On Tuesday, April 7, 2009 I had the pleasure of talking to two quilting club groups at the Craft Warehouse in Aloha, Oregon. This store has an amazing quilting and fabric department whose size is very deceptive – they pack a great variety of fabric in a small space.
The first Tuesday of January I was wandering around the store and not only found some of my fabric, but the quilt panel was sewn together and hanging as a sample! Woo-Hoo! COOL! Who could I tell? This very nice lady named Phyliss came by so she was the winner. It turns out she coordinates the monthly quilt club at the store (it meets the first Tuesday of the month at 1 pm and 6:30 pm). When I told her I was a designer for South Sea Imports and they carried some of my designs, she asked me to come and talk to the group.
So yesterday I told two groups of women about the design process — from idea to color to creating patterns. We had Q&A and they had some great questions. It was so nice to get out of the studio and connect with people who use my products — and see what they are doing with fabric in general to keep my creative juices flowing.
I connected with a few quilters who are interested in learning about art licensing or know artists who would be interested. I met a woman who does long-arm quilting and lives 3 blocks from me. I enjoyed interacting with the end consumer, gained more insight into what they want and how they use the fabric I design and got some local exposure to my brand (that would be me, “Tara Reed Designs”).
While most of licensing is done on a larger than local scale, don’t underestimate the power of personal connections with consumers and creative people in your own back yard. A little food for thought…