Old Dogs Most Certainly Can Learn New Tricks

Cindy Barganier Interiors / Fabric Design  / Old Dogs Most Certainly Can Learn New Tricks

Old Dogs Most Certainly Can Learn New Tricks

My Grandmother was a master sewing machine operator. She worked in a mill in front of a sewing machine for fifty years. I used to sit and watch her mend my clothes, make her own clothes and sew for others.  She would be proud of me–last night I learned to sew, too.

It’s twenty bucks to have three yards of fabric hemmed; so here I am watching a video on how to operate my own sewing machine.

old dog learning new tricks

My background is in law and financial services. But for ten years now I have worked closely with Cindy in the design business. I wear many hats: secretary, order taker, bookkeeper, invoicing, delivery, shipping/receiving, picture and mirror hanger, PR, writer of letters and feature stories (see her media page), customer service, driver, cleanup crew, in-house legal counsel, general manager, maintenance, strategic planning; and now…artist, assistant fabric designer and occasional work room!

Cindy does everything else.

You know what?  This business is cool!  It beats the stress of watching your client escorted from the courtroom in handcuffs or coaching nervous investors through a bear market.  But that doesn’t mean it’s easy!  I have learned great respect for the ladies and gentlemen who make their living this way. They have to love it.

old dog learning new trick

I remember one of my first Cindy assignments—a trip to a fabric store for drapery rods.  ME: Ma’am, I need two four-foot wooden rods and a connector screw, please.  STORE LADY: Would you like fluted or smooth? (SILENCE) I refer to my note, again; then whip out my cell phone and call Cindy.

Here I am experimenting on an old shirt that needed stitching.

old dog learning new trick

Here I am hemming three newly-designed fabrics all based, by the way, on original art by yours truly. We hope to have these and others hanging in the Travis & Company showroom at the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center by this time next week.

old dog learning new trick

It’s fun working with Cindy.  She’s forever optimistic, crazy smart, has a wonderful disposition; and an uncanny eye for color, scale, what’s extraordinary and what’s not.  She’s also the best wife, mother and Gigi on the planet.  Without her, I would be an uncivilized savage without beauty or culture. Nor could I sew.

old dog learning new trick

Who says old dogs can’t learn new tricks?

By the way, sometimes she lets me do this…

Jeff barganier fly fishing Rogue River

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