We've said it before, and we'll say it again, "We have the best sponsors ever!" They are forever generous with fabric and notions for projects, giveaways, and more. When you support them, you support us, and everybody wins! Today, we're delighted to introduce you to brand new sponsor, Dinkydoo Fabrics. Not only do they have an adorable name, they also have a great site - especially for pre-cuts. We visited with owner, Alicia to learn a little bit about how it all started, what makes their shop unique, and why science-fiction aids in creativity.
S4H: How did you get started sewing and/or quilting?
Dinkydoo: My mom was a huge sewer. She made all our dresses for holidays and Halloween and was a big crafter in general. In high school, I took a sewing class and started to enjoy making clothes for myself: Halloween costumes, shiny skirts (think Spice Girls!), you name it! About 5 years ago, when my daughter was born, I REALLY wanted to start quilting, but was a bit overwhelmed by everything I needed in the way of fabric and supplies. Santa stepped in with some lucky Christmas cash, and I was able to buy everything I needed for my first quilt. I haven't stopped since!
S4H: How did this passion morph into your online business?
Dinkydoo: My husband and I were thinking of business ideas - things we could work on and build together that could generate some income on the side. After investigating various tech ideas, we branched out to what I liked best: fabric and quilting. It was perfect! Sell the things I love? What more could you ask for?!
S4H: What makes DinkyDoo unique?
Dinkydoo: Our customer service is top notch. My husband and I both spent many years in customer service; we understand you attract more bees with honey. Unless we're sleeping, we get back to customers pretty quick. Thanks to smart phones and always being connected, we're able to answer emails from customers within minutes! We were recently away for a weekend vacation and out of cell range for a time - as soon as we hit a cell tower, I was emailing back a customer! We love helping our customers and have had some great conversations. It's very gratifying to be making friends and connections while providing the fabric people love.
We're located in Canada, near the Port of Vancouver. We have great relationships with our distributors and are very close to their warehouses. This means we're able to get new stuff out super quick. As we grow, so will our selection of pre-cuts and fabric by the bolt.
The website gets a lot of compliments, which makes us super proud. My husband comes from a tech background, so he's always looking for ways to make the site even faster and easier to use. We may not be able to replace the feeling of fabric in your hand, but we're always striving to give our customers the best online fabric shopping experience possible.
Since we listen closely to our customers, we knew shipping was important, and we've done whatever we can to make it easy and economical. We're having a lot of success with our $5 flat rate shipping ($3.80 USD!) to Canada and the USA.
S4H: If someone is thinking about getting into quilting, what would be your top three "pearls of wisdom" to pass along?
Dinkydoo: A) Start small. Don't make your first project a king size quilt. Baby quilts are awesome for beginners. And don't be afraid to use pre-cuts.You have all the coordinating fabric at your fingertips and can start sewing right away. B) Don't worry about mistakes. You may focus on it, but you are your own worst enemy. Honestly, if you don't point it out, chances are no one else will ever notice. C) Watch Youtube videos and search/read through blog and website projects and techniques. It will boost your confidence and make it so much easier to dive in.
S4H: As a community, what can we do to attract more young sewers (like you!) into the world of sewing, quilting, and crafting?
Dinkydoo: Spread the word on social media! Show your projects on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram, and tell everyone how easy it is. I think people say to themselves, "Oh I could never do that" or "you must be so talented" but, really, it's not hard. If you don't like (or literally can't) follow a pattern, improvisational quilting can be the very freeing. I also try to convince friends to craft with me to give them confidence and help build a habit.
S4H: You're based in Canada; do you see trend or fashion differences between the USA and Canada?
Dinkydoo: Not particularly. I think it's more of an age demographic thing across the board. That being said, there are a lot of very experienced quilters in my Modern Quilt Guild who are really nailing it in the modern quilting scene. They've taken their years of experience with traditional or pattern quilting, thrown it to the wind, and produced some of the most awe-inspiring pieces. Age is all the mind, right?
S4H: Your vote: Scissors or rotary cutter and mat?
Dinkydoo: Rotary cutter and mat for sure! I'm a perfectionist; if I could cut out everything with the rotary cutter, I would.
S4H: What is the one sewing and/or quilting confession people would be surprised to know you about you? Do you sew in a swimsuit... alphabetize your thread?
Dinkydoo: Not sure if it's surprising or strange, but I'm a nerd to the bone and when I do anything crafty, I need me some Sci-Fi shows or movies. My faves to craft to are X-Files, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Doctor Who, Farscape, and so many others. I don't know exactly what it is about Sci-Fi, but it gets my creative juices going. Although lately, I've also been watching some old BBC mysteries that have really helped me along.