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MAKER MONDAY: MEET CATHY

Today I’m launching a new series called Maker Mondays where I’ll be sharing stories of the individual makers behind Plume.  I’m panicking even as I type this because I’m so hoping I can actually post a new story every Monday.  So I’ll ask for your grace and forgiveness up front if that doesn’t actually happen.  My intentions are there, but perhaps it will be Maker Every-other-Monday.  We shall see.

Without further delay, please meet Cathy Fuller, the momma maker behind Naptime Creations.    She crochets.  During Naps.   Get it?  I love this picture because you can see baby Hazel in her tummy as she’s sitting there crocheting and her doggie sleeping on the floor at her feet.

A couple of years before this picture was taken, I met Cathy for the first time.  I was connected to her by my friend Lacy (I’ll have to tell you her story soon too).  Cathy came to that vendor open house I told you about in my last post and signed on with her hand-crocheted baby hat’s and coffee cozy’s.   She was vendor #18.

 

The hats above are the “Flapper” the hat below is the “Josephine Bonnet”.

At the time I met her, her hubby was a Phd student at Mizzou and Cathy was staying home with her sweet little 4-year old daughter, Talitha.

In order for Cathy to stay home she was also doing some free-lance ghost writing (doesn’t that sound intriguing?) AND taking care of a few other kiddos in her home along with Talitha.  And when they all slept, she got to work.

That first Christmas I was open in 2013, she brought in some boot cuffs.  I had never seen them before but I posted a picture of myself wearing some and sales went crazy.  We were off!   Along with her boot cuffs, Cathy has a full line of women’s winter necessities.  (I know you are really thinking how much you need these right now in this 90 degree weather)

 

Time passed and Cathy’s little business grew.  I would get so excited to watch her sales each month and hand her a check because I knew where that money was going and what it meant to their family.   Along with her business growth, our relationship grew from maker-seller to friends.   We shared stories and laughs and even tears over my counter as she came by to drop off new goods, and sometimes she would even bring her momma with her so I got to know her too.    We talked through the struggles of trying to grow a family.  We cried over losses.   We celebrated over new life, when her second daughter Hazel was born.IMG_0107That’s Hazel above modeling her Tiger hats…and here’s my baby Anni Mae below showing off her Toddler Hoodie Cowl.

The nature of Cathy’s craft means that sales are naturally higher during the fall & winter months and then drop off drastically come spring.  Kind of feast or famine.  We’ve worked together on some non-seasonal home necessities that would sell year round and give her a more reliable income stream…and I’ve been so happy to have these at Plume.

And these baby hedgehog teethers are great for babies year round!

We also work closely together during the summer months to “stock-up” on her most popular winter items because once holiday gift buying kicked in, there was no way she could keep up.   We make a good team.

Just recently, I came back from my vacation and I found this in my office.

I knew it was coming, but I didn’t want to face it.  I was in denial.   This was Cathy’s last visit to Plume, with her last hand-delivered stash of goods.  And that card you see in the box was so sweet it made me cry big tears when I read it.   And that is why I found it so fitting to start with her story for this series.   A farewell to my friend.

(Bonus points for anyone who knows what these glorious balls are for??)  You’ll have to hop on over to my FB or instagram post from last week and read about them.

Her hubby was done with his Phd.  All his hard work, and hers by his side, had finally paid off and they have now moved to Boston to start his dream career.    That’s one of the beautiful things, but also the hard things about Columbia.  So many people pass through this town on their way to their future.  They stay and we love them, and then we have to say goodbye…and goodbyes are just hard.

I am going to miss her so much.  And her sweet girls too.

Don’t worry folks, we’ll keep plugging away here and selling her goodies for as long as we can.   I think for Cathy I’m going to have to break my self-imposed “made-in-missouri” guidelines and have her ship me some restock from Boston from time to time.  What do you think?

Cathy, we wish you the best… most beautiful life…in Boston!   Thank you for taking a chance on Plume!

Until next time…

p.s.  We’ll open back up this week on Thursday at 10:00.    It’s time to start thinking football season so we’ll be sharing what we’ve got cookin’ to help you show your spirit and get your tailgate on.     Stop by and say hi!