Five years ago, Becky Hinckley and I started DellaJane Hand Dyes. The name is a combination of the names we don't use (Della Alice and Rebecca Jane). Our first booth (and first sale!) was at the Cottonwood Quilters show in Elkhorn, Nebraska, in October, 2003.
So much has changed since that first show. At the end of 2004, I bought Becky's interest in the business. I've been working to grow my business since then. Besides cotton fabric, I sell wool roving, wool yarn, silk, baby clothing, a variety of embellishments that includes vintage items (beads, cotton rick rack, yo-yos), an assortment of 50-100 different fibers, and a huge selection of buttons, sequins, game pieces, etc, plus patterns and kits. I'm teaching dyeing workshops and marketing my own designs. My booth at Threads Across Nebraska (held last weekend) shows how DellaJane Hand Dyes has grown.
Sometimes the effort necessary to keep coming up with new "stuff" seems overwhelming. I get tired of making samples and packaging items and planning displays. I hate the bean-counting aspect of being a small business owner. Sometimes, I just want to chuck it all, stay home, and make quilts. But, come the end of October, 2008, I'll be on the road to Houston, Texas, to celebrate five years of business at the biggest quilt show in the world. I wouldn't miss it for anything!