I was raised in Quincy Washington and have been married to my high school sweetheart for 30 blissful years. We have three adult children: Jordan, 23 a SeaBee in the Navy, stationed in California. Brianna, 21, my business partner at the shop; and my youngest, Jared, who will be 20 on May 3rd. He works at Genie in Moses Lake and is taking courses with hopes of being a police officer in a few years.
I went to school at Wenatchee Valley College and the University of Washington and started my professional career as a Nurse Practitioner. During my 22 years in medicine I wore several hats including administration, consulting, teaching and clinician. My favorite role was always the direct patient care. I worked in Geriatrics, Cardiology, ER and Internal Medicine.
I opened the shop in 1999 after a mini breakdown in the parking lot at work (we’ll save that story for another time). I felt I needed less stress and more fun. I bought a 12’ long arm and opened our shop in its current location with a classroom, 400 bolts and a long arm available for rent. We were only open two days/week and a couple evenings.
Within 2 months we were open 6 days a week with a staff and a real newsletter. However, working 5 days a week at the clinic, then every Saturday and two evenings at the shop … all with 3 young children at home, I was more stressed than ever. There was a hard disconnect between providing for my family and doing what I loved. In 2006 my husband said he was closing his body shop and going to work for the PUD… since he would receive medical benefits, it was my turn to be self-employed! I quit my job at the clinic and went to work at the shop full time.
It is harder to work for yourself. But the stress is exciting and never toxic. The best part is my daughter has worked right along side me since she was 6 years old. She went away to college for two years, but now she is back and lives within walking distance of the shop.
I am a breast cancer survivor, for two years now… looking forward to many more. The shop is now over 3800 square feet with about 7000 bolts of fabric and countless books, notions and patterns. Brianna and I have our own pattern line with lots of best sellers, most notably Navaho Rose and Stash Buster. We have lots of plans to continue to add, improve, change and stimulate…. I think “change” is the always the best part….
So, this blog is at the suggestion of Brianna. I will take pictures and chronicle classes, clubs, pattern writing, quilting, samples, shop stories… etc. Maybe you will find it informative, inspirational and fun as that will certainly be my goal!