Frills N Flulff - Where we began! March 13, 2015 15:02

The Behind the Scenes look at FNF!!!

I feel like every customer should know where FNF came from. We do not have a crazy story or even an overly unique story. My husband and I moved to Pittsburgh, PA in 2009 from all we had ever known in Tennessee. New city, New jobs and no friends. Needless to say, we found it very hard to meet people in this new city. I have always thought of myself as an outgoing, very personable person, but my Southern Charm didn't work on many in this new city!

I have always had a crafty side, no one is sure where I came from because as a child I hated most anything crafty! I decided I needed something to do as a hobby while living up there or I was going to be miserable!! So long story short, I asked my mother in law to teach me how to sew. Fully thinking I would never have the patience to sit and learn and I would quickly throw in the towel! I decided I wanted to make outfits for my nieces. So off to the craft store I went, purchased 2 patterns and some fabric. IT took 2 weekends, lots of mess ups but finally half the goal was accomplished. My first pair of ruffle pants were a huge fail, my husband still calls them "spongebob square pants" and my MIL kept them for me! I have never been a person that if I didn't catch on to something pretty quickly that I kept at it, I never played a sport I wasn't good at.. But there was something different about sewing, it was the need to see the final product, to accomplish an end result that kept me in it. Then I developed a huge love for fabric. It was later in 2010 that I discovered Etsy, designer fabrics and PDF patterns. These three literally happened over night and life changed. I opened my Etsy shop in October 2010 and watched it daily for that first sale, the first sale that wasn't a family member or a friend.. I was so excited!! At this time, I owned one sewing machine and one serger and I had no idea how to run a business!! I don't consider myself a business woman, I leave that aspect of FNF up to my husband! I set up a white plastic table with my machines and I thought I was in business. I didn't have any fancy set up, shoot I didn't even have a room for this stuff, it was in our kitchen!!! So yes technically, FNF started out in my kitchen in Pittsburgh, PA!!

 

Business continued to grow over the next 2 years while we were in PA. So much that once we were back here, I started to realize that I was going to eventually have to get some help. I worked full time (still do), as soon as I would get home from work I would immediately start sewing, take a little break to cook, eat and clean up dinner and go right back to it until bedtime. The process would just start over the next day. I would spend all weekend sewing. I had the social life of a 60 year old and I was 26-27!!! Without going into detail, we went through a LOT of people to find some good sewing help! And it was very hard for me to turn over the reins to someone, this was a business that I had literally built from the ground up, I put my blood, sweat and tears into. Yes all three of those, I've cried over orders, I've cried over being overwhelmed, I have bleed because I cut myself with a rotary blade, and I've sweat because I was trying to get something finished, or rushing..

I always knew I wanted to keep my business and work in the US, and ultimately I wanted it to be done here in Tennessee, if for nothing else but the piece of mind and I could oversee it. It was never an option for me to quit working, I had to figure out time management and how to do it all. I found a couple of really great sewing help the last couple of years and they have enabled me to gain some of my life back. I can finally enjoy the weekends with my husband and our growing family. We can go out to dinner on a Saturday night and I'm not worried about having time to finish an order! One of the ladies, I call her my other grandmother, because she reads my mind.. if I've forgotten something, leave something off she just fills in the blanks! Im blessed to have these type of people in my life!

In 2012 I attempted to take FNF to the next level. I sought out a company in CA that would design patterns for me, would create a line for me and would get me into children's shops around the world. While it all sounded great and I jumped in head first {with no floaties} I quickly learned that this is not a business for just anyone. I wasn't prepared mentally or financially for what I was getting myself into. But the day that I was told, "we can easily get you into Neiman-Marcus" I {thought} I was sold. I put everything I saved into those ideas.. but it wasn't enough. And lets just face it, I don't have investors, or credit lines or just free flowing funds. Remember, I STILL WORK A FULL TIME JOB!! I wasn't going to put my family in jeopardy to be able to fund this adventure that I had no idea if it would work or not. So I pulled back the reins and decided I'd just take my patterns and my ideas and go back to what I knew, what I enjoyed and what worked for me. Designing and selling and if the rest was meant to be it would happen in it's own good time. Needless to say, I still have those patterns, they have never been used.

The last 2 years have been great milestone years for FNF. We were featured in CNN Money, we had staple selling years and most importantly we learned..... a lot. We will continue to learn and hopefully grow wherever the path leads for us! We may never end up on the racks at Neiman-Marcus but the rods in your little girls closets will work for us!

2015 has started out great! We announced to you all that we were adding a little "fluff" to our world, with a baby boy coming in July! While he wont be sporting most of our signature FNF designs, I feel like we will gain lots of cute blue inspirations!!;) I still stress about how I will do it all, how I will add another piece of the puzzle, the piece of being a mom and still make it. But you know what, I've made it this far and I will continue!!

I hope that this gives you some insight into our little business. While we might not be leading the ranks in the boutique industry, we are very proud of what we have accomplished since the days of spongebob square pants and white plastic tables!!