Just a couple of weeks ago, one lucky designer claimed the top prize in our 2013 Fabric8 contest. Thank you all for being part of the community that chose Robert Kaufman's newest fabric designer by voting for your favorite Geek Chic fabric collection! Your winner, Sarah Johnston, won a contract with Robert Kaufman Fabrics for her Fabric8 Geek Chic collection, a $1000 advance against royalties, and a Wacom professional digital drawing tablet. Now she begins the exciting journey to see her Geek Chic collection produced by Robert Kaufman and sold around the world!
For a peek into the process, we invited 2012 Fabric8 winner Andie Hanna, to share her experience of producing her first professional textile collection. Her collection for Robert Kaufman Fabrics, Modern Bliss, debuted at International Quilt Market this spring, and is now for sale in fabric shops all over the US and online.
I currently live in Columbus, Ohio where I grew up. I worked as a fashion designer all over the country for over fifteen years, but was able to leave my full time job last August to stay home with my 6 year old son, Emerson and work on having another– I'm currently four and a half months pregnant with a girl due in October). The timing couldn't have been better!
My husband, Josh and I had been working on getting to a place financially where I could work from home and not have kids in daycare, and we reached our goal right after I won the Fabric8 Contest. It was so exciting because I really got to transition into my new role and focus on my "Modern Bliss" collection. I have a huge family here in Columbus – tons of cousins and they're all extremely supportive. My cousin Michelle and my mom even helped me sew a ton of samples for the trunk show!
Coming from the Fashion industry, Quilt Market was a whole new world to me and it was amazing! I learned a lot about the quilting world and saw so many great fabrics, quilts and sewing patterns. It was very inspiring! I got to meet many of the people from Robert Kaufman which was fantastic. I had spoken to many of them on the phone, emailed and even Skyped but I got to meet them in person and they are so supportive and sweet.
One of the most amazing things was getting to see the swatch board of my "Modern Bliss" collection at the Robert Kaufman booth. They didn't have yardage of my fabric yet, it was being produced, so they sold my collection from a swatch board instead of hangers. It was very surreal to see the sales reps showing this to potential customers!
I just finished sewing a ton of samples in my "Modern Bliss" collection for a trunk show at a local fabric shop that is carrying my fabric. I was featured in the last issue of MOYO (a digital surface design magazine at www.dowhatyouloveforlife.com/moyo) and got to design the layout of my interview myself. I've already submitted several Fall 2013 collections to Robert Kaufman and they've decided to license one of them which I'm thrilled about. It's very different from my debut collection, but it's fun and whimsical. I'm currently finishing up some Spring 2014 collections to send to Robert Kaufman soon.