Interview with Etsy Shop Owner, Becca Babb-Brott of Sew Me a Song

I recently had a chance to interview Etsy Shop owner, Becca Babb-Brott, from Sew Me a Song. I found this very unique Etsy Shop through a recommendation from another quilt blogger. (Thank you Jess from Elven Garden). 

When I looked at the fabrics from this shop, I was very impressed by the their uniqueness in patterns and colors, and the wide variety offered. I look at a lot of fabric sites and visit a lot of brick and mortar stores, and had never seen some of these patterns or heard of some of the manufacturers.

Another feature I love about this shop is that Becca will custom make a bundle for you. I was looking for some very specific colors, combinations of colors and text prints. I requested two or three different bundles, and Becca nailed each of them. She sent me a photo of the bundles before I completed my purchase. She offers this service to all her customers. 

I’m sure this helps build a loyal clientele and “good word of mouth” which found me. Putting an extra service into her business like that made me feel like I could trust her, and that she cares that I’m satisfied. She really goes an extra mile too; if I didn’t like one of her fabric choices, she found me other options to replace it until I was satisfied. I really felt I built a solid working relationship with her.

A little personal information about the lovely and talented, Becca. She is married, and the mother of two young girls, Alison and Anya. They have a dog and two cats. Her family moved moved back to Maine about a year ago to live closer to family.

Like many of us who fell in love with quilting, Becca started with one four week class, to make one quilt. She’s been hooked for the last several years. Becca is also a life-long knitter.

Our Interview

1. Tell us about your Etsy Shop; How does it work? Why did you open an Etsy shop instead of an online fabric store? How long have you been running an Indie Shop? Tell me the story of how you began and wound up where you are today.

Answer:  I opened the first shop, Sew Fresh Fabrics, with my friend Peg, about 5 years ago. We ran our shop part time around other jobs and kids. Over time it grew, and we both left our part-time jobs to run Sew Fresh Fabrics full-time.

Then a job opportunity came up for my husband, which meant I would be single parenting for 2 years. We decided our younger daughter and I would move back to Maine on a temporary basis to be close to family, and see if we wanted to stay. That meant leaving Sew Fresh Fabrics, and so the next venture began. 

I really like text prints, modern japanese prints (Yuwa, Lecien etc.), as well ones that are a bit “quirky,” and are great for fussing cutting. Currently, this is what my shop focuses on, as well as offering some great basic fabrics too.
 

2. Why did you name your shop, Sew Me a Song?

Answer:  I am so not good at the name game, and I kept asking my family for help. Noning was forth coming, and I just kept stewing on it. At some point, the lyrics from the Beatles song “With a Little Help From my Friends” popped up – “I’ll sing you a song and I’ll try not to sing out of key.” I decided to switch, sing to sew, and I had a name – Sew Me A Song. (By the way, I absolutely can not sing)!!

3. Tell us about the fabric lines you carry?  Expand and describe
the Japanese lines, as well as other unusual lines for those who do not know a lot about them.

Answer:  I carry a lot of fabrics from Yuwa including Suzuko Koseki’s, Lecien, Daiwabo and Kokka. Most are quite modern, usually having some sort of text mixed in with the graphics. They are great for small patchwork and zakka style sewing. They also have some wonderful small scale florals and some fun retro prints.


4. What makes Sew Me a Song unique or different from other indie
shops and online fabric stores?


Answer:  I think what makes Sew Me a Song a bit different is that I really try to curate the assortment and bring in some prints that might not be carried elsewhere. I love so much more fabric than I carry, and still do a good amount of shopping at all the other fabulous stores and manufacturers out there. Of course there is some cross over, but for the most part I try to cherry pick what I feel is right for my shop.

5. Your shop seems to have a lot of vitality to it. What do you attribute that to?
  
Answer:  I am not really sure. Occasionally I think about leaving the Etsy platform and going to a dot-com. But for me, there is a sense of community created by Etsy, and I love the ease of conversation. It somehow feels less formal to send a “convo” than an email; almost like you are talking directly to the other person.

Informal Picture of Sew Me a Song

6. I have purchased custom orders from you, and you exceeded my expectations. This is a fabulous service. Tell us more about how you put
custom bundles and orders together?  How can future purchasers maximize
this opportunity when working with you?

Answer: I love putting together custom orders. If someone is looking for a particular color or theme etc., I can pull items from the shop, photograph them, and send them back to the customer. Then we can make additions and deletions. 

It’s not quite the same as being able to actually touch the fabric, but it’s not a bad second. Additionally, the one challenge with the Etsy template is that on multiple item purchases, the shipping really adds up as there is no way to prevent that. I always refund that excess upon shipment. With a custom listing I can set up accurate shipping charges.


7. What is the best thing about your job?

Answer:  Playing with fabric. Putting combinations together and figuring out custom orders. And when customers say,”OMG I love it.” It’s a good feeling of validation. They took a leap of faith with me.

8. What is the least favorite thing about your job?

Answer: Paperwork 🙂

9. Describe what kinds of fabric designs are your favorites?

Answer:  I love for them to have a quirkiness, or for the fabrics to be off the beaten path. Some of my other favorite designs include text driven fabrics, fussy cuts, polka dots, strips and some of the classics small florals, retro, vintage.

10. Do you have a project that you made or created that you are most proud of?

Becca’s Favorite Quilt She’s Made To Date

11. You mentioned that you went to Spring Market in Pittsburgh.  Tell us
about your experience.

Answer:  Market is always fun and exhausting at the same time. There is such a great energy and buzz, and it is so much fun to see what’s new! But it is also a work trip. And when I am there it means I am not manning the shop. I am away from my family so I try to squeeze as much as possible into a short amount of time. 

I write most of my orders, especially the Japanese imports, for the next 6 months while I am there, so I am usually completely overwhelmed by the end. However, it is quite amazing to be in a place where everyone loves fabric and sewing. Great company for sure.

12.   What are your thoughts about trends in the fabric market over the
next year or two?


Answer:  I guess for upcoming trends I see more of a blurring of the lines between modern and traditional. It is a shared love of fabric and sewing that binds us together.

Becca, thank you so much for taking the time to share with readers about your Etsy Shop and your career in sewing and the fabric market.

Becca is generously offering a give-a-way bundle of fabrics.  

In order to win this give-a-way, go to Sew Me a Song, and let us know what are some of your favorite bundles and fabrics. Please post your answer in my comments box below. And don’t forget to leave me your e-mail address so I can contact you. I will announce the winner on the morning of Friday, June 27.

Again, thank you Becca for a wonderful interview. 

One more thing – Please stop by the New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop. Thanks again to Beth of Plum and June. Click their button on my sidebar to meet many other great quilters and bloggers.

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “Interview with Etsy Shop Owner, Becca Babb-Brott of Sew Me a Song

  1. When Becca reads your comment, I'll bet she will laugh. Not at you. But me. I have this weird anti-polka dot issue. I love them in other people's work, and on their clothes, but I never use them.
    Becca re-arranged a bundle for me and on the third time make it work without any polka dots. A week later I had to buy a fancy dress for a bridal shower. Guess what…I fell in love with a beautiful black and white polka dot dress. I sent a photo to Becca and gave her a good laugh.

    Like

  2. Lovely shop, Becca has great bundles. Love this fabric – Antique Station Master from Locomotion by Bristol Bay. This giveaway is beautiful, my daughter would love it , she is always making cupcakes and cookies!

    Like

  3. Thank you for taking the time to share about Sew Me a Song and Becca. I love reading how other people have made crafting a career! 🙂 I was immediately drawn to her pencil stripe bundle, but there are so many wonderful options and Squared Elements by Art Gallery Fabrics… wow, love lots of items in her store!

    Like

  4. I loved the interview and review of this shop! I had heard about it but never really too a look at it. Great fabrics I love the 30's Collection by Atsuko Matsuyama and the Victoria Vintage is so pretty. I like the mix of fabrics they carry! thank you!

    Like

  5. I like those 30's fabrics too. I'm making a quilt with 30's inspired fabrics so it's interesting to see those. I did buy a few of them about a month ago and mixed them into my Pick and Mix. I am changing out some of the blocks, and will post that WIP in a few weeks. Thanks for your thoughts.

    Like

  6. I love the bundle she has put together for this giveaway – tea and cakes, what more could you want? The low volume bundle in the shop looks really useful and would help me identify other low volume prints in my stash.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s