Hello there! I’m M.K., a Measure #shopgirl of almost 3 years. We are so excited to be launching our blog and I am ecstatic that I get to write our first post. At first, I was going to sell you on our fabric store, but we have the physical store and a website to tell you about us and our products. Instead, I want to focus on what exactly I do, which will hopefully explain more about our store, how we operate, and what we try to offer you.
I left Dallas, Texas, and came to Savannah, Georgia in 2013 to study fashion design at SCAD and quickly realized most of my supplies were going to come from Measure, the cute little fabric shop a couple of blocks from my dorm in the historic district of Savannah. I was a small, lost freshman and I liked that Maria (our fearless leader) had what I needed, was familiar with the materials for SCAD classes, and offered up a likable mix of humor and sarcasm.Me and Art T. Bee, Scad's Mascot
So how did I get the job? You may think I was super qualified and a hard worker, but that would be a boring story. With almost zero prior retail work experience I came into the store almost daily and asked Maria to hire me. Most of the time in a joking manner too. Not always the ideal approach, but I finally wore her down and she gave me a shot as the Administrative Assistant. To say I did not know what working at a fabric store entailed was an understatement. We started small - counting the leather swatches we had made that week. Easy enough? No. You lose count after about 200. Then we moved on to marking up leathers… Our leathers are sold by the square foot (you don’t have to get a whole hide! SCORE if you are a broke college student) and therefore required marking and counting. So you make a grid on a hide and then measure your grid for the size. Also not easy. When you are 5’2” and hides can be almost 30 sq ft, there’s a lot of hiding and a little you. In fact, my one word of advice to anyone wanting to do this would be to grow a few inches because that seems to be the source of most of my struggles. Anyways, I totally did not make uniform grids and struggled to estimate measurements. Maria so graciously corrected all of my mistakes, but it was not the most graceful start.
My mortal enemy, the step stool
Over the next few weeks, I learned a lot. First, I learned what having a structured job was like. I learned the difference between a twill, a faille, a satin, a boucle, and a crepe. I learned that I was somewhat capable of making decent grids on leather. I learned that students need a LOT of swatches. I learned that quilters take their craft very seriously (as they should, quilting requires more patience than I will ever have). I learned that we are an eco-friendly company and if I don't recycle something Maria will ALWAYS find out. But I was learning so much about textiles and fibers, and not just about their contents and weaves. I learned about hardware and tools for leatherworking. I learned clear vinyl is useful in almost any situation. I learned cosplay uses a lot of non-traditional assembly methods, but getting the correct color fabric is crucial. I learned that even the performing arts, industrial design, and graphic design students all will probably need fabric and it won’t be for anything you could have expected. As I was promoted to the salesgirl, this knowledge just kept coming in. Yes, my job is cutting fabric and checking you out or helping you find the seam rippers, or checking to see if we have that same buckle, but in antique brass. But I can also tell you why you don’t want to layer polyester in a laser cutter. And that no matter how hard you try, you will not be able to cut silk gauze straight. And that while burlap may look appropriate in the church play, your child will be begging for Jesus when they feel it on their skin, which is why we don’t sell it and will kindly offer you a linen or nylon alternative.
And that’s the fun part of my job, I get to be here to help you create whatever you want, whether that’s a runway look or simply a new slipcover for your couch. And in the process, I get to meet so many interesting people who show me new things and make me think in creative ways. Now, almost 3 years later, I have graduated SCAD and am the manager of Measure. I absolutely love this job. Even on the day I lost my voice and had to wear a sign explaining my predicament. While
I do repeat a lot of the duties required to run a retail store, every single day is different and brings new people and knowledge in. I hope you come to see us, online or in-store because I’m sure we could learn a thing or two from each other.
Hopefully, I’ll hear from you soon
M.K., The Manager @ Measure who is now a champ at marking hides, is getting used to using a step stool and remembers to recycle most of the time