July 8, 2009

Can You Say Wholesale?

When a cheetah hides in the tall grass waiting to pounce on a herd of cute little antelope it can encounter a phenomenon called "swamping effect". As the hundreds of antelope fly by it becomes so overwhelmed with it's options it can't focus on any one antelope. Before he knows it dinner has passed him by. All he sees is a bunch of antelope butts in the distance. Due to his inability to commit and focus he ends up with nothing and, really, any one of them would have been just as tasty as the other.
I am the cheetah, Carrie the Cheetah... the antelope are really bolts of fabric and...well you get it. I am a decision making nightmare...there are so many beautiful options...ugh!
Natalie on the other hand, well, she is the kind of cheetah who starts killing antelope right away...she is Natalie the Annihilator...she picks off the antelope she wants and never looks back wondering if she got the tastiest, fattest, or yummiest antelope...she is full and completely confident in her decision.

So Carrie the Cheetah and Natalie the Annihilator step into the International Textiles Expo...although it sounds like a match made in hell it works...there is balance. Seriously I was sooooo excited...I felt like an insider and was sure we were going to uncover some ancient Chinese secret of the fabric world. Armed with our swatches of jewel toned knits we bought on our LA Fashion District trip (again, a story for another time) we hit the floor. Our goal was to find the perfect compliments in corduroy, velour, and unique cotton prints.
It became evident very quickly that we were in for a long day...so many vendors...so little time. Luckily, we knew what we did NOT want and that was basically the same options we could find at the local quilt store. Not that there is anything wrong with quilt shop fabric...it's just not going to provide options that will set us apart. Many a late night has been spent searching the internet for unique fabrics...they are out there but they are just soooo expensive! And then we saw it....smack dab in the middle of the expo....corner booth TA DA!!!...Seven Islands Fabrics.

As we flipped through the bevy of swatches we knew right away we had found EXACTLY what we were looking for. There were so many amazing options that even if we closed our eyes and did a round of eenie meenie minie moe we still couldn't go wrong. Every single print was slightly retro with a Japanese vintage flair...girly, soft, amazing colors...PERFECT.
As the "swamping effect" started to overwhelm my senses, , I remembered we had swatches to work with...yes, a starting point, a foundation to build on. Nevertheless, I sat there with a huge pile of choices and my brain went into shut down mode. From Natalie's perspective I was probably drooling and my eyes were rolled back in my head. Seeing my distress, she suggested we break for lunch.
Three helpings of tortellini later, we had refreshed and renewed our focus. Sketches and swatches in hand Natalie the Annihilator and Carrie the Cheetah sat down with Lisa from Seven Islands Fabrics and placed our first wholesale order. Natalie was genius at sorting through my indecision and the end result was perfect! We found beautiful fabric and paid 1/5 of the price had we purchased it retail or online. Yay for us! We will be back in September!!!


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