Friday, February 17, 2012

Frankenstein's Fabrics

My name is Marni and for the last 7 years or so I have wanted to open and run my own craft shop - specifically patchwork and quilting supplies as that is my main hobby (among many!)
Frankenstein's Fabrics is that dream come true. With the support of my family and friends the shop opened a little over 3 months ago. Dad and I spent a few weeks prior to that building, painting and designing the fitout for the shop. 

 I have been involved in many different aspects of the textile industry from a very young age and in fact learnt to walk in my dad's factory (OH&S wasn't a big deal in the 80s). Dad is an upholsterer and I've been around him and his work my whole life. At school I always preferred the artistic and creative subjects and this continued right up until my HSC. I did textiles, drama and visual arts as well as a TAFE course on perspective drawing and colour which I feel has given me excellent basic knowledge that has made my life as a quilter a lot easier. Once I finished school I ended up working at Lincraft for a while in their furnishings department before moving on to work at Craft Depot at Pennant Hills - working there with such a great group of women (it was like having a dozen extra mums - they always were looking out for me) made me see the pure enjoyment of patchwork and quilting. That job started me on a slippery slope to fabric obsession that has resulted in me open Frankenstein's. From my job at Craft Depot I moved to working for Express Publications - as the assistant for Australian Patchwork & Quilting Magazine. The few years experience I gained from 'the other side' of the craft industry made me realise how much I was meant to be in this profession. Quilting not only gives me great pleasure and satisfaction but brings a lot of joy to the people around me. The look on someone's face when I've given them a quilt I've made not only makes me happy but makes them feel good 
- that I have taken the time to make them such a gift.

I opened Frankenstein's with the intention of making it a more social and interactive patchwork shop - I want it to be the social aspect as well as the supplies that keep bringing people back time and time again. So to do that I am planning special guest speakers, open days, show and tells and airings of the quilts. There are classes as well - starting out with the basics to get people going and progressively adding more intermediate and advanced classes as we go along. Classes are listed on the website under the Classes tab and are updated regularly as more classes and dates become available.

I also want my customers to see that I am not the average quilter - I am quirky, odd and non-conforming. I appreciate the work and execution of techniques in the quilts of the past, and I envy those who continue to create stunning quilts by hand - but I am not that kind of quilter. I love machine work - piecing, appliqué and quilting. I love brights and fun kids prints. I collect Halloween fabrics and knick knacks and I am not shy about the things I do like. The name of the shop came about for 3 reasons: 

1. My surname is Franks
2. I love Halloween
3. I love the story of Frankenstein's Monster - he was patchworked together by the Doctor from various body parts, much like I patchwork a quilt together from various fabrics.

People ask me about the name - especially why I didn't call it something like other patchwork stores. My answer is simple - I am not like other patchwork store owners, I couldn't name the shop something floral or cottagey or using a pun and live with myself. The name Frankenstein's encompasses my style, my likes and I am being brutally honest with my customers about that. I will not lie to them about myself just to make a sale - that is not the way to do business. Plus its all a bit of fun. :)

There are lots of things going on in the shop in 2012 and I invite you all to become a Frankensteiner - whether online following me on Facebook or the blog or whether you come in to see me in store. I hope to see you there.

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