This month Country Stitches celebrates her 23rd year of business. It all began in a tiny little married student housing apartment in Ames, Iowa. I was a young mother of 2 little ones and husband Dave was finishing up his degree at Iowa State University. My sister Sandra of Pieces from my Heart & I were selling original finished handcrafts to various "country" gift shops in the area. This allowed me to be at home with my little ones and make some money at the same time. Then "burnout" set it...
The year was 1987, it was at that time I decided to market the idea rather then the finished product in pattern form.
I began with 3 patterns, the 1st three shown below. I printed them at the local Kinko's, pasted on a photo and invested in 1000 zip lock bags. I then took the 3 patterns plus 2 screaming little ones over to a great little craft/gift shop in Boone Iowa called Down Memory Lane. I wanted to get the owners (Nancy Hughes) opinion of whether she thought the patterns had any chance of selling. Nancy was busy with another customer so I laid the patterns down on the cutting table and went about my way to corral my 2 children so they didn't destroy the place. Once Nancy had a free moment, I went back to the counter to get the 3 patterns only to find they were gone & in the hands of a customer...made my day & the rest is history!
My kitchen table was my "studio", a rescued desk from the University's garbage was my "office" and the stair steps leading upstairs was my "warehouse", small and humbling BUT it worked! The pattern photos were taken with borrowed camera & lighting equipment from the universities photo department and my darling husband was the photographer!!
So, if you're ready for a good laugh, take a look at the pattern designs from my 1st year in business... Love Bunny
Surprise for Mom
Lit'l Bo Peep
Going to Market
Country Folk Angel
Green Meadow Flock
19th Century St. Nick
Sorry contest has ended, winner will be announced Monday morning!
Let's turn this post into some fun...
Can you tell me the pattern titles of any or all of those first three patterns (the photos without titles)? Time to dig out those vintage patterns you have tucked away ladies! If you know any of the titles, leave a comment. If you don't know the names, well shoot you can always guess! Comments with correct titles will go into a pot and one winner will be drawn from the pot. The winning name will enjoy a $50.00 shopping spree at http://www.countrystitchesonline.com/. Contest ends on Sunday evening at 6:00 PM CST. Winner will be announced Monday morning.
To "thank you" for 23 wonderful years in the pattern business I will be offering free shipping on Saturday, March 13th for 23 hours. Offer begins at 9:00 AM CST Saturday, ending at 8:00 AM Sunday morning CST. Remember we turn our clocks ahead this weekend! This offer applies to domestic Internet orders only, thanks for understanding.
Have a good day,
Just had to share this...
As I was preparing this post, I laid the photos out and showed them to my DH...and he even remembered the pattern title of the very 1st pattern design. We sat and reminisced, and mainly critiqued his photography skills, and laughed a whole lot. I should probably mention he wasn't schooling to be a photographer...it's probably best he sticks with designing & engineering machines, don't ya think??