Last weekend was a pretty surreal moment in my career. I was an exhibitor at the 2019 American Craft Show in Baltimore, MD. I would not have reached this point if it were not for a few major changes in my life.
- In 2016 someone very close to me who was major supporter of everything I did in my life unexpectedly passed away. It was really sudden and it rocked our world. It made my husband and I completely reevaluate how we were living our lives. We both realized that we needed to make more time for doing what we were passionate about, and for each other.
- 2017 brought the closing of the store I had been managing full time for five years. I was informed a new store was opening but I was not guaranteed the position of store manager. I was told in three months I could reapply for my job. During my time off I realized that I just couldn’t go back, the job was creating too much toxicity in my life. It was a hard decision to walk away from a steady paycheck, but it was a decision made with the support of my family.
- Some time after losing my job and starting to think about weaving full time a clothing company (Jamie & The Jones) reached out to me through Instagram. They had been looking at some of my posts and asked if I would be interested in weaving yardage for a limited run of special sweaters. I had always wanted to weave for clothing, and this was a great opportunity that I couldn’t pass up!
- In the fall of 2017 I was accepted into a Business for the Arts class. Eric convinced me to apply for it because he thought it would help motivate me to start my business in earnest. I met some amazing local artists, who were all very supportive and encouraging of one another. It made me focus on what I needed to do to get the ball rolling on Comfortcloth.
- Around the same times my class, I was asked to help a textile conservator clean some tapestries at the Kykuit Estate. They just happened to be PICASSO TAPESTRIES! I vacuumed and removed the jute strapping from the back and I spent a long time alone in the gallery thinking about weaving, art, and where I fit into it all.
In January of 2018 we officially opened for business as Comfortcloth Weaving LLC and in April we started doing craft shows. We kept the shows local and relatively small. The more we put ourselves out there, the more we had a positive response. The yardage I wove for Jamie and the Jones was successful and it seemed every show that I applied to, I was getting accepted, which was kind of scary at the time.
My mentors at Fritelli and Lockwood (Cecelia and Richard) encouraged me to apply to shows that I was afraid of. Big craft shows that draw in large crowds. One weekend I just went for it. What could go wrong? I wouldn’t get selected? I applied to a bunch of shows with my short lived bravado to see what would happen. Then I started getting acceptance letters, one of them being the American Craft Show in Baltimore.
It was humbling and uplifting at the same time. I have been working so hard to make this happen, and people were starting to take notice. I have been overwhelmed by the rate of growth in just the last year. And I am now showcasing my work at venues that my weaving idols are part of, which I didn’t think would happen for a long time. I’m beginning to feel like I am on the right path in my career.
In November of 2018, Eric decided to come work for Comfortcloth. He has been learning how to dye yarn and weave rugs. He has been such a huge support of mine from the very beginning, and now that he is helping directly with the business’ production, it feels like we are an unstoppable team.
Baltimore has come and gone, and we are currently recovering from the action filled weekend. But I want you all to know that I will be starting up writing on my blog again. I want to share my experience growing my business and how my weaving evolves. I can’t wait to share with everyone what amazing things the world of craft has in store.