07 February 2010

That's Just Super: the tale of a sofa

You may have the impression that I like sport. And I do. But I've decided that I like the inherent camaraderie, the inveterate optimism of a potential 'win', infinitely better. Therefore then, I think nearly anything can be envisioned as 'a sport'.

Like shopping for fabric, for instance. I am a fabric hound, with bins stacked in closets and swatches tucked into my wallet. I have two bolts of linen for window treatments for a house by the sea I do not yet (and may never) own. And recently I have been considering a 5-hour drive to Baltimore, Maryland simply due to the lovely
'Pigtown Design' and her amazing find there, DeBois Textiles. When it comes to searching for something I actually need - clothing, wall hooks, eyeglasses, etc, I tend to have a clear vision of what fills that need and seek it out until it's been found. I dig-in for the 'hunt' and am nothing if not tenacious. Consider the fabric in my blog banner, for example...

It was 29 December 2000. My husband and I were both first-time home-owners and first-time parents. Our 'college/apartment furniture' had weathered many moves and storms - from Ohio to Virginia to Illinois to New York and back again. One evening, after putting our son to bed, my husband noted: "We have a proper living room now. It's time for some 'grown-up' stuff." I was instructed to hit the
Toms-Price store the next day to see what I could find. I didn't have carte blanche, but our tastes being so similar, I knew it would be a productive afternoon. It was. I found this:

with a split cushion and four pillows (my husband is not a fan of the tightback). I took some snaps with my camera, and headed home - along with 14 memo samples - for the approval. The sofa was a hit, but I had made the error of providing my husband with too many fabric choices. Kindly, he asked me to narrow the field. I already had, of course; but I made another effort, and within the hour I had it down to four. We went back and forth for two days and, on New Year's Eve, finally made this choice:
Gleefully, I returned to the shop on New Year's Day, memos and checkbook in hand. Then, the other shoe fell: the fabric had been discontinued by the furniture company on 31 December 2000 - literally the day before. The sales associate and I double-checked codes and information; she phoned the manufacturer and consulted the shop owner. Nothing could be done; I would have to choose a different cover. We didn't have a firm 'second choice' so I rang my husband to get his input . Did he want to revisit the samples I brought home before? Did he want a different color direction? Fewer stripes? More pheasants? Wisely, he suggested we sleep on it. "Surely, the manufacturer will have a bolt lying around somewhere" and we could convince them - on a regular working day during normal business hours - to seek it out and cover our sofa with it. We made the request the next day. One week passed. No bolt had surfaced, nor was one likely to. My husband, who travelled every week, became distanced from the conflict and left the decision squarely in my hands. His goal was less about fabric now and more about having a sofa by Easter.

And so I took to the internet. The sales associate provided me with the discontinued sample and I phoned every contact I had remotely connected to "the trade" to no avail. Desperate, I called England and an amazing thing happened:
Sanderson, the fabric manufacturer, couldn't assist me directly but suggested I email Discount Fabric and Wallpaper for help. My email to them had a response within 24 hours: they could get my fabric (directly from the manufacturer) and it would be shipped (for surprisingly little cost) within the week. I was stunned. Our fabric arrived from England by mid-January, the local shop shipped it to North Carolina with the COM order the following day, and our little sofa was perched in our living room by St Patrick's Day.

The moral:
Don't stop believing. And if you can't find the fabric you want, there's always more fabric.
Thanks for perusing this blog; blog you again soon!   tIO x

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