Missouri women became an entrepreneur in Quilting Business
Hamilton, Missouri (USA) is a tiny farm town used to be known as the home of James Cash Penney Jr, founder of the namesake department store chain. Today it is better known in some circles as the home of Jenny Doan (57), who became an entrepreneur in Quilting Business
Jenny Doan is the superstar of the craft, her YouTube tutorials on how to make quilts have drawn as many as a million viewers, some from as far away as South Africa.
The family owned five years old company Missouri Star Quilt Co. gets as many as 30000 orders a month for pre-cut patches and other quilting supplies. It has become the second largest employer in the town of 1800, its operations covering a patchwork of formerly vacant downtown buildings, including a “sleep and sew” retreat hotel. Fans are stopping by to get autographs from Jenny Doan, and she barely can go to the grocery store without someone recognising her. The key to her popularity is that she appeals to instant gratification quilters. She states: “I don’t teach people how to be the best quilter, but I teach them how to do it the easiest.” Instead of weeks or months often required to complete a quilt, her method teaches how to make one in as little as one day, by using a variety of pre-cut fabric patches a quilter otherwise would have to painstakingly snip out and stitch together. And she supplies the materials to do so. She shows one something that makes it look like you worked really hard.
The simplicity of the process was appealing to Carmen Leticia Attie, a psychotherapist from Mexico City, who learned to quilt in 2010 by watching Jenny Doan’s videos she found Doan’s breezy style less intimidating than that of other quilting tutors. But there are also traditional quilters who reject the shortcuts.
Bonnie Browning, executive show director of the American Quilter’s Society declares: “interest in quilting has been on the rise, especially people wanting to learn via the Internet. One reason, Jenny Doan is so successful is the fact that she was one of the first quilters to start making online tutorials.
There are around 21 million plus quilters in America, and Doan is a relative newbie. She didn’t take up the hoppy until 1997, shortly after she, and her husband left California to move to Hamilton, Missouri, 65 miles northeast of Kansas City, Missouri, with their seven children. Her husband landed a job, but by 2008 he lost it. Concerned for their parents’ future, two of their grown children took out a loan of USD 36000 to buy their mother a professional quilting machine. To accommodate the 12 foot long machine, the younger Doan and his sister spent USD 24000 buying a former antique store for their mother to work in. Not after long, her family noticed quilting searches were a hot topic on the Internet. That’s how the idea of tutoring came about. The first shots were taken 2009 in her store, but she tripped on an electrical cord and broke her leg! But she continued the video before she went to the doctor! But from then on, the success story began.