Today we’d like to introduce you to Glenda Wilder Designs.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Glenda. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I was born with the entrepreneurial bug. I had a successful babysitting business at a fairly young age, but even before that had embarked on childhood business opportunities. I sold holiday cards and went door to door with handcrafted items. In elementary school, I made and sold hand-crafted friendship bracelets to school friends. It was fun to generate some pocket money and empowering to know that creative handiwork was a revenue generating commodity.
Although I learned to sew at a very young age and made many of my clothes during the school-age years, quilting was not part of my repertoire. My first real quilting effort came during my senior year of high school. Using fabric scraps from my clothing sewing ventures, I hand-appliqued traditional “Sunbonnet Sue” motifs onto over-sized rectangles of background fabric cut from percale bed sheets. While I managed to create something visually appealing, I had no idea how to turn it into a finished product. Eventually, I tried layering fluffy batting and tying it together with ribbons, which only lasted a while but I still have the quilt top! I sometimes show it during trunk shows or workshops, and while I find myself cringing slightly at the construction technique, I’m also proud of the humble beginnings that kicked off today’s creative passion.
Over the years, I continued to sew, including piece work and garment construction, but I always came back to quilting. In the early 2000’s, I developed a ruler product and patterns and launched a cottage industry company called “Roundabout Quilts.” This was my first quilting specific business and while it was successful, life intervened and I took a sabbatical. During that time, I tried to ignore that entrepreneurial yearning, but even then I knew that someday I’d be back.
I was still quilting as a personal hobby when Lana Dunkerley, who owns and operates an amazing quilt shop called It Seams To Be Sew in Sugar Land, TX, showed interest in one of my original designs. With her generous spirit, she encouraged me to recognize that I had something creative to offer as a pattern designer. Today I have an ever-growing line of original quilting patterns. I’ve presented trunk shows and have given lectures to small groups, and conduct workshops and classes centered around the quilting arts. I’ve had a pattern published in Make Modern Magazine and this year I’ll be participating in Quilt Market, which is the wholesale trade show portion of the annual Houston International Quilt Festival.
I’m extremely grateful for everyone who’s participated in my creative journey. From my mother, who taught me to sew, to the friends who have shared in my creative adventures, and to my children who have never failed to be my best cheerleaders, thank you! I also want to thank everyone who has offered love and support along the way as a client, customer or quiet enthusiast. I couldn’t do any of this without my wonderful community.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My entrepreneurial road has had plenty of places where I have stubbed my toe. Time management is something that all entrepreneurs have probably struggled with. Juggling full-time work, as well as the highs and lows of life and a growing business requires focus and consistency. While I have stumbled from time to time in keeping it all balanced, I have been fortunate to have encouragement from others that feeds my desire to keep moving forward.
Please tell us about Glenda Wilder Designs.
Glenda Wilder Designs has two key business focuses. The first is to promote the quilting arts through education and original designs for all levels of quilting experience. I want a beginning quilter, with only a few basic tools, to experience the same successfully finished project as a more advanced quilter. They can accomplish this using my clear and easy original patterns.
The second area of focus is to support local quilt shops through partnerships and guest lectures, further helping spread my passion for quilting and supporting others who love this art. I enjoy doing hands-on, personal demonstrations and workshops in these studios and stores! Creating a sense of community through the camaraderie and friendships in a brick and mortar store is extraordinarily valuable and special. Quilting alongside friends and students is one of my all-time favorite things.
- Website: www.glendawilderdesigns.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @glendawilderdesigns
- Facebook: @glendawilderdesigns
Main photo: Laura Sponaugle Photography