Thursday, October 25, 2012

Taking A Break...

Hello dear readers - I just wanted to make a quick post to say that I will be taking a break from posting on my Blog until I get caught up with my Fabric Designs, cleaning out my studio, and getting started on the whatever the next chapter of my life is.

Which hopefully includes a healthy family, a happy basket full of grand kids, some sweet dogs and
Quality Time With My Husband. 

Thank you all so much for reading my posts - I can't tell you how much it meant to me that so many sweet people read what I wrote about what was going on in my life.

This world is a great place, isn't it?

Love you all.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Finding The Floor

I've been silent for so long you probably thought I was quitting my Blog - Not!
 What I've actually been doing is searching for the Floor in my Studio.   

The reason the floor was so hard to find is because it was covered with Stuff left over from my tassel and bag business...
thousands of yards of Trims, 
hundreds of pounds of Fabrics.

Stacked in bins were vast quantities of tassel parts. In every nook and cranny were tassel blanks, wooden beads, wooden spindles, small wooden animals, tiny garden tools and flower pots...on and on and on.

All this because in 1995 I designed a line of tassels that I named Lula Belle Tassels, and starting in 1996, it just exploded.  With the help of a fabulous staff, I made and shipped thousands of Tassels, which we made right here in Marietta, Georgia.  Calico Corners put them in 120 stores and it was Game On!

Then, I designed some handbags for the High Point Market one Fall, and BAM!  We were in the Handbag Business.  I started with a few Bags, and wound up with dozens of styles
-all of which required their own bolt of fabric-
and their own bolts of trim
and cases and cases of handles, bottoms, rivets, etc.

I rented more studio space, hired more seamstresses,
more tassel makers,and a manager.  I added larger bags, which we called Satchels.

I decided that we should make painted French Market Baskets lined with a removable Tote Bag...they were an instant hit, and we shipped thousands of those, too.  So many orders came in that we wound up with a commercial paint booth - big enough to paint a small car in.  
And, of course, I had to hire a painter to paint the baskets.  She was amazing.
All of this was fun, but it had gotten very, very big.

I had a wonderful woman in charge of Packing and Shipping, whose name was Julie.
She thankfully kept us all sane and on task, shooing me aside to organize the orders and direct the tassel making, bag sewers, and basket teams.

Then suddenly, Julie left and moved to North Georgia and somehow, things just weren't the same.  I had been designing Tassels and Bags for years, I had a LOT of money in the bank, 
but I wasn't excited about it anymore.

My Husband had built the Ocean Isle Fishing Center and I wanted to go on up there.  
So I closed the Atlanta studio, stored everything, and opened a fabric store in North Carolina.
It was just a couple of miles from the beach,
in one of the fastest growing "Golf Communities"
in the United States of America - Southeastern Brunswick County, NC.

The store was popular, and we had lovely clients who bought tons of fabrics, trims, and accessories.
 They ordered lots of Custom Window Treatments,
Custom Bedding,
Wesley Hall Furniture,
and came to shop frequently
for their favorite thing:
One of A Kind Pieces
that I scoured the Atlanta and High Point Markets and Antiques vendors for.

I had a lovely, lovely staff of women
that I looked forward to seeing
every single day.

Then, the Real Estate Bubble popped, 
the Financial Markets collapsed,
New Home Building stopped,
and things got Real Quiet.

I got homesick for Atlanta.
So, I sold the store and moved back here with all that Lula Belle Stuff.
Which I've been drowning in ever since.

Every time I walked into the tightly packed studio, I got depressed.  All those stored raw materials and painted baskets made me guilty, like I needed to do something with them.  it bugged me to distraction until it finally dawned on me:
Give it away! 

Yesterday, the last load of Trims, Fabrics, Tassel Parts, Baskets and tools drove off down my driveway.  Next week, four men will arrive to dismantle and move out the Skutt Kiln and the huge Slab Roller.  I have made some people very happy.
They got brand new, FREE Stuff.

And, I found my floor.
Which is delightfully bare, freshly painted, and peaceful.
So, so happy.


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