The Fall issue of The Professional Quilter includes a profile of Shelly Stokes, owner of Cedar Canyon Textiles, distributor of Shiva Paintstiks and related products. Here’s an excerpt from the profile in Shelly’s own words:
The Shiva paint company attempted to bring the paintstiks into the quilting world in the 1980s. However, the rotary cutter hit the market at the same time, and everyone wanted to strip-piece quilts rather than paint fabric, at least here in the United States; the fiber artists in the United Kingdom started working with paintstiks around that time and so have more years of experience with them.
After working with paintstiks for a while, I decided to write a book – the right product at the right time. I think it’s fair to say that I have done much of the work to make the product visible in the quilting market in the last few years, particularly here in the United States, but I am certainly not the first one to “discover” the product and its wonderful application on fabric.
Before I started working on the book in earnest, I went to visit Jack Richeson and Company to make sure that their wonderful paintstiks would be readily available to my customers. The Richesons supported my idea, and in 2004, Cedar Canyon Textiles became an official distributor for the paintstik products.
It took almost nine months of hard work, but my book was ready in May of 2005. Once a good set of instructions was available, the market for paint expanded dramatically. As it became clear that the paint was going to dominate our business, I had a hard choice to make: grow a business or continue to teach and create art. Because I had been away from the day-to-day job market for ten years, the business was very appealing. I’ll get back to more of my own quilting in my next round of “retirement.” We did the last of our retail shows in 2005 and made the transition to our new identity as the Paintstik Place.
In life and in business, one thing leads to another. As the fiber art and quilting world embraced the paintstiks, we saw the opportunity to venture into accessory products. In 2006, we manufactured four sets of rubbing plates for use with the paintstiks and started a pattern line in 2007.
To read more of Shelly’s story along with her business tips in Issue 109 of The Professional Quilter, your subscription or membership in the IAPQ must be current. Learn about all the benefits of IAPQ membership here