BROOKFIELD, Conn. -- Bethel couple Lidia and Paul Corey sewed up their dreams as they moved their online fabric business into a storefront in Brookfield.
And they can sum up what sets their store — Cotton Candy Fabrics — apart from others.
"We're not just your grandmother's fabric store," said Paul, 40, of the business, which looks to cater to a younger crowd of sewing enthusiasts.
The couple opened their 600-square-foot business, which carries over 2,000 fabrics, after previously operating only online. Customers can make handbags, quilts, clothing, placemats, backpacks and any other item that one can imagine.
While the store has something for all tastes, it specializes in fabrics that are modern and tend to attract a younger population.Cotton Candy Fabrics also sells patterns that come with directions. Anyone -- even someone with no prior sewing skills -- can create anything they want.
"We give customers suggestions on what to make, help them work through their projects and match what they're making to go with other items in the room they plan to put it in," said Lidia Corey, 28.
Before having their own storefront, the couple sold their goods exclusively over the Internet.
Lidia's passion for sewing began in childhood. Growing up in Hermosa Beach, Calif., her mother taught her how to sew. "Ours was the family who never bought a Halloween costume," she said. "I didn't even realize 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 -- was born, "I got into the mommy and baby scene and, along with other moms who I met, started quilting baby accessories.
"My friends and I were buying lots of fabric and paying full price for it. I thought there should be a central place we can all go for all our fabrics," she said.
So, the couple set up a wholesale account and in April 2015, they created a website and put their fabrics online -- working out of the guest room of their home. "Within a week, we were sold out," Lidia Corey said. "We took all our profit and purchased more fabric, and everything kept continuing to sell out quickly."
"We would post our fabrics in different Facebook groups to spread the word beyond the people in the mother's groups," she said.
Eventually, the Coreys were able to devote themselves full time to their new business.
Paul Corey said what sets independent quilt shops apart from chain quilting stores is the quality of the fabrics. "Independent quilt shops have access to fabrics that won't sell to chains," he said.
"Many designers of the fabrics that we carry are well known in the fabric industry. Some of them include Tula Pink, Michael Miller and Kona Solids.
"We work with fabrics that are bright and beautiful and fun to look at," Paul Corey said.
The couple hope to eventually carry sewing machines and offer quilting classes as well.
"I really enjoying getting the chance to see unique looking fabrics every day and getting to talk to so many people," Paul Corey said.
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