Meet the Sponsors/Giveaway: So Fun Fabrics

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We’re finally back with our semi-regular Meet the Sponsors posts. Today I’d love to introduce you to Tisha Galloway of So Fun Fabrics. So Fun Fabrics is an Etsy shop with a small but quality selection of modern designer fabrics and boutique patterns. She also offers several irresistible fabric bundles. What caught my eye about So Fun Fabrics was that Tisha always includes at least one close-up detail shot of the fabric’s design elements. I don’t know about you, but it’s details like that that often make me pull the trigger on buying a fabric.

To go along with her interview, we’re having a giveaway (but of course)! See the bottom of this post for details. Let’s all give a warm welcome to Miss Tisha …

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Where do you live? What is the textile/crafty scene like there?

We’re located in sunny San Diego where the population is very eclectic and the vibe is “chill.” There is a fantastic art scene, but not much in the way of textiles and crafts. There are a few fabric and quilt shops here and there, and you can find handmade clothing vendors at any one of the number of farmers markets, but overall, I wouldn’t consider San Diego to have too much of a craft scene.

How and when did you start selling fabric?

I got the fabric bug after my husband surprised me with a “just because” gift. I had seen an apron in an Etsy shop and told him how much I loved the fabric. The print was fun and a little funky, and they were “my” colors – blue and green! When I had the apron in hand, the fabric was even better, so I did some searching and found out it was Amy Butler’s Optic Blossom in Ice. I wanted more of the fabric even though I had no plans for it. I looked in the few local fabric stores we have and couldn’t find it, so I did an Etsy search where I found all kinds of other great fabrics that I fell in love with! I jumped on eBay and began buying up a yard here and a yard there – pretty soon I had more fabric than I knew what to do with. From there, it somehow evolved into setting up a fabric shop. I did a lot of research, signed up with Etsy, did more research and finally, a few months later, I started listing fabrics!

What surprised you most about the business?

What surprised me most was how difficult it can be to sell on Etsy. The Supplies section is very saturated and it can be tough just to be searchable! Another element that surprised me was how friendly most buyers are! I think Etsy provides a community feel that you might not necessarily get with other online retail formats.

Is this your full time job? If not, what do you moonlight as?
Selling fabric is my full time job, although I do help my husband with his real estate and property management company. (Fabric is much more fun!)

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How would you characterize your shop?

Hmm … I guess I would have to say young and fresh. The majority of my customers are beginning sewers, young sewers, and those with little ones to sew for!

What are your hot sellers right now?

From the beginning, my best seller has been Heather Bailey’s Pop Garden – it sells consistently. This past summer I couldn’t keep StudioE’s Flourish on the shelf! Most recently, Patty Young’s Mezzanine and Joel Dewberry’s Deer Valley have been selling very well.

Are you online only, or do you have a brick & mortar shop? If you don’t have one, are you planning to open one?

We are an online only store, with no current plans of opening a brick & mortar shop. We’re still growing and still building inventory. But we’re always evaluating the shop to see if where it’s at is a good fit, so you never know what direction it could go in!

Do you run the shop alone or do you have help?

Well, you’ve probably noticed I’ve said “we” a lot. I consider my husband a partner, although he has his own business. We make a lot of the business decisions together and he does all the graphics for the site and blog. He’s my sounding board and he keeps me grounded when my ideas start to get too big. Plus he’s handy to have around to lug in those giant boxes of fabrics that the UPS guy likes to block the front door with. :) As for the day-to-day operations, it’s just me. The ordering, the cutting, the packaging, the customer service … all me!

How do you deal with the challenges of the current economy, and increasing competition on the online fabric retail market?

I started my business when the economy was already down, so I don’t have sales in good economic times to compare to. I’ve always been a bargain shopper, so I try to price my items at an affordable level. I know many customers don’t have access to brick and mortar shops and have to purchase fabric on the internet, which means they have to pay shipping too. So I try to keep that in mind as well when pricing items. When it comes to ordering new fabric, I really do my homework. I pay attention to what consumers are saying about new fabric lines and patterns. I love reading blog comments and tweets because it reminds me that I need to order what they want, not want I want!

As far as competition goes, I admit that I’m a competitive person and it’s something that I really had to work on when I first started selling. I believe that competition drives the marketplace and it’s just part of owning a business, but it’s still something I struggled with. My husband gave me some good advice early on though. He said, “You can’t control what the other stores carry or which stores customers buy from. You can only control what you offer and how you run your business, so run it as best as you can.” I think of that every time I start to feel overwhelmed or have a slow sales week … and it always helps!

What are the (other!) biggest challenges — and biggest rewards — of being a fabric merchant?

I think one of the biggest challenges for me is budgeting. I’m good with finances, but it’s just so hard not to order every single new line that comes out! I would love to offer the complete collection of every line, but with an increase in designers and collection size, it’s near impossible!

I would say the biggest reward is watching the sales count grow because it means that my hard work is paying off and that I’m making good decisions about what to order. There’s definitely a sense of pride and accomplishment that comes along with the job.

What’s your personal stash like?

My personal stash is mostly made up of end-of-bolt remnants, many of which I don’t have specific plans for … I just like the fabric and want it for “some day.” I still have a lot of the now out-of-print fabrics I bought off eBay a couple summers ago and I actually have ideas for some of them, but until I get better at sewing, they’re tucked away safely in cute little boxes :) You’ll find a lot of blues and a lot of Heather Bailey, Amy Butler, and Patricia Bravo in those boxes!

patty young fabrics at so fun

Who are your favorite designers, from the past and/or from the present?

Obviously, Amy Butler ranks up there … it was her fabric that got me started! As someone who researches and looks at fabrics and designers every day, it’s hard to narrow down the list. I love Patricia Bravo’s work … she has such a passion for what she does and it shows in her fabrics. Joel Dewberry is another favorite because he consistently produces good, solid collections. Patty Young’s fabrics reflect her energy and enthusiasm and that’s so fun to me. And of course, Heather Bailey, the designer who made me like florals! I love her use of color and how she’s able to make geometrics and florals coordinate so well. And I think Sandi Henderson may be added to the favorites list soon – I’m so looking forward to getting Meadowsweet!


Thank you so much, Tisha!

Tisha is offering a $30 store credit to spend any way you like. To enter, just follow So Fun Fabrics on Twitter, subscribe to or bookmark her blog, or become a fan on Facebook. Just be sure to come back to this post to leave a comment letting us know which one you did (or that you did all three?). Comments will close and a winner will be chosen next Wednesday, November 25, around 2pm Central U.S. time. Good luck!

131 Comments

  1. Barb says:

    Thanks for the great interiew. I’m now a follower of her blog!

  2. Myrnie says:

    Great interview! I follow her blog now :)

  3. Myrnie says:

    I subscribe to her tweets :)

  4. Tong says:

    Beautiful shop! I’m a follower on twitter!

  5. Tong says:

    Also bookmarked her cute blog!

  6. ann says:

    following her on twitter. what great fabrics!

  7. Nina says:

    I subscribed to her blog’s RSS feed. Inspiring fabric collection!

  8. Gina says:

    I’m now a fan on facebook!

  9. Nicole G says:

    I’ve added Tisha’s blog to my bookmarks.

  10. Anna says:

    I’m now a follower of So Fun Fabrics’ blog!

  11. carmel says:

    wow!!!!
    will i ever be so lucky to win something like that?
    i wish!!!

    i became a fan on facebook and also a follower of her blog
    thanks!

  12. Deb says:

    I just signed up to become a follower of her blog and also bookmarked the site on my favorites.

  13. Laura says:

    Hi,

    I grew up in the San Diego area, but I now live in Seattle. Oh how I wish for a warm sunny day!

    Are you going to sell the new line by Paula Prass called Woodland Delight. I love the colors.

    I will watch your etsy shop for exciting fabric.

    Laura

  14. Eliane T. says:

    I subscribed to her blog.
    Thanks for this great giveaway!

  15. Rosemary says:

    I subscribed to her blog. What a wonderful way to meet new businesse!

  16. I joined her blog follower list. Meadowsweet looks awesome!

  17. Emilia says:

    I did all three! =)

  18. sshaw says:

    woohoo! what a great article. plus, i love a giveaway. i added her on facebook! fingers crossed that i win. my husband would be thrilled (as would i) for some great new AND FREE fabric. :)

  19. Julia Gabriel says:

    Love her shop! I am following on twitter and her blog :)

  20. Alisa says:

    As a graphic designer, I get a lot of inspiration from fabric design. Thanks for the great addition to my google reader!

  21. mjb says:

    I’m following on twitter.

  22. Karo says:

    Great interview! Loved getting the chance to peak behind the curtains of an online fabric retailer. :)

    I’m now following the blog and am a fan on Facebook. ;)

  23. Emily says:

    I have added her blog to my Google reader. But somehow, looking at lovely fabric each morning when I get to the office doesn’t motivate me to get much work done. I just want to go home and sew!

  24. Gina L says:

    I’m a facebook fan. Great shop!!

  25. Sara says:

    I subscribed to her blog and added her to my etsy favorites!

  26. Amy S says:

    I subscribed to her blog via my Google Reader RSS feeds. I can’t wait to check out the etsy shop too.

  27. Helena says:

    I became a fan on facebook and added her to my etsy favorites!

  28. SewLindaAnn says:

    I am now following the blog. Thanks to your site I have found and purchased fabric at many different places. I especially like Etsy as the feel is very personal and every store has been very nice. I do patronize my LQS, but prefer the selection online. I love your Sales Blogs!! Thanks for the great interview.

  29. Sandy Rizzo says:

    I book marked her page. Thanks.

  30. Jan says:

    I’ll have to add her to my favorite seller list on etsy. Thanks.

  31. Michelle says:

    I just subscribed using bloglines. I love the mod kid patterns on Tisha’s site!

  32. Anita says:

    I bookmarked the blog, thanks.

  33. Sequana says:

    I’ve added her blog to my Bloglines reader. I need to get back in Etsy again; I used to shop there all the time, but for some reason………………..

    Thx for the nice interview with Ms. Sew Fun.

  34. Theresa says:

    Love your fabric selections! I’ve added your blog to my reader, and am following on twitter.

    Thanks!

  35. Mary P says:

    Bookmarked! Very nice.

  36. Jennifer O. says:

    I’ll have to check out her store – it sounds like we have similar likes. Following the blog.

  37. Susan says:

    following on twitter….

  38. Sarah says:

    I added the blog to my RSS feed reader!

  39. Suzanne says:

    Thanks for highlighting this lovely shop. I have to admit, I hadn’t seen it before. I’ve added her blog to my reader so that I can keep up. Cheers!

  40. Nancy says:

    I had previously visited Tisha’s store on Etsy & admired her collection of fabrics. I have bookmarked her blog & will check in to see what’s new!

  41. Barbara says:

    I’ve bookmarked the blog. Nice selection of fabrics

  42. Shannon says:

    blog follower

  43. con_Ka says:

    I just added Tisha to my Google Reader, she’s got amazing fabrics!

  44. I just discovered your blog, and after reading your interview I just added both yours and Tisha’s to my bookmarks. Nice to have discovered both!

  45. Jeanette says:

    Just had a peek and bookmarked Tisha’s blog. Wonderful fabrics.

  46. Rebecca says:

    I am now a Facebook fan. Thanks for the opportunity!

  47. Patty says:

    I booked marked her blog and now I’m on my way to see her shop!

  48. mo says:

    I’m now a fan on facebook. Not hard to be a fan after seeing all the lovely fabrics. :)

  49. sara says:

    I became a fan on Facebook! So excited to know about this etsy shop- I always need more fabric!

  50. venus says:

    I became a fan on Facebook! Have her on my blogroll! Keeping my fingers’ crossed!