Thursday, April 12, 2012

My first trip to the Pacific Northwest - Part One

I had the amazing opportunity to travel to the Pacific Northwest to sell our fabric line at the Seattle International Textile Expo AND visit many of our current customers. I went into some of the top fabric stores in the northwest and met some awesome indie designers. I will record my adventures in a few different parts, so stay tuned for more posts!

My adventure started on Saturday, March 10. I left Philadelphia for my 13-day fabric bonanza! This was my first trip alone, so I was nervous and excited all at the same time! Had a layover in Chicago - Midway, then made it to rainy Seattle at 3:40pm. Lugging 3 LARGE suitcases, a laptop bag and a purse, I made my way to my rental car. (I was literally pulling almost 150 lbs of luggage....) It turned out to be a 2012 Toyota Camry with only 60 miles on it and bluetooth, so I could connect my phone! Of course my GPS wasn't finding my location (because I was in a parking garage) so I had to blindly decide which way to go when I got outside. Thankfully I chose the correct way and ended up in downtown Seattle without the GPS! (The GPS wouldn't locate me, so all I had were the signs on the road, in a place I had never been before.) After driving in circles on the one-way streets I finally found the Red Lion Hotel I was staying at.

The next few days consisted of showing our fabric line at the Seattle International Textile Expo -- meeting designers and small manufacturers who were current customers and also met a lot of new customers. There were some really new and interesting creations as well as more traditional garments with a mix of whimsy! One designer was producing "girlie boxer shorts". Another was making more traditional jackets and coats, but with interesting buttons and tucks and pleats in unconventional places.

One designer in particular was Lisa Vian Hunter. She was recently on NBC's Fashion Star. She created a little black dress style dress in a variety of different colors and fabrics. She was picked by Macy's to have her garments featured in their stores. Her line contains a lot of classic and trendy styles in fun prints, basic solids and flowy silks.


Finding my way through Seattle was definitely an adventure with the one-way streets, the yield to pedestrians (that are everywhere!), and the traffic lights in the middle of the block. Although it rained the whole time I was there, I had the chance to see the Pike Place Market. This market is known for the fish throwing, which I had the chance to see. It was also fun to see the artisans selling their wares in the cold and damp weather. 


 Still to come...Fabric store reviews and my trip to Portland, OR!

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