Boulder is home to an amazing online fabric store known as eQuilter.com, much to the surprise of many local seamstresses. It opened in March 1999, and this astonishingly prodigious internet business surpassed the third year of its business plan in the first sixty days, and shows no signs of letting up! Quilters can now dramatically expand their design possibilities by ordering from hundreds of unique, internationally produced fabrics. From a studio near Celestial Seasonings, packages of exquisite cotton prints and batiks are sent all over the country and the world. Orders come from Australia, Hong Kong, Peru, France, Switzerland, South Africa -- anywhere on earth that quilters have access to the Internet.
eQuilter.com is the brainchild of Luana Rubin, who was raised in Boulder Valley and who, after a number of years as a fashion designer, moved back to Boulder in 1990. She graduated from Longmont High and studied at CU-Boulder, and went on to earn a degree in design from the Fashion Institute of Design in Los Angeles. Her first design job after graduation took her to Hong Kong, where she began a career in import design based in Asia. This experience fostered her love of Asian textiles, and a ten-year exploration of Asian arts and culture. While designing textiles, silk dresses, hand-knit sweaters, and high-end sportswear for the contemporary market, Luana was taking notes on unique design motifs in Asian arts and crafts.
She left the fashion world to raise a family, but she brought her creativity along with her, and poured it into her paintings and quilts. Being a long-time entrepreneur and freelancer, she couldn't help but notice the recent and phenomenal rise in the number of quilters in the United States. She also noticed that there was a category of fabrics not being fully represented in the retail market, and it happened to be her specialty. At the same time, her husband Paul had introduced her to the joys of Internet surfing. Paul just happens to be a professional web site designer and programmer (when he is not managing Avalon Acoustics in Boulder), and so a fortuitous partnership was formed.
Luana and Paul share a background in design, entrepreneurship, and production management. With this solid foundation, they divided their labor and, after a year of market research and several months of preparation, opened eQuilter.com in March with a bang. Luana handles the buying, management, and marketing; Paul designs and maintains the complex web site. The site is creative, intuitive, and professional, and at a time when everyone is rushing to put up a home page, this online store stands above the crowd. The seamless presentation represents many hours of design and research, but customers don't care about that; they prefer to rave about eQuilter.com service and selection.
So what is the secret to the overnight success of eQuilter.com? Lots of research and planning before the cyber-doors were ever opened. "And," says Luana, also an astrologer, "I started with the blessing of Jupiter in my second house, and Pluto knocking on my Midheaven -- I had no choice!" Some things are just meant to be.
eQuilter.com specializes in Asian-Pacific and contemporary fabrics for quilters and fabric artists. These are not the quaint, calico prints seen in traditional patchwork quilts, but rather the bright, sophisticated, and sometimes handmade fabrics prized by seamstresses and artists for their one-of-a-kind projects. Though the focal point of eQuilter.com inventory is the bounty of Japanese prints and Bali batiks, it also features Hawaiian/tropical prints, Aboriginal and African motifs, and European floral and leaf prints which resemble botanical prints. Hand-dyed fabrics in a subtle watercolor palette appeal to those who eschew commercially-printed textiles. Many of the designs are overprinted with silver or gold metallic for an elegant sparkle.
If you seek an unusual fabric to set your project apart from all others, visit eQuilter.com and enjoy a feast for your eyes. You may visit the web site twenty-four hours a day at http://www.equilter.com, or contact Customer Service by email at email@example.com, or telephone USA TOLL FREE: 1-877-FABRIC-3 (1-877-322-7423) or 303-527-0856.
Quilters Rejoice! from Women's Magazine July 1999