birth of an idea
In the dark, gray winter of Washington state, confronted with the feeling I was not using my gifts and passions to their fullest potential, an idea began to form.
An idea that could combine my lifelong passions for beauty and entrepreneurship, a love for 'traditional' skills (such as quilting), and my observations of frustrated customers in quilt shops unable to buy the display quilt.
An idea to create something new - a quilt brand, where a pattern could be available in sizes baby - king, where quilts sold could be remade and restocked, and where customers would enjoy a boutique shopping experience.
In the dark, gray winter of Washington state, Delightfully Quilted was conceived.
• Spring/Summer - I begin evaluating the idea of starting a business
• Fall - I attend the Northwest Quilt Expo in Portland, OR. This experience helps firm up my idea for a quilting business
• November - my 4th child is born
• December - Delightfully Quilted is registered as a business
The business planning, early skill building work, and materials testing took place in one of the three bedrooms in our 960 square foot home. The three older kids shared a bedroom, and the baby stayed in our room.
Much work was done during "Quiet Time" when the kids would play in their room or watch an educational video.
• Winter - I begin business planning
• March - COVID-19 measures mean my husband starts working from home
• Spring - I begin working through the Quilter's Academy books, and testing fabrics and batting
• May - We make the decision to move to the East Coast
• June - September - We prepare to move to Virginia
• September - November - We travel cross-country and live with family in Pennsylvania. Business planning resumes
• December - We move into our new house in Virginia. I get kicked awake from the inside, and realize I'm pregnant with our 5th child (!)
When we searched for our new home, a dedicated studio space was a top criteria. The house we chose had a roughly 240 square foot room over the garage, which was long enough to fit the 12-foot frame for the new long-arm quilting machine purchased with proceeds from the sale of the house in Washington.
• Winter/Spring - I complete the Quilter's Academy projects and begin testing fabrics and patterns to shape the final designs. I register the business in Virginia.
• May - My 5th child is born
• July - I begin working on building inventory
• September - we make the decision to launch the business by the end of the year.
• November - I complete the inventory of over 100 quilts
• December - nearly 2 full years after being conceived, Delightfully Quilted opens for business.
It wasn't about 'finding' time to work. It was about prioritization. About making time to work. And about support - Delightfully Quilted is rooted in team work, starting with my husband and eventually adding other quilters.