A couple of years ago in France, a friend of mine asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up. I kinda looked at her blankly - thinking "Aren't I already doing what I want to do?" And then she said - "What else, what else do you want to do?" I thought about it for a minute and then decided that what I really wanted to do was furnish a hotel with all sorts of wonderful French-inspired fabrics. She looked a little startled and said "Well you can't design the interior of a hotel without having a line of interior fabrics." Oh - is that it, I thought, well then, I guess I need to design a line of interior fabrics. She continued to tell me about a friend of hers that had done some research into fabric companies and had settled on what she thought was the best in the business. That sounded good enough for me. When I returned from France, I packed up a box that represented the French General look - I included our books, swatches from our Moda collections, a collage of my favorite things and a press book - with clippings of French General from the past 15 years. I looked up the address of the interior fabric company, I sent off the box and then I waited. And waited. And waited. After about a month, I was getting a little tired of waiting and decided the fabric company must not be interested - other wise they would have contacted me - in a timely manner.
I was just about to give up all hope when I went off to a creative gathering and heard Jo Packham give a talk about her history of her work and the stumbling blocks she encountered along the way to her success. She told a story about pitching a story to someone, and waiting for months and months for an answer - positive or negative - just waiting for an answer. Eventually she got on the phone and somehow got the answer she wanted. The moral of her story was: a no is never a no until it's a no. What? I had no idea what that meant.
After I returned home from the creative event, I was still waiting to hear from the fabric company, but then it hit me - I actually hadn't been told no yet...I just hadn't heard anything yet, so maybe the answer was yes. I emailed the president of the company and asked if he was interested in carrying a French General line of interior fabric. To my surprise, he called the shop that afternoon and left a message saying "Sorry for the delay, I've been swamped with other projects. Yes, we are very interested. Call me."
And so I called him back, a couple of days later, and eventually, we began work on a project that has taken up the better part of the last two years. I have worked with a couple of wonderful designers from the company, who helped take the French General look and lifestyle and interpret it into a line of home (and hotel??) decorating fabrics. We are getting ready now to introduce it to showrooms and reps and come January 2013 it will be available throughout the United States at fabric and home decorating stores.
Here's a little look-see into our collection of home fabrics for Fabricut - a collection printed on linen and cotton and filled with beautiful 18th century French florals, stripes, wovens and embroideries. We have stayed true to our palette, offering three groups of colors: rouge, bleu and bisque. We've also designed a coordinating collection of trim - pom poms, tassels, fringe and gimps - all out of dusty, soft natural materials and colors. I hope you enjoy the coming collection as much as we have enjoyed designing it!
And that's how it all began - two years ago when I decided I wanted to decorate a hotel when I grew up - now I just have to find a hotel in need of being decorated!