Fabric Fest, the brainchild of Jay Arbetman (The Sourcing District) and Anna Livermore (V. Mora) made its way down to Austin, Texas! So I headed to the Austin School of Fashion Design, which looked like a mini convention center with booths and fabrics galore. I met all the participants and set up my area as I was the greeter for the two-day event. Fabric Fest provides a great networking opportunity but more importantly it educates attendees on the design process and provides valuable resources!
V. Mora, co-founder of Fabric Fest, was set up directly across from me. I met both women and thought Anna Livermore , V. Mora founder, looked stunning in a black and white zebra print dress. Ashley’s gold statement necklace was divine and eye-catching.
V. Mora is a designer’s dream! Need a pattern maker, a sample made, or just want to keep your sanity while creating your vision? V. Mora has you covered! Regardless of the stage in the design process, V. Mora assists the designers in reaching their goal. The ladies met with guests, answered a variety of questions and shared their wealth of knowledge. I love that the successful duo, who live on opposite coasts, come together to help designers from everywhere make their dreams come true.
I made my way around and met Wholesale Manager Julie Brown of Fabric Mart. It was hard to miss Julie’s section. Julie had swatches of fabric hanging on racks and displayed on a large table for attendees to touch and view. When asked for a specific button or fabric, she was quick to guide them to the correct one. Guests were pleased with the variety of swatches Fabric Mart offered. They vigorously took notes, touched fabrics and promptly had their questions answered. It wasn’t until dinner that I learned that even though she was in Pennsylvania, she was not your “stereotypical Philly fan”. As a Cowboys’ fan, I couldn’t resist the topic.
No garment is complete without labels and Mikan Printing Corp. provided a variety of samples from hang tags to printed trims. Everyone that visited Mikan Printing met with Valerie Mikan and received a sample goodie bag with a plethora of labels. I was pleasantly surprised at how many labels I recognized! I enjoyed chatting with Valerie, who like me, knows multiple languages. We chatted a little in French and Spanish, for fun!
Fabrics in a variety of materials covered the mass table behind me. Stationed right next to me was the other co-founder of Fabric Fest, The Sourcing District. Owner Jay Arbetman was never stationary as he made it a point to meet with each attendee. His deep knowledge of the industry was evident as he answered all questions on wholesale fabric, interlinings or zippers with ease and in a sincere manner.
Jay‘s charisma and generosity were also evident. He had already been in contact with some of the attendees while others were clients who traveled to Austin just to meet him. For me, the most impressive act was Jay making time to address the needs of each attendee individually. I cheerfully mentioned the two boxes of complimentary swatches to guests and watched as not one person left empty-handed, newly-armed with knowledge or a fabric sample.
Some of my favorite attendees were the cutest! I met two precious babies and even spotted mini-fashion designer Tasi of Love Tasi who looked fashionable in a blazer, magenta shorts and boots.
After the end of Day 1, ASFD owner Sandra treated us to dinner at Trudy’s. I donned the classic black and white with a splash of color. The group enjoyed the local Tex-Mex restaurant known for its Mexican martinis and flavorful food. We said goodbyes after the filling meal and rested for Day 2 of Fabric Fest.
Fabric Fest Day 2
Day 2 of Fabric Fest brought in more visitors from around the great state and even some familiar faces! Promptly at noon, Anna of V. MORA began her presentation “The 5 Mistakes Beginning Designers Make”. Anna tied in all the other vendors into her presentation, which flowed effortlessly from beginning to end. As a courtesy, all attendees were emailed a Beginning Designer’s Checklist. What a great tool to share! The audience was very attentive and participated in the Q&A Session without hesitation.
As the day progressed, guests touched fabrics and examined labels while they mingled. I looked around at the different vendors filled with inquisitive people. I noticed each company attending to their guests with enthusiasm and sincerity. It made me proud to be a part of Fabric Fest! I already look forward to them returning to the Capital City to share more knowledge and resources!