Friday, July 23, 2010

Where have all the Fabric Stores gone?

Back in 1981 when my dad, Bob Steinberg, decided to move his 750 sq. ft. store, Stonemountain Fabrics from the cozy town of Pacific Grove, there were so many stores already around Berkeley and San Francisco. I recall people saying that Berkeley did not need another Fabric Store. Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics began as a spunky 1000 sq. ft store near downtown Berkeley. Just down the street from our little start up was Kaufman's FabricLand and the inspiring Poppy Fabrics. Close by were small shops featuring authentic Japanese Fabric and another selling Guatemalan. New York Fabrics was the most amazing family run "chain" of fabric stores ever and they were close by in Emeryville and Oakland. Home Yardage was on Telegraph and many other stores as well. It was a thriving time for our fabric industry. People were sewing garments; kids were being taught in school; fashion fabrics of all types were easily available in every community across North America.

Fast forward to 2010 and we are now living in a new time. What happened?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Back in the Store!

Wow what a weekend we had here at Stonemountain & Daughter! Lots of customers from all over were in and checking out all the great new fabrics. I had a great weekend mostly staying around my home enjoying the nice sunny days in the East Bay. Spent some time learning more about how to run my website and what SEO means and how to update photos so I can keep it all fresh and inspiring. There is so much to learn! Since the beginning of our web page back in the mid 90's I have been working with various people to run our website and now it's time for me to take a more hands-on approach thanks to new software and systems.

Tomorrow I am going to the Mac store for some one-to-one training to learn how to update my other website at is a collective of independent retail fashion fabric stores who all advertise together in Threads & Vogue Magazines together. A few years ago, we also added this great website for fabric lovers all over to send out an email to all our member stores looking for specific fabrics! I became Director of this group and really enjoy helping our entire industry become stronger.

So some of you may be wondering where our name came from. Our family name is Steinberg and that translates to Stonemountain...and with it being my dad and me, it became Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics. In 1976 my Dad opened up Stonemountain Fabrics in Pacific Grove until 1981 when he moved to Berkeley. You can read more of our history here.

Well back to the busy store - Going to send out a postcard this week. Hope you all are enjoying our e-newsletter that went out!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Well here goes! I am not sure how I got here today, but it seems to be happening! Sometimes the spontaneous way of doing things is the best way to jump in. I will figure it out as I go, but it seems right and easy so far. I have been working on learning how to manage my own website and it seems like laying down some of my experiences and thoughts in a blog makes sense.

I think I have the best job in the world. Really. Who wouldn't want to buy every single pieces of gorgeous FABRIC...gorgeous silks, wools, rayons, linens and tons of knits...and of course cottons! Cotton is and has been King since the 70's. I grew up in my father's first store, Bob Steinberg's Fabric Emporium which opened in 1967. It truly was the first Hippie, Counter Culture Fabric Store selling Cotton - not polyester double knits!!! He bought from Alexander Henry, went to school with the Hoffman's and Kaufman's!

Our store is no accident. When my Dad opened up here in Berkeley, people were saying that Berkeley did NOT need another fabric store. So many have closed and we have grown steadily serving our community of Fabric Lovers in all kinds of original ways!

I have been working with my father for almost 30 years (anniversary is February 2011) and so amazed and filled with gratitude that we get to still keep making Stonemountain & Daughter a fabulous place to shop and work in.

I guess I do have stuff to say and look forward to sharing more of our family history, the great fabrics that come in everyday and some personal stuff from time to time.