This is a article was originally posted in March of 2008. It’s one of my all time favorite posts…enjoy!

I wanted to share this with you so that you can be at the ready when going into some of these wonderful fabric stores! Kimberley just emailed this to me–it’s a play by play of her experience with a fabriteer as I like to call them. Read on, and enjoy…

here’s Kimberley:

I simply must share my conversation with the clerk at the snooty fabric store where I purchased my mistreatment supplies!

Clerk (middle-aged, attractive, though not pretty, uptight!!!!): How can I help you today?

Me: I need 4 yards of this fabric (a fabulous animal print that was only $13.95/yard, which is a miracle at this store!!!!!)

Clerk: This is a lovely fabric, what are you working on?

Me: (Here we go…) A decorator’s table skirt and two window treatments.

Clerk: Are you sure 4 yards is enough fabric?

Me: Yes, I believe so. I need 3 yards for the table, and whatever is left will be used for the windows.

Clerk: You don’t know how much fabric you need for your window treatments?

Me: Not exactly, but I’m sure a yard will do the trick.

Clerk: Are you working with a designer?

Me: Yes.

Clerk: Well, what kind of window treatments has she designed?

Me: Upholstery tack valances.

Clerk: Are you using one of our recommended designers?

Me: Nope.

Clerk: Who exactly is your designer?

Me: Nester.

Clerk: Who? I’ve never heard of Nester, and I know all the designers in town!

Me: She’s not in town. She’s online.

Clerk: She’s an online designer? How does she conduct her consultations online?

Me: She doesn’t.

Clerk: Then how do you know what you are doing?

Me: I don’t, I’m just looking at her pictures online and following her step-by-step instructions.

Clerk: I’ve just got to see this. Do you have her website? (She boots up her laptop.)

Me: Go to Yep, there she is. Click on the right hand side where it says window mistreatments. There you go!

Clerk: (After spending several minutes scrolling madly!) Well, these do look nice online, but I can guarantee you they don’t look all that great in person!!!

Me: I don’t know about that! My kitchen and family room look pretty fabulous–And all I needed were some upholstery tacks and unmeasured fabric with rough edges!!!

Clerk: (flustered) I’ll have your fabric ready for you in just a minute. Did you say you needed trim?

Me: Yes.

Clerk: How much?

Me: Oh, I don’t know, lets just eyeball it!

Let’s hear it for Kimberley!!!!!!!!
Talk about facing the giants! For a minute there I didn’t think the fabriteer was gonna let her make a purchase! I know she was just trying to be helpful but shesh! Can a person not go in a fabric store and buy $60 worth of something without being grilled? I mean, my checkout girl at the grocery doesn’t ask what I’m making for dinner and then continue to tell me how I’m gonna burn it and mess up the recipe!

I sometimes feel like some of those women were just waiting to convince me that whatever it was I was doing couldn’t be done without the help of them and a $100 per hour designer. When they ask me what I am doing with what I am buying I’ve learned not to tell them! I’ll just say that my mom asked me to pick up a few yards of such and such for her or mumble something impossible to understand.

I’ll be the first to say that there are some wonderfully, brilliant, encouraging fabriteers/designers out there–let’s hear it for Jennipher {yes, that’s how she spells her name so funky!} at Printer’s Alley–this girl encouraged me to sell my tassels at a local shop! And I cannot forget Debbie out at 1502 she walked me through a purchase of 60 yards of fabric for a COM order! These girls really helped me make some great decisions!

But for all those poshy 50-something ladies {edited to add: poshy 20-something, 30-something, 40-something, 60-something and 70-something [thank you readers for pointing that out]} out there who believe that it must be perfect to be beautiful–give us mom’s a break! Maybe we want our house to be beautiful but we also want to have enough money left over to sponsor a compassion child. Maybe we were nervous about even walking into your fancy store. Maybe we can only come with our children. Maybe we just want to be encouraged that we can do it ourselves and within our budget. Maybe we need to to be reminded that

it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful!