trending 16 WBM april 2015 Creative people could buy materials for ceramics or watercolors, but textile designers were challenged if they wanted to produce small quantities. “A minimum run for fabric would be in the thousands of yards,” says Spoonflower co-founder Stephen Fraser. “There was a lot of risk in trying new things. We tapped into a pas-sionate, creative community of artists and designers from all over the world who love fabric and love the different kinds of fabric and color and texture.” These people shared their creative ideas with Fraser and his business partner Gart Davis. Social media spread the word and the company exploded. “I wouldn’t have a company if it weren’t for Spoonflower,” says fabric designer Margaret Turner Clarke of Margaret Turner Designs. Clarke’s designs were born from her love of Masonboro Island and Wrightsville Beach, where she was born and reared. “The detail is incredible,” Clarke says. “The image is exactly as I found it on the beach.” Not everyone starts with a photo. Many graphic designers create their own digital artwork to print on one of the company’s 15 fabrics, everything from combed cotton to silk crepe de chine, which run on the large format inkjet printers. Scores of these designers make their designs available to the public on the company’s site and share their successes on the company’s blog and through an array of social media. Minimum orders range from one yard to a five-inch swatch. Vanderford was looking for unusual Christmas gifts on Pinterest when she found the images of personal-ized tea towels from Spoonflower’s blog. She asked family members to share old recipes from her grand-mother and from their grandmothers. Margaret Vanderford sewed tea towels of her family recipes using fabric printed by Spoonflower.
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