Tell us how you came up with the idea for Stitch Simple?
The Reader’s Digest version is that after I finished business school, I wanted to celebrate and make a quilt. I had stopped sewing altogether while I was in school- so I had forgotten about all the tedium required to just get fabric ready to sew. You have to wash it, press it like crazy (those bizarre wrinkled twists of fabric that come out of the dryer are SO hard to deal with) and cut it- all of which takes hours for any given project. I thought surely I could buy fabric that would already be washed, pressed and maybe even cut into squares or other pieces- but I was wrong. There were plenty of precuts available, but none of them were washed which is really important to me as well as many sewing and quilting enthusiasts. So, I figured I could start by writing a business plan for the idea (and put that new degree to good use right away!). While writing the plan, the concept started to take a life of its own and eventually I pulled together enough resources to get started.
What has been the most rewarding part of the last 3 years? The hardest part?
Hands down the most rewarding part of the last 3 years has been getting positive customer feedback about our products. From people with physical disabilities that prevent them from cutting accurately to busy crafters who just need more hours in day, it is amazing to hear how our products make sewing and quilting easier for our customers and in some cases all out possible.
The hardest part has been getting the word out about Stitch Simple. Many people don’t even know products like ours exist and so they don’t know to come looking for us. It is hard (and expensive) to market effectively in this kind of situation. It also requires a lot of patience, which is not something anyone who knows me would cite among my virtues. Thankfully, persistence is and I’ve found peace in my grassroots marketing efforts. The community surrounding the textile industry and DIY crafters has been amazingly supportive. I’m fueled by their kind comments and positive energy every day.
Who do you see as your main customer?
Anyone who sews of course! More specifically, anyone who cannot or does not want to get their own fabric ready to sew. That brings to mind people with physical ailments that make ironing and cutting uncomfortable, crafty parents (do you want to actually sew during nap time or iron?) and crafters on a deadline (forgot you promised to make a quilt for that baby shower next month?) to name just a few.
Quilt Kit du Jour is our daily pick of fabrics for a CYO (Create-Your-Own) quilt kit. Our kits are unique in that they let you choose the exact fabric you want in your quilt, which is great but sometimes the choices can be mesmerizing and it helps to take a look at some examples for inspiration. We post a new QKDJ (including a coordinating apron!) every Monday-Thursday plus we maintain a brief archive of around 50 or so examples for customers to look through if they are feeling stuck.
This was a Quilt du Jour back in May that featured all Harmony Art fabrics: Evelyn, Whispering Grass, Chocolate Brown and Pale Auqa.
In honor of Stitch Simple's birthday they are offering .99 cent shipping for all US orders and 50% off international shipping through October 24th! (Note: Sale is for retail orders only.)
I am proud that Stitch Simple offers Harmony Art organic fabrics to their customers. We wish them a HAPPY BIRTHDAY and MANY MORE! THANKS JEN!