BROOKFIELD, Connecticut – Lidia and Paul Corey, a couple from Bethel, sewed their dreams by moving their fabric business online to a storefront in Brookfield.
And they can sum up what sets their store – Cotton Candy Fabrics – apart from the rest.
“We’re not just your grandmother’s fabric store,” said Paul, 40, of the company, which seeks to cater to a younger clientele of sewing enthusiasts.
The couple opened their 600-square-foot business, which offers more than 2,000 fabrics, having previously operated only online. Customers can make handbags, quilts, clothes, placemats, backpacks and any other item imaginable.
While the store has something for everyone, it specializes in modern fabrics and tends to appeal to a younger population.
Cotton Candy Fabrics also sells models with instructions. Anyone – even someone who has no previous sewing knowledge – can create anything they want.
“We give clients suggestions on what to do, help them complete their projects and match what they are doing with other items in the room they plan to put it in,” said said Lidia Corey, 28.
Before having their own storefront, the couple sold their products exclusively on the Internet.
Lidia’s passion for sewing began in childhood. Growing up in Hermosa Beach, California, her mother taught her how to sew. “Ours were the family that never bought a Halloween costume,” she said. “I didn’t even know people could buy one.”
The Coreys met in Manhattan, where Paul worked for an equity fund and Lidia worked as a finance and accounting recruiter.
When their son Jaxon – who is now 3 years old – was born, “I entered the moms and babies scene and, along with other moms that I have met, started quilting baby accessories.
“My friends and I would buy a lot of fabrics and pay a heavy price for it. I thought there should be one central place where we can all go for all of our fabrics,” she said.
So the couple set up a wholesale account, and in April 2015 they set up a website and put their fabrics online – working from the spare bedroom of their home. “Within a week we were full,” said Lidia Corey. “We took all of our profits and bought more fabric, and everything continued to sell out quickly.”
“We would post our fabrics in different Facebook groups to get the word out beyond the people in the mother groups,” she said.
Eventually, the Coreys were able to devote themselves full time to their new business.
Paul Corey said that what sets independent quilt stores apart from chain quilt stores is the quality of the fabrics. “Independent quilt stores have access to fabrics that will not sell to chains,” he said.
“Many of the designers of the fabrics we offer are well known in the textile industry. Some of them include Tula Pink, Michael Miller and Kona Solids.
“We work with fabrics that are shiny, beautiful and fun to look at,” said Paul Corey.
The couple hope to eventually pack sewing machines and also offer quilting lessons.
“I really love having the chance to see unique fabrics every day and speak to so many people,” said Paul Corey.
Cotton Candy Fabrics is at 499 Federal Road, Unit 1. For more information call 203-885-0792 or click here for the website or here for the Facebook page.
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