You never know when a good idea is going to hit you! During our first year in business, I couldn’t bear to see the scraps of material from the skirts go to waste. So we saved them, of course! I thought that if we sewed them all together we could make bright colored purses and fun items to go with the skirts. However, that was way too labor intensive to even come close to making a profit, plus my Seamers were far too busy making the skirts.
In the summer of 2011, on my Montana/Idaho Sweet Spot® Skirts tour, I reconnected with my favorite Cousin Jean who happens to live in Deaver, WY! Let me tell you about that side of the family! They are sooooo talented, creative, special, over the top with energy and super fun to be around. Since I was a little girl they would get together as a family and do some of the most awesome and crazy creative things. Jean and I are cousins, and as the story goes I believe we're even “double cousins". I'm not certain as to genealogy rules, but somewhere way back when in the family history brothers married sisters…. which leads to Double Cousins.
Jean used to be a school teacher and in her retirement she took up quilting. She proclaimed to be a novice and not a professional, but the people who have received her quilts seem to LOVE LOVE LOVE them. Jean and I think it is cool that she is the “green arm” of the company - wasting not one stitch of our precious cotton! Anyway, Jean is a great addition to the Sweet Spot® Team and her quilt "works of art" are appreciated so much by many people.
Jean and I talked about many things during my 2011 summer visit, and that including reminiscing about my mom who lost her battle with breast cancer when I was just 11 years old. My mom, Sharon Allen, was only 36 at the time. Sharon's nickname was Shenna, and partly in memory of her we stared the "Sweet Shenna" line of lap quilts and matching pillows in pink materials, in honor of breast cancer survivors. We have had the fortunate "task" of giving them to amazing women across the country who are battling breast cancer. Sweet Shenna quilts have been a dear project for me and every time I give one of our quilts to a more-than-deserving woman, it melts my heart to honor my mother this way.
Me and Cousin Jean! She delivered this quilt to me in Red Lodge, MT. It is called Sweet Spots Around the World! Did I mention that each quilt is named and signed?! So special!
The next quilt is called Steph’s Sweet Cabin! This quilt was given to my long-time friend and biking cohort David. He endures my crazy ideas every day and was there at the very moment when I said… "I am going to make a biking skirt and call it “Sweet Spot Skirts”. He is an avid biker and hiker and he keeps me on my wheels even during the crazy/busy times!
We donated the next quilt to a silent auction and it went second highest in the bidding! The charity that we chose to give our proceeds to was the local (Deaver, WY) Crisis Center. It's a non-profit that really needed help. They were a home for (mostly) women and children who have to escape a dangerous home situation.
We continue to have quilts in the works - some are gifts for those who have been so helpful to Sweet Spot® Skirts, some mark special milestones for our fabulous team, some go to survivors and others are used to make money for local charities.
Every quilt is made with love and special intentions, and it makes me so happy to be able to give these quilts to special people and organizations. Even though Jean proclaims to be a novice… the quilts looks top-notch! I'm so thankful to Jean for for supporting our Sweet Spot® Skirt Quilt Project!
Thank you for reading this…. it is so important for us as a small business to STAY in the USA and to continue to “give back” as opportunities present themselves!
Cousin Jean….. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!
Hugs to you all,
Sharon Parker Allan Jean & Sharon (Shenna)