Fabric Field Trip: Textile Discount Outlet
My teen has decided to take a year off between high school and college. One of the things he is determined to do is learn about business first hand by becoming more involved in my business, Camp Run-A-Pup, which, ironically, has run for the last 10 plus years without a business plan. If it works, we keep doing it, and if it doesn’t, we stop. Our mission statement is simply to delight our campers and their families as often as possible.
Fortunately, Cole has little desire to create long-range plans and spread sheets or to measure the cost efficiency of handing our pups treats whenever are request one; instead, he wants to focus on reorganizing and revamping our camp dorm rooms and marketing. His first project was to test his idea of building pup cots for our camp cabins (crates). This is the Ohio way* of sharing that we ventured out to visit an epic, mammoth sized fabric store to buy material for the cots. Intimidated doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt as I approached the front door. I was certain that the cantor-like greeter who sat at the front door would refuse to let me enter, without so much as a mazel tov. However, much to my dismay, he let me follow Cole into the store. (I have a history of fabric store fails)
The cutting table took up the whole first room. Bolts of fabric were swiftly measured, rolled, and ticketed. I think I heard one cutter scream at a customer, “Solids no plaids, next!” and another bellow out, “No stupid questions on Tuesdays.” Cole says it was my imagination. Whatever . . . I couldn’t imagine approaching the cutting table with a bolt of fabric and surviving.
The store was completely self-service beyond the cutting table, where rooms were filled with fabric, ribbons, buttons, and gallimaufry of every imaginable kind.
I was sure that no one would ever hear from us again as we moved deeper into the store looking for durable fabric to use to make pup cots. I wished you all a fond fairwell around room six certain I would never be heard from again.
After wandering aimlessly for what seemed like months, the bric-a-brac parted, and a bolt of fabric hanging high up on a fabric rack flashed before us. It was exactly what we wanted, but, alas, we had no idea how to procure it. Fortunately, an experienced wanderer was willing to stop and share her knowledge with us. The commandments were straight forward: find a rolling ladder, position it under the fabric, climb up, unhook the fabric, slide the rod inside the fabric back onto the wall, and carry the 100-pound bolt of fabric back down the ladder. Go Cole! It was a hard and awkward job, but Cole gave it a heroic attempt. Unfortunately, he lost control of the unwieldy fabric half way through the process, and it blindsided both of us as it slid off the rod and tried to escape by rolling down the aisle. As we made chase, Cole shouted that it was all my fault, despite the fact that he was running the whole mission. You don’t think he’s becoming a Democratic, do you? I digress. Admittedly, part of the problem may have been that I was attempting to take a few videos and pictures while he was wrestling with the fabric (sometimes he fails to understand my responsibility to my Odd readers).
Once the fabric was captured and contained and we had caught our breath, we proceeded to the cutting tables to make our purchase. We were both surprised when we were pleasantly greeted by a nice guy who agreed to cut our fabric for us. Intrigued with the idea of using the fabric for dog cots, he shared about his dog and how he would love to send him to camp. He also took a cotton to Cole, who—while completely uninterested in his intentions—was conversational and friendly throughout the exchange and graciously accepted the compliment about his t-shirt. When the fabric was finally cut and rolled back onto the roll, we swiftly said goodbye and bolted to the front desk to pay the cantor greeter, who was also the cashier. I could have sworn he was humming “Sunrise, Sunset” as he checked us out.
Safe outside the store, Cole and I high-fived one another and headed to 26th street for a tamales at El Milagro. Thank you friend and Camp helper Vickie for the lunch suggestion.
Later in the day, my teen built his first pup cot and put it in camper Montie’s crate so he could give it a test run**
And then we tore out the basement bookcase and 700 celling panels. You understand, it’s kind of like when you buy a new brand of toilet paper, put it in the bathroom, and three hours later, you’re repainting the entire bathroom. That’s happened to you, right? If it has, you’ll understand; if it hasn’t, you can live vicariously. This post will be continued.
Odd Loves Company,
* As discussed in the past an unscientific study has shown that people from Ohio take a very long time to get to the point of a story. We love our Ohip friend.
** Disclaimer: All pups in crates look sad. That is why you see them in crates and behind fences on every rescue commercial. Monty is very happy with his new cot and quite content!
VirtualTour Discount Textile Outlet….kind of like being there…
Textile Discount Outlet from Katybeth on Vimeo.
11 thoughts on “Fabric Store Hyperventilation”
That has do happened to me. A lot. It usually starts with a benign trip to Home Depot for a lightbulb. It ends months later with the entire back of the garage sanded, various test patches of primer, no possible end in sight, and a mad hubbie. Matt and Ben used to refuse to go into Home Depot with me, but now they both go in, one on either side, frog march me to the light bulb section, and then try to get me right out again. I’ve been known to shake them a time or two, but usually find them waiting at the cash line to stop any purchases that might involve projects they end up getting stuck in. For some odd reason they would both just rather play golf 🙂
The dog cot looks great! How did George and Joey like them?
Ha. Ha. Your beagle boy prefers under the pillow on my side of the bed. At night he heads to cushey dog bed only because he knows my bed is off limits when I’m in it. I stopped crating him at night because of the AC issues they go upstairs with me or sleep near a fan. The Golden Boy wants on the floor in front of a fan or window a/c.
Glad you understand about DIY project. Home Depot, sigh, chalk board paint in every color.
Golf? Well as long as you get to play too!
Sounds like you are on a DIY roll. Those cots look nice. Hope they work for your pups. The textile warehouse is huge. Not for the faint of heart, for sure. Funny video with your teen.
I’ll do a fair number of DIY projects but rarely just jump in. There are enough surprises even when you are well prepared. On the other hand sometimes just going for it yields the best results. Good luck.
We jump and then research. I’m sure the other way leads to less pressure and mistakes. We’ll have to try it!
The warehouse was huge and a very scary place.
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I’ve seen dog cots advertised (for big bucks, I might add) in doggie supply catalogs. Despite the inconvenience (or should I say, aggravation??) of making them yourselves, I’m just betting you saved money — and look at all that experience Cole got (almost like school, only much more FUN!)
Btw, Dallas doesn’t look unhappy in his crate. Especially during thunderstorms. Why, he’s practically ecstatic! Guess he’d make a sorry ad for the rescue groups, ha!
They sell on Amazon for around $35.00 for a medium and we think we can keep the price below $10.00. Cole said the first one pain because of trying to keep the material tight enough. The next one should be easier and take less time.
Dallas doesn’t look sad in his crate too you and those who know him..put him on my camp site and everyone will be saying POOR POOR DALLAS. And if he “smiles” they will claim he panting in distress. So silly. My dogs and almost of all my campers love their crates. Wonderful that he is so secure in it—all because it was used correctly from day one! Credit to you.
Back in the day when I sewed a lot I would have been so happy to shop in a fabric place like this one..now I am not only allergic to all the lint and dust in those large fabric stores, I am also allergic to sewing ..LOL Anyway, I gave sewing up for horses and other things..I have been getting the urge to make a handbag but I had better call your Mom and have her talk me out of dragging out my sewing machines..we are members of sewing anonymous…I hope she can help me..
As we sew so shall we rip.. Quick call! Intervention has to happen immediately. I know you are still very clever. Oddly enough the fabric store was not dusty and did not seem to bother my allergies. Or maybe it was just a good day. I don’t like the smell of fabric, tho, it makes me itchy!
Well……looks like you & Cole are the ideal team! That’s all I’ll say about that! My mom would have been in heaven at the dry goods store. She loved to sew & was quite good. Made my jumpers for school & who knows what else.
Ok, you are making your own Kuranda Dog Beds. Nice! Wondering how Rascal did in the car on one of the prototypes??? Was the material drawn so tight to reenact gym class trampolines?
Ceiling tile removal?
Keep up the good work!
We do make pretty good team. I follow directions pretty well most of the time. Oh, I do need to post the car seat picture. I will!
Kuranda? Is that what they are called? I like it. The first one did pretty well, Cole found that he needed to overlap the material more for the next one, but it held up pretty well and Monty gave it a work out. And best of all they are very inexpensive to make. We think they will average between $7.00 – $10.00. 😀
Clever Mom’s are nice to have! I know, first hand.
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