of its kind in the nation: The SewExpo http://www.sewexpo.com/. We are excited to be part of the show and look forward to meeting many of you there.
We are excited to see what these next few months bring but want to give a quick shout out to a couple of our 2014 customers who shared their photos with us.
Here is a photo of our Earth Silk ribbon that Heather Edgar sent.
She runs her own business: Evergreen Flower Co. of Columbus, Ohio and was kind enough to send these beautiful photographs. Thanks Heather!
One thing we love about the Seattle Wedding Show is the special connections we make with our local brides. We met Rebecca and Thomas at last year’s wedding show along with Rebecca’s mom. They were that couple you meet who you can see married forever, their shared energy and enthusiasm were infectious. We had a great time working with them on all of their wedding plans, this pair was doing it all! They loved that we offered so many do it yourself options as they were planning to do just as much as they could (including making their own rings). After their event they shared their wedding web site with us (which is where this photo is from). You should take a look!
Lastly we were excited to work on these holiday cards with a great creative team from Darien, Connecticut. Thanks for letting us share your project Jim! GW Hoffman
We are so fortunate to have such wonderful customers! We recently were contacted by a customer who celebrated a fall 2014 wedding who just wanted to say “Thanks” for our contribution to her wedding day. We had worked with her to find the right silk color for her wedding, not realizing until receiving the photos just how prominent our Earth Silk ribbon would be on display on her big day. It was so wonderful to have a window into her event and see the happiness on display. Thank you so much for sharing! We love how beautiful you made our silk ribbon look!
Photographer: R.T. Photography, Louisville, KY
Alterationist: Heather Brown Alteration, Louisville, KY
Flowers: By the Bride, Erin Tims
Since we started our silk dying studio in 2010, we have known there was a need for this, now we have finally made it happen. The Earth Silk Sample Set gives you a look at our 90 blends in a new way. The 1 inch wide lengths will let you see how the dyes interact with the material in a more informative way than our 5/8″ swatches can. The eight yard lengths allow you to see how the patterns that form on some of our blends, repeat. Unlike the swatch card where the silk is grouped in numerical order, on the silk sample cards we have arranged them by color.
We have numbered them on both sides, with the silk overlapping by a half inch. You will notice that the ribbon’s number is centered on the correct color. You can also use the web site as a quick reference if you are unsure.
“Create amazing trims, butterflies, flowers and more with How to Make 100 Ribbon Embellishments. With clever techniques and a huge selection of ribbon styles to choose from, the timeless art of making ribbon embellishments is better than ever. Let author Elaine Schmidt take you through 100 ribbon designs, offering helpful hints and tips to help you make beautiful accessories to place anywhere.”
Well we did it! We battled Super Bowl hotel prices, a slushy snow storm that shut down parts of the city and empty propane tanks (burrrrr!) in our efforts to put our Earth Silk ribbon line in front of an East Coast audience.
Here is our latest effort at creative film making (video #3)
We announced earlier this year a partnership with Sashaco, a local (Kirkland, Washington) startup company who began buying our silks last year and makes beautiful hair clips and pins out of our ribbons. Here we have a collection of photos of their wonderful work!
As 2013 winds down, we find ourselves without much time to reflect on what a crazy year it has been as we are looking forward to what 2014 has in store for us. We expect big things to come from this and our other (soon to be revealed) partnerships as we keep our eyes on what is next.
I am sure you will agree, these silk flowers are fantastic! We have over 170 colors now in our silk line and there are so many that would work beautifully in this clip format. Imagine the brides who can color coordinate their whole suite of paper goods with their bridal party attire, just by tying together the ribbon on their invitation with the ribbon in their flower girl’s hair. What do you think?
Here is a quick look at the Northlake Wedding Program for the Center for Urban Horticulture event space. We are using our Earth Silk ribbon blend #016 in conjunction with the lotka seed paper, black print and a light weight slate background. We think this says Whimsical Romance! What do you think?
We just shipped this custom ribbon to a happy bride. She wanted to order our pressed hydrangea flowers but she needed a silk ribbon to match the hue of the flowers. We have over 150 colors in our hand dyed silk ribbon line but none that were quite the right shade, until now!
We offer custom dyed silk ribbon with a low three spool minimum purchase. Once we have your color matched, chances are it will become part of our growing line of silks. For those customers looking for an exclusive ribbon for product packaging or a signature line we can offer you a five year license of your custom color if you pay a $400 development and licensing fee. We will keep your design out of our product line while it is under license.
A few days ago we shipped out a small order to a customer on the other side of the country. We talk to many of our customers over the phone as they place their order or before they complete the order and sometimes even right after they put the order through online when they call to just make sure they did it right. But not everyone calls. Sometimes we are just left to wonder what the items we box up for them are going to become. When this simple pair of items was sitting on the shipping table ready to be boxed I had to look closer and marvel at how nicely the colors went together. I was so impressed with the match that I quickly snatched it up with a promise to return it ASAP. The resulting photograph is shown here. I always like seeing when our work pairs up this nicely. It does make me wonder; was this destined to become an invitation set, perhaps hand made thank you notes or maybe simply a gift for a mom who loves to create with her own hands.
We occasionally receive photos and sometimes handmade cards from happy brides who have made their own invitations from our papers. It is always rewarding to see the amazing results of our customers hard work and talent. But more often then not we are left wondering just what became of the pretty things that we shipped off.
Wishing you all a happy Mother’s Day weekend and hoping that you find time to work on a project of your own with the people that mean the most to you in your life.