ICAP Facebook Challenge #2, Why Did I Start My Business?


International Creative Arts Professionals Facebook Challenge #2

Why Did I Start My Business?

ICAP Facebook Challenge #2 Why Did I Start My Business?
ICAP Facebook Challenge #2 Why Did I Start My Business?

I received my AA in Fashion Design in 1973. If it wasn’t for my mom and dad basically enrolling me into LA Trade Tech, I would’ve never gone. So thank you mom and dad. I honestly didn’t know that they even noticed that I liked sewing. I had the best time ever.

Life happens and after graduating, I never went into the fashion industry. I got married, we only had one car, and the fashion industry jobs were in Los Angeles about 30 minutes away…haha, how commute times have changed. Traveling on the 5 Freeway would scare the daylights out of me today!

I told myself that my little piece of paper (my diploma) will be with me for the rest of my life and everywhere I go, so my dream job became my “someday job”. I never stopped sewing or creating, and it always gave me a “purpose-in-life” feeling. Who wouldn’t want that?

This 1973 crocheted and embroidered quilt is my son's favorite.
This 1973 crocheted and embroidered quilt is my son’s favorite.

My creating never stopped and of course, it evolved. Embroidery is where I started, then came knitting and crocheting and macrame (remember that?), cross-stitch was a real favorite, and clothing construction was a constant.  When the rotary cutter was invented in the 80’s, that was when the quilting really started and it settled very well into my life.

I remember very well the first time I saw a quilt in a magazine. I thought “Oh my gosh, I have to make one of those.” I didn’t grow up around anyone who quilted so I had no clue to how one was made. I just knew I had to make one and, I needed to teach myself.  The Bi-centennial in 1976 was making quilting very popular and since I liked to read, I didn’t have to look too hard to find the magazines to learn how.  Besides, I didn’t know that quilt shops existed (or did they?), which meant that I didn’t even know if taking a class was an option.

So, I made a quilt. No, I didn’t know what I was doing. No, I didn’t know that the quilter’s choice of fabric was 100% cotton. No, I didn’t know what batting was, let alone that it had a loft. What was a loft anyway? But, I loved my quilt. It had applique sewn on by machine (oh it’s supposed to be hand-sewn?); it had a red polyester backing; it had batting, don’t know what kind, but it had batting; and I used some cream fabric that I found in my mom’s closet that was probably very old…because my quilt eventually fell apart. I also didn’t know that fabric doesn’t last forever. I decided that I would have to take a quilting class someday to show me how to do everything the right way. Then I overheard people talking about Quilt Police…really?

Fast forward to today. About three years ago I started to think more about retiring…things like when and what would keep me busy. I immediately thought of my sewing skill that God gave me so long ago and how it kept me so content throughout my life. That’s it! Maybe that little piece of paper was for when I retire! And, maybe it’s been there all this time just to remind me that I have a skill! Maybe that’s my “someday job”!

A;ex today with his brand new wheelchair.
A;ex today with his brand new wheelchair.

Little Wheeler Quilts began around 2013. It was named after my grandson Alex who has cerebral palsy. He can’t walk and he uses a wheelchair. He’s my little wheeler and he’s definitely my inspiration. I opened my online Etsy shop with old vintage patterns, quilt tops, and my own patterns. Ten months ago, I retired from doing HR at a school district for 20 years and I can now devote 100% of my time to Little Wheeler Quilts…very happily.

My branding and my products have evolved. I love color and the whole modern movement that’s going on today. In fact, I feel like a long lost hippie that’s found her way home.  My style of choice in my shop is the Industrial and Bohemian look, along with all those wonderful colorful Kaffe Fassett fabrics. I currently specialize in Home Decor linens, like tablecloths and tablerunners.

Yes, there are challenges with having a business, but that’s where checking in with God everyday comes in very handy.

Until next time…enjoy your day…ttyl!
Jo Ann



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