Whoa nelly! Time is flying by! As you know, things here have been a little crazy!! We have been going non-stop all year!! I was reflecting on the past year, and am shocked of all the things we are doing, have done and that been accomplished!!
If I may, I’d like to indulge in a little trip down memory lane.
Last year in February we made an offer and signed papers on a new building for our brick and mortar shop, right on the main street of our little town. We closed on it in March and all the remodeling began. It was so exciting! We had vision and new this place could be amazing! We only needed to completely gut it and start from scratch! Easy enough, right!?!? Our family worked like crazy ripping out all the old paneling, re-wiring, new plumbing, new heating and cooling, paint, carpet etc! Really, it was an amazing transformation! And we love it!
For the next few months we had practice for the Community theater production called ‘Broadway Bound’ that Mom, Natalie her kids and my kids were involved in. That was fun to do. It always amazes me, to see kids with so much talent get out on stage and share it with us! So brave of them.
We also had our annual bus trip! Talk about a fun time! We had almost the same group from the year before! So much fun to see our ‘old’ friends again!
All the while we were preparing the new shop to open our doors by June 15th, getting things ready for the Open House, and setting up displays.
The first week in July our family had a vacation at the Lake! And that was a total blast! And a much needed vacation for us all!
Then we had our exciting open house celebration July 18th! Now that was a party!! We were blown away by the response and friendship shown to us that weekend! It’s funny looking back, that morning around 8:45am Alan texted me and said he didn’t think anyone was coming! LOL! Then the store quickly filled with people, there was no where to stand, and even less parking! I think we blew away our little town! I know we were all more than surprised! We loved every minute of it! We met so many of our online friends and some of you from the forums.
A personal indulgence here: In February, I had two surgeries within 10 days. I was really sick for several months. I was still living two hours away from the shop, and was driving every weekend with my family so that hubby could work on the new building. Then on the 5th of July (while we were on vacation,) I got really sick and had an emergency appendectomy. I was at the open house just ten days after. And all in the same week, we moved home! Hahah. (see, this year has been insane, right?!)
Then we also got contacted by Fons and Porter to do the new Magazine with them, (have you heard of it? Quilting Quickly) and got started on designing and sewing! We were really excited about doing a magazine, because we know that most of you want our tutorials in pattern form and it has been difficult for us to get it all done. We think that together, we can give you both the videos and the patterns!! Win-Win, if you ask me!!
The rest of our summer into fall was full of sewing and meeting all our traveling visitors!! I can’t even tell you how much we LOVE that you all come from near and far to see us!!?!? We LOVE it! We have a guest book that is nearly full and we love to look through it and see where everyone has come from! It is such a joy to us.
In October we had a huge party for my Grandma who turned 80! We had family come in that we hadn’t seen in years! When you live all over the country it’s hard to get together often and this was such a special occasion.
Then we went to Quilt Market in Houston, the end of October, Mom rode a mechanical bull at the Moda party. (not kidding! I even have pictures and video) We had a great time, meeting designers and catching up with other shop owners!
October also brought our town Homecoming! Along with that is a football game, parade and a dance! We decorated the front of the shop and our windows won the decorating contest!! We won money to donate to a school program. We chose Choir. I don’t think enough money gets spent on the arts, like it used to.
In November our little ‘baby’ turned 4 years old! NO WAY! We couldn’t believe we’ve been living this dream for four years already! We had a party, with cake and everything! We had giveaways to all our customers, and just had a wonderful time (and took our first company picture!) Again, blown away by all our awesome friends that came to see us!
December brought Santa to town, and we helped put together a food drive for our local food pantry. (each donation earned you a ticket to a quilt made by Mom!) Not as big of a success as I had hoped, but I do think it will get better year after year!
My husband and Dad also made my dreams come true by wrapping our little tree outside in lights! I call it a ‘MAGIC TREE’ and I absolutely love it! We lived in Columbia, MO for two years and every year they have two trees in town they dress up like that and I sure missed it! I am happy to say we have one in Hamilton now too!! And it really made for a sparkly season!
Then of course underneath it all we have tons of behind the scenes things going on like building a new website. We have literally been working for a year on this new site for you! Trying to implement things that will be useful and new for you, to make your experience better! We are going for a more user friendly site, and we sure hope you like the changes!
We ran test after test hoping to have all the bugs out before we launched, but you all know how that goes!! 🙂 We have been going through and with your help have gotten almost everything fixed! Thank you all for your insight and heads up the things that were wonky! You all were a tremendous help! And your patience is unmatched!! You all are the best, most loyal customers! So many of you have been incredibly understanding. We are still behind on a few orders working day and night to get things out to you!! With all the new site changes we made changes to the shipping process too! Just know, that will all the changes your fabric will be shipped to you faster than ever, once it’s all perfected.
So, here we are…January 2013 almost over! We are looking ahead to this year with excitement and hope. Things will be even better than last. I don’t think it’s safe to say it will slow down, but we aren’t afraid of hard work either! I hope you all know how deeply we appreciate you. We really do. We talk about your stories (you’ve shared with us) around our dinner table, during family get together’s and we are blown away by you all! Thank you for letting us be a part of your life, and thank you for being a part of ours.
Have a great week!