Sunday, August 7, 2011

Babyville Boutique


      My friend Jean and I have been in the Arts & Crafts industry for over 20 years.  Before we became involved with the Craft & Hobby association, we were professional crafters.  Popular in the mid to late 80's we would design handmade items to sell at craft shows, craft malls and boutiques in the areas where we lived and in the 90's we were asked to write instructions for the projects we created to be featured in "how to" craft books.  This was long before Etsy, e-Books and online stores.  Between us we probably created over 300 instructional craft books for a local publisher, which is where we met.  Many of the books we wrote featured projects which were popular during that time, but we soon became involved in creating and designing projects to feature specific manufacturer's products for manufacturers.  Being a designer in any industry is all about creativity and we were constantly coming up with new ideas for manufacturers and wanting to do much more than create projects for a book.  So in 1996 Jean and I combined our talents and formed our own consulting company, Kievlan-McGuffee Design Svcs a full service company for the Arts & Crafts industry.  Our business has grown and evolved over the past 15 years.  We each have different skill sets so we work independently with some clients and as a team with others.  The reason I'm blogging about our company today is because I would like you to join me in congratulating Jean on a wonderful program she developed which is being introduced to consumers this month.

      Many great ideas are born out of a need, and this is how Babyville Boutique™ came to be.   Almost 3 years ago when Jean found out she was going to become a grandmother, her daughter-in-law asked for help in making cloth diapers, diaper covers and more.  With a strong background in sewing and quilting this was no problem for Jean and she quickly developed a pattern to fulfill this need.  Jean wasn't able to find the supplies she needed in local stores, so she decided to search the internet.   After a few months of ordering supplies from various sites and sewing for her daughter-in-law Jean eventually  discovered that her daughter-in-law wasn't the only one looking for ideas.  It became very apparent that there was a whole community of environmentally conscious moms and grandmothers also searching for all kinds of supplies.  There had to be an easier way to make all these supplies more accessible to everyone.  After a while she decided to enlist the help of another designer,  who was knowledgeable in the sewing side of the industry to see what they could come up with.  Ellie Joos had worked for Simplicity Pattern Company and Offray Ribbon so she was the ideal person to help develop Babyville Boutique™,  a coordinating line of embellishments and specialty fabric, which is being introduced this month by Prym Consumer USA.  Whether you're a new mom, or grandmother you have to check this out.  For all the links, photos and information check out Babyville Boutique™, you'll be really glad you did.

Y'all come back now!

Yours truly,
Julie :)

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10/10/2011

    Sadly, I cannot support Babyville. Your partner, Jean, came to our cloth diapering site, asked a lot of questions that in retrospect were market research, and then when she announced her plans, many people were upset as she was not forthright with why she was there. Up until the reveal, we all thought she was just one of the many grandmothers that sew diapers for their grandchildren. When the book was published, many members realized that the book looked an awful lot like the tutorial section, that's full of free tips and advice. I cannot tell you how upsetting this was to the members who did post those tutorials.

    Jean came into a very tight-knit community and tore it apart. She claimed this was all to bring out the wonders of cloth diapering to the world, but in her wake she damaged one of the biggest online cloth diapering communities. If she had just been honest with us in the beginning, it wouldn't have caused as much controversy. Now she's touting her business and we're left to pick up the pieces.