The Fabric Maverick says...You need roller skates to keep up with Sandi Henderson! Part 1
April 9, 2009
As soon as the salesman showed me the "Ginger Blossom" collection, I knew Sandi Henderson had a winner. For our 10th anniversary, I thought it would be great to interview Sandi and see what is going on in her world. Sandi was very gracious when I contacted her. She is truly a charming person, but very hard to keep up with. She is working on a new collection which will be out soon. I promised not to tell the name until all the changes have been worked out.
Fabric Maverick: "Sandi, your website is called Portabello Pixie. How did you come up with that name?"
Sandi Henderson: "Portabellopixie (one word) came about when I was trying to come up with a name for my custom made boutique clothing business. I wanted it to be original, something very different that would stand out in people's minds. Portabello comes from Portobello Road, which to me stands for all things eclectic and vintage. Pixie is fun, cute, playful. The combination of the two really seemed to describe my style! I changed the spelling of Portobello to make it truly my own."
Fabric Maverick: "I agree. Your style is one-of-kind. Do you have a family and how do you manage to design with your family? I know that I struggle to keep everybody's life in order."
Sandi Henderson: "I do have a family! An incredibly supportive husband, Dustin, and two great kids, Eliza and Ethan. How do I manage to design? Hmm...I would certainly not say that I've got it figured out but I've found that everything else falls into place if I just take care of my family first. I don't ever work if Dustin isn't around to take care of the kids. My daughter attends preschool during the day, and I have my son alone during that time. I use the time to play with him, run errands, be a mom. It can be tempting to use that time to work, but I'm so much happier when I wait until I have truly taken care of all my family's needs before sitting down to work."
Fabric Maverick: "Have you always been a designer? If not, what did you do before?
Sandi Henderson: "I have always been creative, but for the majority of my life it was just for my personal pleasure! I didn't decide to design for the masses until about 6 months before I contacted fabric manufacturers. I also had a stint in health employment. I was a phlebotomist for a while. (A phlebotomist is the person who draws your blood.) So if someone needs a blood draw at Quilt Market someday, I guess I'm the one for the job!"
Fabric Maverick: "Are you able to design full time?" I have read about several designers who have a full tine job and design in their free time."
Sandi Henderson: "I don't have a job outside the home. When I decided to do this, everything just fell into place for me."
Fabric Maverick: "It feels like you burst onto the quilting scene with your collection "Ginger Blossom", but I know that this is not generally the case or is it?"
Sandi Henderson: "That's pretty much how it happened. Again, I have been so fortunate! From the time I signed on with Michael Miller to the time Ginger Blossom debuted, I want to say it was about 5 months! And that really was my big debut as a designer. It's been a whirlwind ride in the last 2 years from when I signed on with Michael Miller. We've put out 2 fabric collections, a new line of sewing patterns, a collection of gift boxes and home storage and I just signed a book deal. Yay! I will say I was writing my blog before the fabric happened and I think that probably helped get my name around. (Is my name around? It really doesn't seem that way to me, it it's very surreal to see my designs in random places.)"
Fabric Maverick: " Sandi, your name is around in a very good way! I love to open a magazine and see Ginger Blossom or Farmer's Market being used!" Here are pictures of a few of Sandi's patterns:
Dear readers, stay tuned for Part 2 of Sandi's interview tomorrow! You will find out where her inspirations come from and where do designers go to buy their fabric?? Also what is Kathy Miller really like!
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