Friday, March 26, 2010

application for vendor's license

once the federal id is obtained, it's time to apply for a vendor's license. One more application that must go on paper. In Ohio, it is mailed to the auditor in the county in which your business will operate.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

the day Moda called

Today, I received a phone call from Moda. They were just checking to make sure everything was going as planned with the store and to see if I had our tax id yet. Do you know how exciting it is to be getting calls from Moda? I pinch myself at least once a day, some days once an hour.

Congratulations! Your EIN has been successfully assigned.

Once the Articles of organization were received the next step is to secure the EIN. It was an easy five minute process to secure an Employer Identification Number using the official website.

Monday, March 22, 2010

it's official...

an envelope arrived today
from Jennifer Brunner
Ohio secretary of state...

it contained the official certificate
showing the filing and recording
articles of organization
for Jellen's house of fabric
it arrived in exactly two weeks from
date of mailing

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Celebrate National Quilt Day

Fun, fun, fun word search over on the moda website today in celebration of national quilt day

Our fabric store will be a moda boutique. the first deliveries expected in may will include christmas lines by kate spain, basicgrey and sandy gervais, a halloween assortment by minick and simpson and beautiful fall collections by sandy garvais and deb strain.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

the story of JEllen's house of fabric

In our 1997 family holiday newsletter, I wrote about the need for my husband's medical billing business to move out of our house. My task while I was on maternity leave with our third child, was to find a space to move into. We sat down with our staff of four at the time and came up with a list of desires for the new space: five minutes from home, a Mayfield Road address, one large room versus small offices, a casual atmosphere, a private bathroom, a spare room with a tv and couch for when our kids are sick, a place for a microwave and refrigerator, adequate parking and 24/7 access. I thought this could be a difficult task. Yet, here is what I wrote in that newsletter...

"Two days later on a quick mail run to the post office, I observe a "for rent" sign in the 2nd floor window of a former house turned commercial property. A quick stop determines that the space is absolutely perfect. The building has recently had an addition put on and major renovations that have it designed exactly to our desire. It also has a charming retail space on the first floor that Joyce immediately visions as "Fabulous Fabriques of Lyndhurst" someday. It currently is a bridal boutique. The best part, the rent is very reasonable. It is at this moment that I know John and I have made the right decision. This space is just to perfect for there not to be a higher power guiding our lives."

And so for the next decade, my husband and I juggled his medical billing business, my not-for-profit career, and the care of our three children. Our daughter was often very ill and frequently had extended stays in the hospital. My dream of owning a fabric store was pushed down to barely a fragment of a thought.

In February of 2009, I left my career to care for Sarah who had once again become critically ill. When doctors suggested it was time for hospice care, I knew I had to be home with her.  By September of that year, her health was improving, and I was beginning to wonder what my future held. I pondered and prayed for guidance.

Then on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, the building owner approached us about taking over her space. She had decided it was time to retire from the bridal business.  I am usually a careful planner, I even have an advanced degree in strategic planning, yet I immediately blurted out the word "yes." Then I felt the need to explain that I did not want the space for our existing business, but rather to fulfill my dream of having a fabric and quilt store. A place for fun and friendship. A gathering spot for creativity. And so, nearly twelve years after my initial dream, I began to research, plan and prepare.

In my process of gathering new fabrics, something truly magical happened. Something I had never envisioned, nor then twenty year old daughter with Down syndrome took an interest in what I was doing. She loved handling and arranging the fabrics. I posted a picture of her doing so on my creative blog and somehow Kate Spain saw it. Kate emailed and asked to send Sarah a package. When it arrived, Sarah was excited beyond words. As she began to open it, I realized it was Verna, one of the most anticipated fabric lines from Moda since quilt market in October. In Kate's note to Sarah she wrote..."enclosed is a little love (in the form of fabric) from my heart to yours. Here's hoping your love for quilting grows and blooms like all the flowers in spring."

When I read that last sentence, it felt like I was touched by an angel. My worries and insecurities of opening a business during a difficult economic climate, were replaced with hope and determination. Then Kate posted a story about us on her blog. As I read the comments from readers, it hit me that this project needed to include Sarah and her friends. It needed to be a place where we embrace young woman who oftentimes have a challenge finding a place to hang out and be creative, but more importantly an employer willing to give them a place to feel productive.

Once comfortable with the concept of being that employer, I wondered if I truly could teach Sarah to sew. So I searched through magazines and catalogs to find something that might interest her, yet would be easy to sew. The idea of pillowcases emerged. I googled "pillowcase" and stumbled upon a awesome project: the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge. When I showed it to Sarah the next day, she loved it. Then as I read the description of the project to her and got to the word "cancer" she immediately thought of her blogging friend Kristen. They next day we went in search of Disney Princess fabric because that is Kristen's favorite.

As Sarah and I stood side-by-side, cutting and stitching and pressing, I felt like we were being given a gift greater than anything I had ever experienced. The day we saw the picture of Kristen with her pillow, I sat at my computer and cried. The feelings were simply overwhelming. To think how many people were involved in bringing this venture together is beyond my comprehension. I believe it is only thru His mysterious ways that my dream is coming true, yet on a level so much greater than I could ever have imagined.

Shortly after posting the final pictures of our pillow story, there was a message from someone new on Sarah's blog. I'm used to new visitors there as Sarah gets several hundred hits a day on her blog, but this visitor left her name: Jennifer Keltner. If you're not familiar, she just happens to be the Executive Editor of Better Homes and Garden's American Patchwork & Quilting who issued the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge. Once again, I was simply overwhelmed.

A few weeks later as I was driving back from my first wholesale show where I had the pleaure of meeting two of the nicest men from Moda, I could not help but think that yes, His ways may be mysterious, but they are speaking to me loud and clear. We are so blessed.

Stay tuned for our grand opening celebration planned for August 9, 2010, which also cleverly happens to be Sarah's 21st birthday.

Friday, March 12, 2010


i received a belated birthday card in the mail today
...from a stampin'up! friend
she has no idea
what colors
i have been sewing with
night and day
to prepare samples
for my coming out party in may
yet look how beautifully
they coordinate with frolic
i'm so happy she didn't mail this in january
thank you mary ann

Thursday, March 11, 2010

i ordered a crib... for all things
pink and blue
maybe even red or turquoise
i've always loved
walking into a quilt store
and seeing kids fabric
displayed in a crib
so adorable and functional
i'd forgotten though how long the
ordering process can take
i hope it arrives by our delivery date

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

i'm listening...

i truly believe
i have been in preparation for this endeavor
for nearly fifty years...

still there are moments that
i doubt myself
it can take just one negative comment
from someone you wished
would be supportive
then something happens that brings back
my vision
my zest and motivation for this project
today i had a call from a friend
who made the connections
she gets it
the quilting, the store
a place for sarah and her friends to work
thank you carole
your call meant the world to me

then there is the divine intervention
the small things
some might say coincidence
i say his mysterious ways
something, an intuition,
a nudge from my guardian angel perhaps
sent me into a furniture store
into the clearance room
where i found these two tables
the perfect size
the perfect color
the perfect price
when i brought them home
i placed on top the two verna patchworks
i made last night
coincidence...i say not

Monday, March 8, 2010

mailed the llc application...

after much research and
discussion with our accountant
i have opted to incorporate as an llc

so today i mailed the official application to
the ohio secretary of state
to become a limited liability corporation
just little ole me
sounds so...
well...corporate being a llc
i find it interesting that for an additional
they will expedite the process
isn't that sorta like paying off a
government worker
to do their job?
i opted not to
well see how long this takes

Saturday, March 6, 2010

a sneak peak

the mannequins in the window...
will soon be replaced with
a clever display of Moda fabrics
from the outside
it looks like a relatively new building
yet just behind the doors
hides features of the charming
1950's home
it was originally built to be
for the past twenty years or so
it has been the home of sposabella's bridal

i was able to take a few pictures
to begin to plan the layout...
the front room has this
framed in the original wood cutout
love the rounded archways
an original doorbell chime
hiding behind
shelves that will be coming down
to showcase a beautiful quilt or two

a working fireplace with marble surround
and a mantle
will be awesome for a seasonal display

sans the ugly brown cabinetry

this sweet kitchen area

is just calling out to be...

a featured moda bakeshop

hmm...i wonder how many
pom-poms were made in this
thousands i'm sure

this is the first wall of gowns
i plan to put
shelving on this wall for
the Moda designer collections
the round display in the center...
that will be Kate's table

the next room has a very long wall
to display all the basics
marbles and muslins
essential dots and crossweave
batiks and solids

the mother-of-the-bride room
will become our training area
for learn to sew instruction
for kids and adults
i've already had a request for
a boys session

the alteration area now tucked
four nicely painted pillars
will soon become a
a "sew"cial lounge
a place to gather for friendship
and fun
and fabric discussion

as i close my eyes each night
i visualize the
i just have to be patient
until the end of june

Thursday, March 4, 2010

the men from moda

once you decide to jump on...
the train starts rolling down the track...
today i went to my very first wholesale event
the great lakes fabric show
near toledo, ohio
there i met two of the nicest men
you ever wanted to know
mark and joesph
the men from moda
if i had any fears about this venture
they took them all away
they were so easy to work with
understanding my learning curve
and newness(is that a word?)
they were so willing to share their knowledge
i will forever be grateful