Mno-Bmadsen and Chi Ishobak have teamed up to support Pokagon and other Native American owned small businesses in southwest Michigan and northern Indiana. To encourage the Pokagon community to “Buy Native, Support Local,” a different Native American owned small business will be featured in this newsletter every month. This month we are happy to introduce you to Quilted Oak Leaf!
Julie Farver opened Quilted Oak Leaf in March of 2020, and although the opening of her shop is quite recent, she’s known she’s wanted to open a business since the late 1990’s. At the time, she didn’t realize it was going to be a quilt shop, but she still carried the want to open a business for almost twenty years. Julie continuously talked herself out of it because she was so nervous, but she believes everything happens for a reason and when the time was right, she opened her business.
Her love for quilting began in the early 2000s. She fell in love with it because she found it very relaxing and gratifying. She’s always loved shopping for fabric to make quilts, but the idea to open a shop didn’t occur until 2008. During that year, Julie made quilts for the Pokagon Band’s Family Welfare Commission for adoptions and family reunifications of tribal children. This was the moment she realized she wanted to open a quilt shop.
She utilized Chi Ishobak for assistance in writing her business plan. Business plans are key and extremely important, so she wanted to make sure she did it right. Her business, Quilted Oak Leaf, sells quality quilt fabrics, batting, rulers, mats, thread, and many other notions and supplies. There are also classes available to make bags, quilts, and other things. After the first of the new year, Julie plans on carrying ribbon and satin because she carries fabrics that are great for ribbon skirts. The designs for her fabrics focus on floral designs, animals, insects and birds, fruits, and fabrics that reflect her native culture.
Her favorite thing about owning a business is that she is her own boss and is able to operate the business how she wants to. She loves what she’s doing and that she has the ability to help customers pick out fabrics for their own quilts. Julie hopes that one day her shop will be a “destination” quilt shop.
Their hours of operations are Wednesday to Friday 10 am – 5 pm, Saturday 10 am – 4 pm, Sunday 11 am – 3 pm, and she also has a website for online shopping at www.quiltedoakleaf.com.