Tell us about your business.Out of frustration and an obvious need for change in the fabric design/manufacturing industry, came inspiration and opportunity through Modern Yardage. With insight into the textile industry, it was apparent that having to speculate on trends is costly and wasteful but seemed to be the only option since fabric is usually printed overseas and sent back to the US. With the rise of digital textile printing, it became evident that this process is old fashion. So we purchased a textile printer and were able to sign five talented and eager designers before we even had a logo. Modern Yardage was born. We sell only via our website, print orders as they come in, and mail to customer doorsteps. Designers hunger for the opportunity to offer their work on fabric. Modern Yardage makes the dreams of talented designers come true. Our goal is to allow more designers opportunities and to put quality, affordable, unique, designer fabric in the hands of sewist and crafters all over the world.
What makes your business stand out?Modern Yardage uses environmentally friendly inks and avoids waste by printing fabric in the USA, for customers upon purchase. No more waiting 9 months after inception of a design for it to be printed overseas and finally arrive on shelves with hope that it will sell. No more printing based on speculation of trends. More designers can offer their work on fabric because barriers to entry are drastically diminished. More designs are offered on more substrates because minimums are a thing of the past. More crafters rejoice because ample creative options are available. Each design is available in several colors and in multiple scales on fabric. Since we print a standard 44" width on 58" fabric, we use margin space to offer tips, give bonus panels to make projects (bunting, oven mitts, doll, baby bib, wallet), free sewing patterns, blurbs by designers allowing them to connect with customers, wash instructions, and coupons. This is all unique. This is Modern Yardage.
What's the best business advice you've received?During business school, I was often told, "Do what you love, and the money will follow." I spent years sewing my heart out and designing sewing patterns. Neither of these activities was ever very lucrative. However, by doing what I enjoyed and by putting myself out there, a world of ideas and opportunities came to me. The idea for this business and the financial gain that will surely come as a result of it are all born from passion and a deep love of textiles and art. I don't know that I will ever be rich, but I will be able to support my family doing what I love. So you might have to start small or do what you love on the side, but pursue your passions and take time to indulge in the things that you love to do.
Mark Your Calendar
NominationsJune 3–Aug. 29, 2014
Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.
JudgingJune 23–Sept. 9, 2014
Judges will select finalists throughout this period.Meet the judges
Online VotingSept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014
Vote for your favorite American makers.See the finalists
Winners AnnouncedOct. 17, 2014
2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.See past Award Winners
American Made EventNov. 7–8, 2014
Join us for our annual event in New York City.Buy tickets now