Modish Quilter Magazine

From the Beginning

I want to share the story behind Modish Quilter Magazine and how it came to be. If you don’t mind, I’d like to start at the very beginning!

My father grew up with meager means and bold aspirations. He recalls his first entrepreneurial endeavor to be a paper route in seventh grade. At a young age, he bought the papers, picked them up daily, delivered them on time and collected monthly payments. He took great pride in this job. In high school, he worked on a dairy farm where he and his employer went in on a ‘feeder pig’ business together! When asked where his entrepreneurial spirit came from, he said, “I had a dad that was a big believer in ‘doing it yourself’ and, I guess, that’s where a lot of it came from.”

During college he continued to start several ventures on the side: making and selling calendars with local coupons for college students, software company that analyzes financial statements, and doing accounting for a couple of small businesses in the area. Although these start-ups worked, they never really grew all that big. “I see them all as a bunch of test runs and even though they didn’t all work out, I’m glad I tried them!”

After graduating with a BS and then a Master’s, my father went on to work for a couple of big businesses in the Financial Services Industry for 10 years. All the while doing some small entrepreneurial endeavors on the side. Eventually, the company he worked for was bought out and restructured. This was the catalyst he needed to start being his own boss full time. When asked how he felt about taking that risk versus going and getting another job, he said, “It comes down to whether you have the stomach for the risk. Some people enjoy the risk and some don’t. I know that I would have truly regretted the decision to work for someone else this whole time and that I would have been unhappy with my career.”

Kiley's parents with her 3 older kids
My parents with my 3 older kids (the 4th wasn’t born yet)

Along Came Kiley

Kiley's family of all sisters and her parents.
Back row: My Mom and Dad | Front row: Sydney (sister #2), Brooke (sister #5), Kiley (sister #1), Elise (sister #4), Brenna (sister #3)

My parents were blessed with five daughters, of which, I am the oldest! Since he had no sons, my father made sure that we were all well-trained in throwing footballs, changing tires, DIY home improvement projects, and entrepreneurship. “I remember that I felt strongly at the time that I wanted to help all of my kids have an entrepreneurial experience so that you would know that there is an alternative to working for someone else.”

As a high schooler, I struggled to find homecoming and prom dresses that weren’t skimpy and revealing. I mentioned this to my father, and he jumped at the opportunity to teach me his passion. “We saw a need and I encouraged you to make a difference!” he said. Together, we made a plan. He invested time and money into my “dress boutique” that I ran out of our basement. I had so much fun and I learned life-long lessons about what I could do and what I was capable of.

Since then I have done many of my own entrepreneurial ventures such as: teaching private swim lessons, childcare, being a rep for Pampered Chef, being a rep for Senegence, longarm quilting, quilt pattern designing, and now this… Modish Quilter Magazine!

Modish Quilter Magazine

Last fall (2020), I was taking Quilter’s Candy’s Pattern Writing Course to sharpen my skills as a pattern designer. During the course, she gave us a list of quilting magazines that we could inquire about publishing our patterns in. While I was going through the list, I discovered that none of them gave that modern, fresh feel that I would want my patterns in. I saw a need, and once again, was encouraged to make a difference! So, I hit the ground running!

I knew I was going to need help, so I called up the two most talented ladies I know. Megan Saenz (@the_quilt_tographer) is my all-things-quilt-related enabler and best friend. Elyse Thompson (@elystrations) is the best graphic artist and illustrator I know and my sister-in-law. And finally, my husband, Ryan. He is my go-to tech guy as a software and web developer. I couldn’t have done any of this without them.

Founders of Modish Quilter Magazine: Kiley, Megan, and Elyse.
Kiley's husband, Ryan, the tech support!

The Secret to Success

I’m going to tell you a secret. A secret no one really wants to admit. People, like me, who start businesses from scratch… we don’t really know what we are doing! I had no idea how to run a dress boutique from my home. I had no idea how to even longarm when I bought my machine. And now I’m here to tell you that I don’t know how to run a magazine! I am wingin’ it, people!

Now, that’s not to say that I’m incompetent or running headlong into darkness blindly. No, no. I am being very intentional. I saw a need in a specific market and knew that with a lot of hard work and the right content, I could make a difference. But being an entrepreneur is a “learn on the job” type of occupation. It requires patience and planning, something my dad taught me and that I continue to learn with each new venture.

The Modish Quilter Way

Modish is my baby. I can’t wait to grow and learn and build this digital magazine into something great. It is our goal to bring you the best modern and fresh content. We want to find designers and patterns you haven’t seen before, tutorials you haven’t tried before, and inspiration you need for your next projects. We want to relate to you, the modern quilter! It is my dream to make this a common quilter’s necessity! A go-to for info, trends, and new patterns! And even though we, as a Modish Quilter Team, are learning on the go, we are all committed to doing our best!

We hope you have enjoyed what we have put out there so far and we appreciate everyone who has supported us and helped us along the way! We love each and every one of you!

Modish Quilter Magazine cover photo for the Pilot Issue
Modish Quilter Magazine: Pilot Issue, Solids
Modish Quilter Magazine cover photo for Issue 2: Modern Scrappy
Modish Quilter Magazine: Issue 2, Modern Scrappy

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