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).

All the best,
Christina

76 Main Street, High Bridge, NJ 08829  telephone 908-638-9066
Thursday to Sunday, 11 to 6 p.m.
A precisely edited collection of eclectic treasures,
vintage, handmade, and current.
Gifts with Charm & Spirit!
Find us on
Instagram @
InsideOutOnMain

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