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Pearls of Entrepreneurial Wisdom with Julianne

Julianne Walther’s journey with Cary Quilting Company, an extension of her first venture, Patchwork Memories, speaks volumes of her creative vision and entrepreneurial spirit. From its humble beginnings to its current 6,000-square-foot space, adorned with tools, notions, and patterns, her dedication to the quilting community shines through. Awards adorn her name, a testament to her ingenuity and artistic prowess.

In kicking off our pearls series, it seemed fitting for President's Day to capture two women- both leaders of their companies discussing the journey around becoming entrepreneurs. Olivia shared with Emily, "Initially, we connected as creative people getting outside our normal areas of expertise and diving into the operational parts of running a business that have nothing to do with creativity- or at least on the surface. For me personally, my grandmother was a quilter more from necessity, yet never followed a pattern and my mom was an avid sewer yet always followed a pattern. I was immediately drawn to how Julianne used her love of quilting to paint with fabric- a bit like Miriam Shapiro.

Perhaps our love of art and mixed media design has also translated into how we see the operational side of a business. We both discovered we have a desire to see others around us succeed and united on allowing each person's talents to take center stage within the footprint of daily operations. The result creates a blend of talents, working together in a supportive workplace that translates the consumer experience. "

Emily, who's helping craft this series with me is along for the ride- the interviews & stories behind the scenes. It's important to me that the perspectives shared blend our voices, because experiences shape each person differently. We perceive and reflect comments & experiences both similarly and differently. Here's where Emily picks up the story.

Sitting across from Julianne, Olivia was eager to delve into the heart of her success. How does creativity fuel prosperity in the realm of business? Her answer, woven with threads of insight, revealed a woman deeply connected to her craft. She states, “You have to think of out-of-the-box ways to get people’s attention so, I think I try to figure out where creativity can fit into the system of running a business…I look for ways to provide creative outlets for my staff members and my customers.” 

From crafting samples that adorn the walls to infusing marketing strategies with artistic flair, Julianne's approach is as unique as her quilts. Selecting fabrics and patterns isn't just a task; it's an artistic curation, a symphony of colors and textures that resonate with her customers.

Setting her business apart isn't just about products; it's about people. Julianne prides herself on assembling a team of experts who not only sell fabrics but also offer invaluable advice and guidance. It's a collaborative effort, where creativity thrives in the shared space of like-minded individuals.

Reflecting on her journey, Julianne shares insights into the fears she's conquered and the lessons she's learned. Managing a team wasn't as daunting as she initially imagined, thanks to the camaraderie of her all-women crew. Their support and collaboration have transformed challenges into triumphs, proving that strength lies in unity. Julianne explains “I thought it would be really scary to manage people. To be honest, most of the people who work here are older than me so it felt weird, you know. But, it's such a great group of women.” She continues by expressing how women can be placed into unwanted boxes in business and be labeled as “competitive” but she explains that “We are all supportive, we’re all collaborative, and we all celebrate each other’s wins.”

As Julianne recounts her experiences teaching classes and publishing her own book, I'm reminded of the power of mentorship and shared knowledge. In a world where creativity knows no bounds, her dedication to nurturing others' creative visions is both inspiring and humbling.

In the tapestry of entrepreneurship, Julianne's story stands as a testament to the transformative power of creativity, collaboration, and unwavering passion. To learn more about Cary Quilting Company, check out their website here.

Keep up with our socials for more Pearls of Wisdom from women industry leaders! Make sure to read our last blog post explaining the Pearls of Wisdom series here.

  • Emily is a communications major at ECU and has been part of our team since the summer of 2023!

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