Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Fabric Shopping Down South

Before we left for Beaufort, I researched the fabric scene in the lowcountry.  I honestly didn't find much, but I knew I wanted to revisit Fabrika in Savannah and I wanted to check out Tabby Fabric and Studio in downtown Beaufort.  I hadn't been to Fabrika since I lived in Savannah, but I'd heard they moved to a larger space on Liberty near my old apartment and I had to go.

My mom and I went to Tabby early Tuesday and we were not disappointed.  In fact, I think I may have made friends--this is amazing!  The owner, Rhonda, and the sales associate, Lauren, were so friendly and wonderful.  All they wanted to do was talk fabric, and that's all I ever want to do, so it was a match made in heaven.  Tabby is a new store; I think Rhonda said they've been open nine weeks.  However, Cloud 9, Denyse Schmidt, Oliver + S, Heather Bailey, Anna Maria Horner--all were already stocked on the shelves.  Impressive!  They also carry Sublime Stitching patterns and tools and embroidery supplies, and have several Janomes just waiting for a project.  There's so much potential and the store is very open and welcoming--lots of natural light, mannequins in the window, extremely friendly staff.

I went back Thursday afternoon and met Nancy, who has an Etsy store and was also crazily friendly.  (I say crazily because I'm from the land of silence and mean looks--I've lived in DC for sixteen months and haven't made a friend; I visit Beaufort for a week and come home with three new friends.)  I picked up some hand embroidery supplies and more fabric.  I can't get enough!  Friday nights at Tabby are Sewcial nights, meaning you can bring your portable projects and unwind with some other ladies.  I brought my embroidery--I'm working on a new project bag--and sat with Rhonda for over an hour.  I also talked to her while we were walking around Beaufort Saturday.  This is what I'm talking about--fabric stores should be this welcoming and happy!  

I came home with lots of fabric!  (Duh.)

Stof is a Danish line and Rhonda is one of the first stores in America to carry it.  Adorable!  I bought these to make a knitting bag for my mom for Christmas (shhh).

I bought a couple Half-Moon Modern prints for my hand embroidery bag.  I'm embroidering an embroidery hoop and needle on the front scissor print.  Meta!

More Stof fabric.  This reminds me of the iced animal cookies I used to eat as a kid.

Denyse Schmidt Hope Valley--I'm thinking this will be a shirtdress?

I plan on sending some treats to the ladies.  I have a ton of Washi left over, so I might make some clutches and send them down.  I'll have to think of something!

We also went to Fabrika.  Like I said, I've loved this little store for years, but I was so disappointed.  The owners weren't in and it was obvious: they're always extremely friendly and their passion really shines through, as it should.  However, Mom and I walked in without a greeting, and there were maybe two or three other customers in there besides us.  There was one associate, but she didn't say hi, didn't ask if we needed help, and really was only interested in staring at her feet.  It was such an unwelcoming environment.  No one was talking and even the music wasn't customer-friendly and high-energy.  I loved the set-up of the store and found a lot that I'd like to buy (embroidery patterns mostly), but figured I'd rather buy online than support this.  I doubt the owners are reading this, but I hope they coach their associates a bit better.  We left without buying anything because we felt so unwelcome.

So the embroidery bug has bitten me again and I have a lot of ideas for patterns!  I also came home with tons of patterns from my mom.  I have a lot to do.

If you go to Beaufort, visit Tabby and say hi to Rhonda for me!  I miss her and the whole gang already.

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