Post by Jamie Kalvestran, part of a series of interviews from the 2015 International Quilt Market. (Previous interviews found here, here, and here.)
Cyndi Hershey – Director of Marketing, Quilting Treasures
I first met Cyndi Hershey about eight or nine years ago at International Quilt Market. Over the years she and I have collaborated on a number of projects. Currently, I have a licensing agreement with Quilting Treasures and my first collection with them, Native Pine will make its debut in July, 2015. But, enough about me . . .
Cyndi can you tell us a little about yourself and Quilting Treasures?
Quilting Treasures is the only employee owner fabric company in the home-sewing industry. Our company’s history dates back to 1807. We sell 100% woven cotton prints to Independent Fabric Retailers.
I am currently the Director of Marketing at Quilting Treasures. I have spent 15 years in the wholesale side of the fabric industry. Prior to that, I owned a quilt shop for 12 years.
What are the new collections that you are really excited about?
We are excited to introduce our new brand, Ink & Arrow. Our tag line…..Because fabric should be fun!….says it all! This brand is not a traditional fabric collection designed for quilters but rather a fun, quirky contemporary fabric brand. Our launch contains five edgy, contemporary mini collections. The prints in each collection are connected by theme and the collection names are a reflection of the themes such as City Life, A Cat’s Meow, Talk to Me….
It’s important to note that Quilting Treasures has brands for everyone! Studio 8 features prints that are modern and contemporary that are combined as a more defined collection that includes a greater range of scale, value and color. This brand includes graphic prints, watercolor styles and prints that reflect a batik style. Ivy Lane is an upscale, traditional brand…..think Ethan Allen. And, of course, the Quilting Treasures brand itself includes prints based on brand licensing, novelty and children’s prints.
When will the new collections be available in retailers?
The first two groups will ship in December.
Who designed the collections?
We are using both our own studio artists as well as freelance artists to create the art for these groups. We are looking forward to expanding the brand with designers whose artwork fits the brand. We license with artists directly or through their agents and we also purchase prints outright.
Can you tell us the inspiration behind the new brand?
Yes, we wanted to focus on young sewists and fabric lovers who are creating all things with fabric! Apparel, home décor, crafts and of course, quilts!
Is it important to already be in the quilt/home sewing industry or to know how to quilt or sew?
No but designers should do research into these fields prior to submitting designs. They should look to see what types of fabrics are currently being offered and think about if they can do anything differently that will set their designs apart.
What advice would you give designers about putting a portfolio together for this industry?
We are looking for designs that can apply to any of our brands. We like prints with a lot of detail and since we screen print, we’re limited to 18 colors or less. Layered looks are very in right now so that’s a good example of detail. We look for great layouts and artists who can create successful repeats. A variety of scale and color value is important in a great collection. We also offer panel designs based on 24″ or 36″ repeats so that’s something for a designer to keep in mind. In addition, we offer other engineered prints such as repetitive blocks or complex, vertical stripes. A designer should think about how a proposed print would look in a finished item. Sending product mock ups along with proposed prints helps to explain how those prints can translate to a final project. A mock up of simple apparel, bag, home dec item or quilt goes a long way in helping us to evaluate the potential of a proposal.