A New Direction

on Sep 25, 2014 in Inspiration | 144 comments

The Short Version:

  • All inventory (fabric, printed sewing patterns and notions) is being liquidated to create space for new things to grow.
  • The Pink Chalk Fabrics web store will continue to sell printed and downloadable sewing patterns.
  • Pink Chalk Studio moves full steam ahead with a focus on teaching and new pattern designs.

The Long Version:

March 2006 marked a turning point in my life. I wrote and published my first blog post. A seed. A manifestation of my passion for making things. The blog nurtured my creative side by encouraging me to follow my imagination wherever it led me. I had a lot to say. Both in words and in fabric.

The journey led me to designing and publishing my first sewing pattern. The Note Taker made its debut June 2007. I designed more, published more, pitched it all in every way I could think of and a small business was born. I wasn’t making much money and the spreadsheet tracking my income revealed it most likely would never be a viable long term source of income.

Pink Chalk Fabrics followed. With great enthusiasm I launched the web shop on May 14, 2008. Build it and they will come. Not exactly. The growth of the shop came slowly. I had a vision of what I wanted my business to be. What I wanted it to say about my views on sewing as an expression of self. On the sacredness of this thing we do when we allow ourselves to explore our own unique creative flow. How I could best share my passion for making things.

I wanted everything that was Pink Chalk to reflect and express how gosh darn important this thing we do with a needle and thread is to me!

When I interview people for jobs I attempt to explain my philosophy of why I do this and how I view it in the greater scheme of things. How I believe that our energy, love and passion for our work is packaged up along with the fabric. Transmitted with every image shared and word written. That our customers feel that love when opening a package from Pink Chalk Fabrics. That how we resolve a problem, talk on the phone, write a blog post, share an image, compose an e-mail, greet people coming into the shop, and set our policies all matter. A lot.

It’s about respect. Respect for that sacred safe haven where we create. A place located a step away from the chaos of our lives. A secret hideaway from caretaking for children, partners, parents and friends. A place just for us. A quiet spot where our voice isn’t judged or dismissed or criticized. A happy place that brings us peace and makes us smile.

This Place provides Comfort. Safety. Love. Beauty. It feeds our Soul. Nourishes our Spirit. Reminds us that despite everything going on around us we are OK.

Now, at this point in the interview one of two things happen. The person glazes over and looks at me like I’m a total whack job. Or they light up. They understand exactly what I’m saying. Those are the amazing women I get to work with each day.

OK, so where is all this going? I feel a need to convey what this journey is about for me and hopefully by sharing that it will illuminate more clearly why I’m embarking on this new twist in the adventure.

A new direction! Never before traveled avenues to explore my creativity. To express and share my gifts. Continue to wholeheartedly experience what my passion for sewing says about who I am, what I want and how I can best serve.

I have lots of ideas about where I’ll start. Online classes. Teaching locally and afar. Writing new patterns. Video tutorials. Sew alongs. Pushing the limits of my creative ideas.

I have absolutely no idea where it will lead. And lead it will. I know that from past experience. Sort of the fun part about the whole thing.

Am I scared? Hell yes. This is a HUGE leap of faith. To follow that little voice inside of me that won’t sit quietly and leave me alone. That tells me it’s time for a change. Time to act. Time to think big and do new things. To follow my muse and not be afraid.

I’ve decided to listen. Let Faith and Trust guide me. I just wish it didn’t require me to let go of something so BIG! My EGO is having a field day. Grow more. Bigger is better. Are you crazy? You can’t stop doing this. Who do you think you are?

The gift of making a decision to take this new course is this: I’m excited in a way I haven’t been in a very, very, very long time. It feels right. So in alignment with my purpose for being. I’m at peace.

I move forward with an understanding that it might not work the way I imagine. That I may look back with fear when things get rough. That the path may not be all that I thought I was signing up for. I’m OK with that.

I know deep in my Heart and Soul that honoring my passion will lead me exactly where I’m intended to go whatever that ends up looking like.

Thank you for continuing to share this journey with me. It’s going to be fun!

xoxo 🙂 Kathy

    144 Comments

  1. Wow. I’m sad and at the same time excited. I remember that first trade show when we sat and talked about the future. You’ve done amazing things. I believe you will continue to do amazing things. I look forward to it. Best wishes.

    View Comment
    Auntie Pami

    September 25, 2014

  2. Good luck, Kathy! You’ve got good instincts, and I know it’s scary. I felt that way a couple of years ago when I bought my longarm, but it has taken me and my work places I never dreamed. Sending all god thoughts and vibes your way. xo

    View Comment
    Mandy

    September 25, 2014

  3. You go girl! So excited for you as you embark on this new adventure. Love you!

    View Comment
    Sarah

    September 25, 2014

  4. Honestly, I cannot think of a more inspiring message. It reinforces for all of us who feel this tug to follow our right work just how vital it is to trust and forge ahead into the unknown.

    May you bask in the light of this wonderful new journey, and, truly, know that whatever each days brings, it is exactly what is needed.

    View Comment
    Alexandra terHorst

    September 25, 2014

  5. Kathy, I’m so sorry to see the store going away. But I’m very excited for you too. It’s important to listen to your inner voice. You’ll be great! Wishing you all the best.

    View Comment
    Kim Raison

    September 25, 2014

  6. I wish you all the best and look forward to seeing what you accomplish

    View Comment
    Buffy

    September 25, 2014

  7. Ach, this is both hard to hear and inspiring, as the PP said. I just love your store and your taste in fabrics and everything about Pink Chalk Fabrics as it currently exists. You’ve done such a top notch job as a retailer. I know you’ll do a top notch job at your next phase too, but I’ll miss this phase!

    View Comment
    Rachel at Stitched in Color

    September 25, 2014

  8. Best wishes for success as your move forward. Good luck!

    View Comment
    Kate

    September 25, 2014

  9. I’ll sure miss your great fabric shop and interesting, informative newsletters. You are one of my favorite shops!

    View Comment
    Cynthia

    September 25, 2014

  10. Well. I sure wish I could work for you, as I am one that “would light up…” in that environment, too! You go to your “happy place” to create and do even more wonderful things…I admire your moxie! Best of luck!

    View Comment
    rebecca

    September 25, 2014

  11. All the best for your new ways Kathy! You are right: your idea will lead you and it will be to the right place for you. Maybe with a little detour here and there but you will get there – because you continued your journey..

    View Comment
    Claudia of machenundtun

    September 25, 2014

  12. Yay for you! I wish you all the happiness and success you desire and deserve. Good luck!

    View Comment
    Karen Seitz

    September 25, 2014

  13. Congrats on your next big thing! Please keep blogging and letting us know how it’s going!

    View Comment
    Lisa E

    September 25, 2014

  14. I’ve loved shopping at Pink Chalk you! You have set the bar high for all online fabric shops.

    Here’s to the future. It’s all about dreams, vision, and a lot of hard work! I’m looking forward to what you have to share with us next.

    View Comment
    sue

    September 25, 2014

  15. Kathy, I’m so sure you will succeed with all your plans and you will go your own path no matter which obstacle you will be confronted with!
    Pink Chalk Fabrics is a wonderful work of you and I’m sure your next step can turn out even better!
    All the best!

    View Comment
    Brigitte of Zen Chic

    September 25, 2014

  16. I’m so happy for you and excited to see what great things are in store in the future! I’m also sad that I won’t be able to buy fabric from you anymore. Pink Chalk has always been the best for customer service and fabric selection, and I am truly in awe of what you have built over the years. You have supported me from the beginning of my sewing journey and I will always be so thankful for that. Best of luck on this new focus! I’ll be cheering you along!

    View Comment
    Jenelle

    September 25, 2014

  17. Are you closing Pink Chalk Fabrics? Your store was an inspiration to me. I had a little fabric shop, Quiltopia!Design and have just sold it to move on to other things. It does take over your life! I started by having massive sales, then someone asked if I’d be interested in selling the business. I was surprised, hadn’t thought of that because it was so much a part of me, but now it’s sold it feels great. It’s hard to see Quiltopia being operated by other people and to me it’s not Quiltopia any more. But I’m free and I’m off to China soon to see where life will take me. Good luck Kathy, Ann.

    View Comment
    Ann Ferguson

    September 25, 2014

  18. Oh my goodness, Kathy! I am sad about your shop closing, I am happy to hear that you have a great adventure ahead! Best of luck!

    View Comment
    Jemellia Hilfiger

    September 25, 2014

  19. High five and way to go! I will miss your beautiful online shop but look forward with great anticipation this next step along your journey. You have long been an inspiration and I wish you the very best.

    View Comment
    Megan Dye

    September 25, 2014

  20. As Rachel said, I’ll miss your wonderful shop and the excitement of seeing a “Pink Chalk Fabrics” return label! Even as I hope that the new venture might bring you this way and we could meet in person. Best of luck to you with what comes next, and I hope to see you soon!

    View Comment
    Jenny

    September 25, 2014

  21. I’m feeling very sad for myself right now because Pink Chalk Fabrics isn’t one of my favorite online fabric shops, it is my ONLY shop. I feel adrift.
    BUT I TOTALLY get what you’ve written. I retired early because my work was no longer “me” and now I’m on my own creative path. Wishing you grand journeys ahead. Ann – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    View Comment
    Ann Christman

    September 25, 2014

  22. I am so sad your store is closing. I could count on quality fabric, quick shipping, great customer service if needed. Your store was easy to search and find just what I was looking for. If your new endeavor turns out like your store you will not need me to say good luck.

    View Comment
    nancy mcmahan

    September 25, 2014

  23. Oh wow. Kathy, I wish you all the best in what the future holds for you. On a selfish note, I’m so sad that you are closing. You were my favorite online shop. I am the type that doesn’t buy until I’m ready to make a project, so I probably only shopped from you a few times a year. But you always had what I need and your customer service was top notch. I loved how you would help choose the perfect fabric and make sure everything went together. I’m going to miss that. Even my local brick and mortar shop doesn’t do that. Good luck to everyone at Pink Chalk for the future.

    View Comment
    Ginger

    September 25, 2014

  24. Dear Kathy,

    I am afraid this is going to be a long comment 🙂 When I read that you were going to close out your fabric I almost started crying. I think that says something coming from another shop owner…. wow… this is not as easy to write as I thought it would be. Firstly, thanks for being so courageous and embarking on another amazing journey. Knowing you it definitely will be amazing. I have only met you once face to face but you have been an inspiration to me. I think of you as a superstar and you are so kind and so generous even to those of us that are in the same business as you. I have been having a conversation with myself for a few weeks now about some of the same things that you are… I am remembering that it wasn’t selling fabric that made me want to start this merry-go-round it was the love of sharing my passion for creating. I am trying to figure out if there is anyway to do both at this point…. anyway… all of this to say: Congratulations on the new direction and the next epic journey. You can be sure we will all be watching and cheering you on!

    Kindest Regards,
    Julie

    View Comment
    Julie

    September 25, 2014

  25. I’m excited for you. 🙂 Your willingness to try something new…to see where it will go….has always been inspiring to me. Go girl!!! Hugs.

    View Comment
    cindy

    September 25, 2014

  26. I admire you Kathy. The very best of luck to you. Hugs and kisses.
    -Annemarie

    View Comment
    Annemarie Quevedo

    September 25, 2014

  27. Leaving for the right reasons is better than staying for the wrong reasons, so I wish you the best of luck and great adventures along the way. Does this mean that my downloadable patterns will no longer be available through your website? I think I’ve downloaded all of the ones I’ve bought, but perhaps you can remind people to do so if you are no longer going to be keeping them on our store accounts.

    View Comment
    Ophelia Chan

    September 25, 2014

    • Hi Ophelia,
      Thank you for your kind words. Kathy is keeping the downloadable patterns so no worries there. You will be able to access them and purchase more as needed. xo – Diana

      View Comment
      Diana

      September 25, 2014

  28. say it isn’t so! the closing part, that is…? i too had tears in my eyes as i read about your liquidation sale (you’ve been my favorite online fabric shop for years!), but also because i recognize the voice inside telling you to stop, reflect, listen and to act on your heart’s intuition… i wish you, and the chalkettes, all the best, and look forward to hearing about your grand adventures ahead.
    p.s. i was the one who yelled to you “i love pink chalk fabrics!” outside the restaurant in austin during quilt-con 🙂 hopefully we’ll see you there again.

    View Comment
    andrea

    September 25, 2014

  29. I will miss your shop greatly and your wonderful solids matching skills! But… I am excited to hear more about your new adventure. You and the Pink Chalk Ladies are so inspiring! I wish you all the best of luck! I know whatever is coming next will be AMAZING!

    View Comment
    Marci Warren_Elmer

    September 25, 2014

  30. Dear Kathy, I love what you’ve done with Pink Chalk Fabrics. You are way above other sites that just sell fabric. I wish you luck as you follow your heart in a new direction. Good luck and keep us advised. I’ll be so anxious to see where you’re going and hope I can tag along.
    Jo Ann

    View Comment
    Jo Ann Moulds

    September 25, 2014

  31. Hi Kathy….Well, cheers on the courage to go for wherever that little light leads! A letting go, a new birth, both struggles, but you know it’s worth it. Movement takes imagination, otherwise inertia is where we settle. Hope you will continue the blog so we can follow the trip.

    My best to you,
    Suzanne

    View Comment
    Suzanne

    September 25, 2014

  32. Beside my local quilt shop you’ve been my go-to place for inspiration and fabric ideas. I wish you the best on your new path!!

    View Comment
    Cindy

    September 25, 2014

  33. Kathy, I wish you the best in this new direction and endeavor. I remember one time I was sewing in a cabin in the mountains and working on a deadline–I needed something ASAP. I called Pink Chalk and you moved me to the beginning of the line. I received my fabric so fast and met the deadline! That is the kind of customer service I always have received. I have felt the passion through the computer lines. Best of luck.

    View Comment
    cindy-liveacolorfullife

    September 25, 2014

  34. What an exciting move, Kathy! I wish you all the best! We will all miss Pink Chalk Fabrics, but can’t wait to learn more about your new direction. Congratulations!

    View Comment
    Debbie-Esch House Quilts

    September 25, 2014

  35. Although I am sorry to see your shop closing, I am a big believer in the following of a persons dreams. I wish you well in all your new endeavors.

    View Comment
    Jo

    September 25, 2014

  36. Good luck on this new path, Kathy! I sure hope I still get to see you – you always make me happy to be in this industry. Congratulations on finding new inspiration!

    View Comment
    jennifer

    September 25, 2014

  37. While I am sad that my favorite online fabric source is closing, I am inspired by your bold decision to stay true to yourself and follow your creative vision. Best wishes as you move in your new direction! 🙂

    View Comment
    Robin

    September 25, 2014

  38. Wow Kathy, good for you!! Do you remember when we first met? You did not have the shop, you weren’t even sure if you were going to continue blogging. Fast forward and look at all that has happened in that time. Amazing girl! There is plenty more for you. A new season and that is a cool thing xox Clarice

    View Comment
    clarice

    September 25, 2014

  39. Bonne chance, Kathy ! The shop and your newsletter, I will miss greatly. And the pink “papier de soie” surrounding the beautiful fabrics : ) I find it very inspiring and good for the soul that some of US may remind the others that other ways are possible.
    From Paris, with love 😉

    View Comment
    Deby

    September 25, 2014

  40. As so many have said, I am so sorry to see your great shop close and will miss your blog as well. I may not have always commented but I always read and learned. But I’m excited for you as well. Possibilities are exciting.

    View Comment
    Rene'

    September 25, 2014

  41. I’m sad to see Pink Chalk go, but at the same time I excited to see what you do next. Isn’t that why we started these blogs all those years ago, to follow our creative hearts? xo

    View Comment
    Blair

    September 25, 2014

  42. I have loved your website since stumbling on it during a shopHop. I also relate to what you are saying….and your philosophy about creativity. We beat ourselves up over these things and it helps me so much to know there are people out there that think like I do! Makes me want to continue the process…keep going! Thanks for sharing your journey…i believe you are taking that very important step….RISK IT! Best wishes!

    View Comment
    Bonnie Coleman

    September 25, 2014

  43. Congratulations and good luck in your new endeavors to both you and the employees! It has been such a joy to get your posts and to buy through your company.

    View Comment
    Nanette

    September 25, 2014

  44. Come teach in Spokane, Kathy!!! Good luck and have fun with the journey!

    View Comment
    Annie Chermak

    September 25, 2014

  45. Kathy I’m thrilled and excited that you are venturing more yiu are a muse to us!! Ok I will admit loosing your store and newsletter will be a great loss (you are so inspirational!) however there will be more just in a different form!!!!! (Thrilled!). One favor – still help with color and choices I rot! Or better yet an online one that will make sense to me 😉
    Congratulations with this wonderful leap! I can hardly wait to see the new direction!

    View Comment
    Nancy Wichtendahl

    September 25, 2014

  46. Congratulations! You probably won’t remember but we had a chat at Market a year or so ago and you had the most encouraging words and kind spirit that I have come across in a long time!
    I am confident that you are destined for much greater things.
    Be well,
    Suzy
    (Suzy-Homemaker)

    View Comment
    Suzy

    September 25, 2014

  47. Oh No! I love getting my Pink Chalk fabric packages. Feel a bit sad now. I’m going to miss your fab shop and great service. But, also wishing you and your staff all the best. I will wait to follow you on your next adventure. Thank you for all the lovely fabric you’ve sent to me.

    View Comment
    Gina

    September 25, 2014

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