Sunday, December 29, 2013

Not your ordinary fabric store...

Victoria Magazine is a women's magazine highlighting women entrepreneurs and businesswomen. It features women who turn what they love into a thriving business. They call this a "Business of Bliss".  And, though my wonderful Dad started Stonemountain Fabrics years ago, I am truly blessed to be a huge part of this Business of Bliss and it's success here in Berkeley today.

Being a women-owned business takes a lot of long hours and hard work.  In today's economic times of big box and large chain stores, small businesses like Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics require constant vigilance and high energy to stay ahead of daily challenges. But I love what my team and I accomplish - each day is different, each day brings joy.

When I hadn't seen my friend and dressmaker Laurel, of Laurel's Quill blog, in a month or so,  she said she was feeling some fabric deprivation and wanted to spend the day just being in the "Stonemountain groove"... taking photos, talking to customers and of course, continuing to plan my wardrobe. She left me with these wonderful snapshots of her day... she totally captured what daily life here at Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics is all about.

Just a normal day....

The best part of buying fabric for our customers is when the delivery truck arrives. We receive fabric deliveries almost's one of the things that sets us apart - fresh new finds every time a customer comes in!

Opening the boxes is like Christmas all over again - we can't wait to see what's in them!

When a big shipment arrives, it's kind of "All hands on deck!" Bolts need to be labeled, inventoried and priced.

Bolts and bolts, yards and yards of beautiful Italian woolens...

Charlene "owns" the fashion fabric room, so she picked out the new woolens that she wanted to  display.  Of course, sometimes that means we move out older fabrics to make room...

"I'm just not feelin' this one...", she says. Off it goes upstairs to the half-price sale room!

Laurel made a point of walking around the store to chat with customers, just to see what they were making. It was so great to hear their sewing stories.

Like Sally from Oakland who saw the Sandra Betzina blouse we made out of cotton voile - she loved it so much, she's copying ours!

Stonemountain is rather famous for it's button wall - every day, we have customers like Mary Ann who come in only to find the perfect button for a garment they made. There's just something joyful about handling all those little "jewels"!

Here's another special thing about our store - mothers and grandmothers bringing in their young "sewists" for a class or to make a special project.

Like Gema, age 6 from Orinda...She is making a blanket for her baby cousin who "Needs a soft blanket".

Picking out fabric for a special garment can not be rushed - you need to touch it, hold it up to your face, drape it over your shoulder...let it speak to you. Katherine of El Sobrante is just getting back into garment sewing.  Like many of our customers, she learned how to sew in middle school.

Another customer brought in her Christmas plates to find just the perfect fabric for her holiday table.

Our cutting tables are always busy...

And in between all of my administrative tasks I get to actually help a customer.  I love connecting with people and the satisfaction of helping someone make their fabric dream come to life.

Our irrepressible Gerri, all decked out in the Holiday spirit. I am blessed to have a great staff!

Grandma's still shopping, so Mom and baby take a moment amidst the woolens.

Carmen from Emeryville keeps a close watch on our sales associate while she cuts her fabrics.

Laurel even brought down her latest Marci Tilton Jacket to get some feedback from our staff.  Is it too long? Does it need a button? The consensus of opinions was that it was just right, as is.

When Laurel comes down from Sacramento, there's always a couple of new garments for me to try on, as well as plan new items to plan for my wardrobe. We love that our wardrobe project and blog are capturing the attention of other sewists and inspiring them to start garment sewing again.

"When I get old and can't sew, I just want someone 
to push me around in a fabric store..." 
SuZan, 2013

Wishing each of you the very best in 2014!
Please stop by for a visit and say hi

Suzan Steinberg
a.k.a. Daughter!

Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics
2518 Shattuck Ave. @ Dwight Way, Berkeley
510-845-6106 (for any questions!)

A Center for Garment Sewing & Quilting
Serving the greater Bay Area since 1976
"An old world fabric store for the new age"

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