Sunday, March 13, 2011

My love of Jo-Ann Fabrics, it goes back a long time.....

Did ya'll know that I worked at Jo-Ann Fabrics during high school and college? I started when I was 16 years old and I still have my name tag pinned to my bulletin board 24 years later!  They almost didn't hire me!  They were afraid I wouldn't be able to read patterns, sell sewing machines or help customers with fabric selections.  I proved them wrong when I demanded a test and ended up knowing more about sewing than the manager.  (LOL)

Yep, that's me in the middle with
blond hair and a metallic-blue bubble dress!

 They didn't know that I had started sewing with patterns at 8 and by the time I was sixteen, I was designing clothing and making party dresses for anyone who would wear them. At the time, I was the youngest employee that store had ever had.  I worked at the same store until I graduated from College.  I even got a ruby pin to celebrate my 5 years!

The way I got hired is an inspiring story about cold calling and believing in yourself.  Over the past few years, I have given many seminars and speeches on being a creative entrepreneur and the tale of 16-year old me getting hired at JAS, almost always starts the dialogue.  I'll save that for another post.

A few months ago, I was contacted by the publicity department to help with their Spring National Craft Month Campaign!  I was trilled beyond belief and so honored to be included with my other creative friends.  Each three-sided display is located in every Jo-Ann Fabrics store across America and is loaded with free craft projects sheets that you can take with you.  The projects are also available online.  Mine are hereYou can see the entire press kit here.

For this design, I used hem tape to create romantic ruffles.  I just LOVE the colors of Wrights hem tape.  They’re flirty, feminine and fabulous! Ruffles are one of my hot trend predictions for spring. Give pillows, jackets, scarves, purses and more an instant touch of girly glamour with her ruffled pin-on flowers.  Visit this link to download the instructions.

For the lacy pins, I used RIT Dye to alter the colors of plain cream lace trim.  So EASY!  Slightly vintage, yet totally modern, these hand-sewn accessories bloom with whimsy and elegance. Visit this link to download the instructions.

For the kids, I designed this yummy treat!  I used the Wilton melting is perfect for when you want to have the little ones dip into melted chocolate.  The base stays cool and kids get to dive into making this treat.  Marshmallows placed onto cookie sticks then coated in candy melts and crushed graham crackers are the treats that everyone will be raving about at parties. They're easy to eat and share – with no gooey mess. For presentation with eye-appeal, adhere colorful paper leaves to each stick.  Visit this link to download the instructions!

Ya know crafting is big business when CNBC and Istock Analysis have picked up on the story!

Learn more about the other crafty folks involved!


  1. This is a wonderful story. TFS!!

  2. Anonymous11:55 AM

    I love seeing a picture of you from when you were young. You look pretty much the same. I too worked at a fabric store. I really enjoy your projects and your blog. Thank you for sharing.

  3. It was so nice to read your history with Jo-Ann's!! I shopped at Cloth World/Jo-Ann's when I was a little girl with my Mom. I think of her every time I shop there now. I call Jo-Ann's my retail therapist, because I can go there on my lunch hour and forget the stress of the day by touching all the different textures of fabric and yarn, and getting new project inspiration!!

  4. Hi Cathie,
    Helen from Blumenthal Lansing Company - Just wanted to say that I love your lacey pins that you featured in JAS stores! The buttons you featured in your projects are all available in the JoAnn Stores - La Mode. If you don't mind I'd love to share on our FB page! thanks Helen

  5. Hi Helen,

    Please do! I love your buttons! They always inspire me.

    Thanks - cathie

  6. Love it, thank you for the shout out! Viva Jo-Ann!!!


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