When a longtime fabric store closed in Barrington last year, Barbara Black and Linda Iverson thought about purchasing the business.
Black of Palatine and Iverson of Lake Zurich talked with the retiring owner of Finn's Fabrics by Dyllis, but ended up putting together a different pattern for the footprint of the fabric business.
Instead of launching a storefront during risky economic times, the women launched an online business.
"We looked at the inventory, the economic climate and the diverse population of designers and thought the best option was to create an online store that could offer designers nationwide access to the incredible inventory," Black said.
The women created Fabric Divas, an online fabric store the focuses on vintage motifs and retro fabrics, trims and buttons. The women bought a great deal of the stock from Finn's Fabrics as well as other couture fabrics.
"We look forward to adding new products to the Web site," said Black, who has an interior design background.
"We want to offer the most unusual fabrics," Black said. The Web site that launched about a month ago, she said, is designed for "sewers of all kinds."
The women also cater to fashion design students.
Iverson said many of their customers are people looking to make a one-of-a-kind design or someone who makes unique handbags.
The Web site, fabricdivas.com, is also designed to give ideas to sewers at all levels, said Iverson, who has a college degree in fashion design and has worked in the garment industry.
The Web site also features a Fresh Vintage Boutique that highlights the latest creations from up and coming designers in the area.
"We hope to inspire people," Black said.
The women began sewing at early age.
"My Barbie always had the best clothes," Black says with a laugh.
"Between the two of us, we have a passion for fabrics," Black said.
The women are trying to cater to all ages.
"We're funky. A little edgey and over the top," Black said.
• Kim Mikus' column appears Tuesdays through Fridays. She welcomes comments at (847) 427-4567 or firstname.lastname@example.org.