76 Main Street, High Bridge, NJ 08829 telephone 908-638-9066 We look forward to welcoming from you!
ABOUT US #2: Me & CoCo:Chenille
The short story is that I started CoCo:Chenille in 1991 to make clothing, accessories, and home décor items from recycled fabric. And I still do, although the emphasis has moved a bit to the left of chenille. The long story is below. One of my first concrete memories was that of being able to try my hand at a sewing machine on my fifth birthday. It had been a promise my mother made to me, a gift to mark this significant milestone in my life, as I come from a long line of women who sew and create. I remember sitting on the stool, leaning forward and using all my might to turn the flywheel to make the needle move in and out, in and out of the fabric. It was so very hard that I decided to go back to hand sewing. My mother wouldn't let me plug in the machine and I had thought that was part of the deal. It was such a disappointment!
Around about the same time, my father bought a piece of land to build a cottage on and needed to find a water source for a well. He cut a forked branch from an apple tree and proceeded to dowse for water. He found it quite quickly and then he let us all have a try. The branch came alive in my hands and confirmed his findings. This was the first instance of my intuitive abilities coming to the forefront. I guess my fifth year was a big one!
And thus began the pattern for the rest of my life. My creative abilities and my intuitive gifts have dominated my entire journey. On these pages you will see the products of my propensity for creating useful items, primarily accessories, and the results of my dedication to recycling and the use of existing materials. My metaphysical site is www.CircleOfIntention.com, and there you will find out about my intuitive side, my consultations, and the Circle of Intention School of Intuitive Sciences. To me, it is all the same creative energy, simply focused in different ways, and thus began Inside/Out.
In 1991 my children and I moved from New York City to Central Western New Jersey, and at the same time, the first week in September, I established CoCo:Chenille. That summer I had come across a variety of chenille bedspreads at yard sales and scooped them up! I loved the texture, the patterns and the crazy colors. I started to cut them up into jackets on my dining room table and sew them together on borrowed sewing machines. Eventually I rented a retail and studio space in our small town, High Bridge, New Jersey, and CoCo simply blossomed from there. I branched out and made anything I could think of from chenille and the shop came to national prominence in a few different ways, leading the resurgence of interest in chenille, primarily for its nostalgic aspects. People loved it because it reminded them of simpler times, recycling was a distant second at that point. CoCo:Chenille played a large part in the popularity of the Shabby Chic genre in decorating, especially with all the editorial coverage I received from the wonderful folks at Country Living magazine for ten years.
Along the way my products have graced the covers of many national magazines, I have won the Governor's Award for Tourism Economic Development, and been featured in The New York Times and Who's Who in American Business. But by far my staunchest support among the media has always been Country Living. The editors at Country Living took Coco:Chenille to heart and used her shamelessly in the pages of the magazine and in their trade show booths. I am ever grateful to them for their years and years of support and kindness.
And one final word of thanks to author Ashley Callahan for including CoCo:Chenille in her lovely book, Southern Tufts: The Regional Origins and National Craze for Chenille Fashion (available on Amazon).