Perham quilt store unvails new line of baby fabrics
Consider it a "retail baby shower." When Bay Window Quilt Shop manager Katie Hennagir celebrates the release of her new line of fabric for babies, it will be a citywide celebration.
In addition to featuring Hennagir's line, the baby shower event will include some of the newest baby items from a handful of area merchants. The Wild Goose, Nadine's, Place in the Country, and The Back Porch will team up for the unique retail event.
The shower will run during store hours at Bay Window Quilt Shop, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Saturday, March 6. Demonstrations and door prizes will run throughout the day.
Hennagir will have a nursery set, quilts she designed with her baby fabric, and a variety of other projects on display in the shop to showcase the versatility of her line. Starting in early February, Perham's Bay Window Quilt Shop has been selling the fabric, which is a 26-piece line of regular cotton that's used for quilting and decorating.
Sarah Hayden, Bay Window Quilt Shop owner and Katie Hennagir's mother, said that although it will primarily be sold in the United States, the fabric will be available in stores all over the world. Bay Window carries the complete line, which has been selling well so far.
Hennagir and her husband Jace have two young children, a baby girl and boy. It was when her son was born a few years ago that Hennagir found herself frustrated with the type of fabric that was available.
"About two years ago, when I was decorating my son's nursery, I was having trouble finding what I wanted in the fabric industry," she explains. Although she doesn't consider herself an artist, Hennagir says she just knows what she likes and started drawing some design ideas on paper.
Pleased with the creations she came up with, Hennagir took the next big step and put together a proposal, contacting the Robert Kaufman Company, based out of Las Angeles, California. Knowing that they didn't have anyone who was doing baby fabric for them yet, this was the first company Hennagir contacted in the industry.
In February of 2008, Hennagir got some overwhelmingly positive encouragement back from the people at Robert Kaufman. "They said, 'Yes, we love it. We want to do it,'" Hennagir recalls.
With the initial go-ahead in place, Hennagir then went through a process of refining her ideas, sending samples back and forth from Perham to California. The entire creative design process was done through the mail, meaning Hennagir never even had to go out to Las Angeles to work on the line.
She used some printed computer images, markers, and colored pencils to perfect her ideas on paper. When it came time to get the color choices right, Hennagir made the easy trip next door from Bay Window to the paint store, owned by her father, Ed Hayden. She sent paint samples to California to get the colors exact.
The 26 pieces in Hennagir's line include some of the same patterns that are repeated in different colors. Within the line, Hennagir created different "color stories," with a girl color story in pink and brown; a boy color story in blue and brown; and a neutral color story in yellow, green, and brown.
The main image on the fabric is a bird, which was inspired by a children's wall plaque that caught Hennagir's attention when she was flipping through a Pottery Barn catalogue. Her favorite pattern is one that features trees that are made up of hearts.
"For me, it's been interesting to see what the consumer is going to do with my fabric," Hennagir says of one of the most rewarding parts of her venture into the fabric designing business. She explains how when she created the fabric, she had a very clear idea of what she was going to do with it. When others look at the same material, Hennagir is fascinated by the different projects people envision and bring to fruition.
"People say how fresh the colors are, because it's more contemporary, more for a modern mom," Hennagir says of some of the feedback she's received so far.
With such a positive experience behind her, Hennagir says she's ready to take the next step and start the creative process all over again. She is just starting to work on her next collection, which has already been approved by Robert Kaufman Company. This time, her line will be geared toward gifts people can make for babies.
To learn more about Hennagir's baby line, or other happenings at Perham's Bay Window Quilt Shop, visit: baywindowquiltshop.com.