Patterns for Profits

January 2010
by Linda Carlson

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BUILDING THE BUSINESS

Patterns for Profits

by Linda Carlson

Pati Palmer was just back from New York City and a meeting with the McCall’s Pattern Co. when she and I spoke one dreary late autumn day, and she was ebullient about its sales reports.

“I am still shocked,” she confided. “They told me that sales of the patterns I license to McCall’s were up 27 percent in 2009 compared to 2008—and that my designs are now 4.4 percent of the company’s total business!”

Palmer, who runs Palmer/Pletsch Publishing in Portland, OR, had lots of other numbers to share about her pattern design, book publishing, and sewing instruction company. Like 10, which is how many weekly sewing classes she taught for Portland retailer Meier & Frank’s five stores (now owned by Macy’s) in the 1970s. Or 500, which is the number of copies printed of her first book, the 78-page Pants for Every Body that she typed on an IBM Selectric and assembled with her parents’ help on their Ping-Pong table in 1973. Or 700, which is about how many days she worked without a break when she was continuing to teach at Meier & Frank and traveling the United States on all her days off to sell those 500 copies—and the 1,000-copy second print run—at sewing seminars …IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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