Since 2004, Valley Fabrics has been at the center of the quilting and sewing community in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. Francesca DenHartog, a graduate of studio arts from Harvard University, had a dream of fostering a creative community through her fabric store, and she definitely has accomplished that, and much, much more.
Sadly, Valley Fabrics will be closing its doors on July 3rd.
Yesterday I had a chance to talk with Francesca about the store and all that has transpired there:
I think the coolest thing is clearly that many people come in looking for a solid fabric and we show them some texture and something really bold, and they are really happy. It has been about showing people alternatives, helping them to be more open minded about design, texture and colors--and being playful. (I joke that we are the only ones who sell orange and red fabric, but that isn't really a joke!)
It has been such a fun five years. It was a point in time where we touched down, lots of people came in and hopefully we supported them in their own creative endeavors.
That support goes hand in hand with encouraging members of our community to develop and refine their opinions; encouraging them to take things in their own direction.--Really serving a jumping off point for people being able to make their own decisions and be clear about what they do and don't like, and being able to watch them grow, creatively. Early on, a lot of our people lacked confidence around that, and I feel that was part of our mission.
I believe that is what will be missed the most. That community element is what has made this place special.
We wholeheartedly agree with you, Francesca. Valley Fabrics is a very special place. Know that you have a whole community waiting to cheer you on in your next endeavor.
What has Valley Fabrics meant to you? Do you have a story? The rest of us would love to hear it. Leave your comments here, or if you are shy about posting to the site, send them directly to me at email@example.com and I will post them for you.
All the best to all of you, readers. I know you are just as disheartened as I am. It is this community that keeps me feeling optimistic, engaged and creatively charged. Thank you for that.
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