Way back about eight years ago, I virtually met up with a lady who would change my quilting world. The lady is Linda and she is the owner of my favorite online quilt shop, AbbiMays.com.
Have you ever virtually met someone or even talked to them on the phone and you just click with them? That’s how it was with Linda and I. At the onset of our meeting, she was in need of my business and website services. I helped take her business from eBay to her own website with a shopping cart. If I’m not mistaken, within a couple of years of having her own website, she at least doubled (if not more than that) her reach and sales. We spent long hours setting everything up, talking about the work I was doing and just learning about each other. I would loosely consider myself to be her online mentor in the beginning – though I have had to cut back on my work since I was declared disabled and now just offer advice or answer questions when she needs me.
After our hard work of getting her website set up, I asked her if I could design quilt patterns for her – to be given away on my BOMQuilts.com website with kits to be ordered through her AbbiMays.com website…all she had to do was supply the fabric and I did the rest! We virtually shook hands on the arrangement and away we went!
Over the years, she has supplied me with more fabric, batting, backing – and, most important of all, friendship and motivation – than anyone else has ever extended to me in the quilting world. I have met her at Fall Quilt Market in Houston or I have gone in her place if she couldn’t get away from her home and business and one time, she even made reservations in one of the host hotels and told my husband and I to enjoy Market on her dime! Ooh Laa Laa did we feel swanky!
Linda, owner of AbbiMays.com – Houston Quilt Market 2007
Without a doubt, 90% of my stash was from Linda and AbbiMays.com. I rarely have to purchase fabric, as once I pitch a design idea to Linda, she tells me to go for it. We have continued working together through the years – almost like a marriage (though her husband and mine may disagree on that statement :-).
And if you look at my BOMQuilts.com website, nearly all of the patterns that I have designed and made are done so with Linda and AbbiMays.com sponsorship.
I mention this because I have seen quilt pals come and go. Some go on to bigger and better and leave the little people (such as myself) behind. Some may still visit with you but you are not as important in their world as you once were and you get the hint really quickly that you are no longer in their league or worthy of their time. Some are even so totally driven and committed to THEIR agenda that they have no concept of what cultivating a business relationship takes (and not burning bridges is a big one). Nor do they have the ability to continue with their relationship with you if you do not fit in their future plans.
Linda has NEVER been about that. She’s been about making her online quilt shop a success and enjoying everything life has to offer her. She is about generosity, true caring and working at all of her relationships – old and new, business or personal. She is exactly who and what she says she is – and that sure is a breath of fresh air to me and those who know and love her!
Let me be just a bit more specific. I designed an original baby quilt design to submit to an online magazine for publishing consideration. Without batting an eye, Linda told me to go online shopping at AbbiMays.com and pick out whatever fabrics I needed. Whoa. What? You heard that right – she will be recognized when the quilt and pattern are released but that will happen next year and not tomorrow…so, her decision to do that cannot be solely because of what the additional marketing will do for her down the road.
This week, I submitted six more designs for the same online magazine and they accepted all six and asked me to get started on one of them immediately. Once again, I emailed Linda and the words in her email response to me nearly stopped me in my tracks:
Pick out what ever fabrics you want to use. Make a beautiful quilt that makes you shine. And….pick out a fun backing, too.
Granny get your gun! Can you believe how much love and encouragement her little sentence meant to me? I felt like I needed to Skype her and give her a virtual hug and mooch! Six quilt and quilt pattern designs and I get to go shopping for most of them (some are scrappy). I am stunned, anxious and excited to move forward with my quilting adventures because Linda has my quilted heart right in the palms of her hands.
Does it get any better than this? Not in my quilting world it doesn’t!