Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Dupioni Silk for Sadie?
I've been kind of excited and inspired to work harder lately, because I am now, officially the "primary breadwinner" for the first time since Paul and I got married, with A Snood for All Seasons and Full of Grace Creations. Paul is only allowed to work 10 hours a week and for the first time ever, my online store has put me in that position. So I've been sewing like crazy, trying to average at least a snood a day, although the girls with their sleeping habits, seem intent on disrupting this goal. Business has been picking up as summer comes to an end, which has been very exciting.
This also means I make weekly or bi-weekly trips to the fabric store when I'm looking for something for a custom order or when I have a fantastic coupon and that is where things almost always seem to get interesting.
I'm starting to believe that every time I go to the fabric store I'll end up having an "interesting" conversation. The last time it reached the point of being so ridiculous that I was able to stay serious (because the woman was very serious) but only just barely. I felt like the laughing the entire time. It went something like this:
I approach the fabric cutting center where a retiree has just had a large amount of leather cut and is now asking if she'll need anything else to reupholster something. I sense that this might not end well and wait with Mae and Sadie playing peekaboo, at the empty cutting table as I hear the words "foam? I might need foam?" I may only be skeptical because I've toyed with the idea of reupholstering one of our chairs, but the nooks and crannies make the idea a little too intimidating. Another woman approaches, stands behind me, cuts in front of me, walks over and waits for the leather-buying-woman to be done and then tells the salesclerk that she doesn't want to cut in front of anyone, before launching into an involved reupholstery question. I examine the rather useless seeming number that I've taken and realize that the retirement community I live in must have a lot of personalized reupholstery projects going on.
I'm pretty happy though because I a) have a coupon and I b) found a beautiful bright blue dupioni silk that reminds me of Mary and lastly c) the girls have not yet launched into a tantrum of any sort, despite the fact that they're in a fabric store, waiting at the fabric cutting center! It's finally my turn. This is my memory of how things unfolded:
Me: "Two yards of each one please."
Sales Clerk: Unfolds the fabric and looks up: "How much do you want."
Me: "I'm getting two yards of each fabric."
Sales Clerk: "Two yards?" She examines the dupioni, which sells for $24.99 a yard pre-40%-off-coupon and cuts off the end while eyeing a peek-a-boo playing Sadie briefly before saying "Is this for her?"
Me: "Oh no!" I briefly try to picture Sadie in $25 a yard, dry clean only silk and wince internally. "It's for my store." I immediately regret the elaboration however because I know what's coming next.
Sales Clerk: "Oh you have a store? What do you make?"
Me: "Um... I sew and make jewelry for a little online store." I know that avoidance is unlikely but the word "snood" always leads to confusion, so I find myself trying to avoid it.
Sales Clerk: "You sew clothes?"
Me: "No... mostly headcoverings that women would wear to Church." This elicits a glare. "And dolls." When I have time. For some reason I keep talking, mostly because the disapproving look remains. "The headcoverings are snoods." The blank look I expected appears, but it's better than the glare. "Which are like little caps..." I search for a better description. "Kind of like the caps that people wear in the operating room at hospitals. Which is the other thing people usually buy them for."
Sales Clerk: "Oh caps!" Looks at the fabric and frowns. "These are awfully expensive fabrics for caps."
Me: "People wear them to Church too. Especially for the lace." I have two bolts of beautiful (and on sale!) red and gold lace that I've been eyeing for weeks. I should just stop when I'm kind-of-but-not-really ahead.
Sales Clerk: Silence.
Me: "I was really excited to find the black and white cotton here." Apparently I just can't let the uncomfortable silence go one. "I'd gotten some when I was in California and sold out of it and then I couldn't find it again."
Sales Clerk: "There's Joann's in California?
Me: "Yeah, we just moved out here."
Sales Clerk: "Where in California."
Me: "The closest one to our house was in Redding."
Sales Clerk: "My cousin lives in California and says that there's Joann's Crafts and Fabrics there."
Sales Clerk: "Why did you move?"
Me: "My husband just started school here."
Sales Clerk: "Which school?"
Me: "The law school."
Sales Clerk: "That's a very expensive school."
Me: "Yes it is."
The disapproving look returns and the conversation ends as my fabric is cut. We return to the car, having survived our first trip out, without Paul, in the is-it-going-to-survive-another-day mini van.
But it is true that I found the fabric for two snoods that I'd run out of and relisted them. The black and white one is here and the white and black snood is here! And the headband too!