by Marilyn Deas
Our Road Team, meet Bernie & Kathy Collier!
Many people all over the country know and love Kathy & Bernie Collier but too many in our on-line community aren’t familiar with them so we thought we’d do a special celebration blog about our wonderful road team and tell the story of how they became such an important part of Hancy Creations.
They have been traveling the USA for 3 years now going to over 30 major quilt shows a year. This October alone you can see them at a show every weekend but one. Hopefully there’s one in your area and you can join the fun and benefit from the wealth of knowledge Bernie and Kathy have when it comes to marking quilts. Click here to see our show schedule.
They were introduced to Hancy Creations in 2010 in their then hometown of Houston, TX. I was at the Houston Quilt Festival with my aunt, Carol Middleton, who was helping me run the booth. Before she flew out to Texas she made a call to her old neighbors, the Colliers, who she hadn’t seen in 20 years.
Aunt Carol was the type of friend that could just pick up where she left off 20 years earlier without missing a beat. Kathy and Bernie were thrilled to hear she was in Houston. We all had lunch that day before the show. That was the day I met Kathy and Bernie Collier and I’ll never forget it.
That evening was the preview night for the show and Aunt Carol and I were swamped! I knew the next four days were going to be brutal judging from the preview night crowd so I asked Aunt Carol if she thought her friend Kathy might be free to help us. They both worked at a bank together 20 years ago so I knew Kathy could handle the cash register just fine and me and Aunt Carol could take turns at the demo table. Turns out Kathy had the rest of the week off so she came to the show around 10 am that next day. She had no idea what she was getting into, it was so crowded. She had to wait in line forever just to get in. She said with all the excitement and anticipation of getting through those doors she saw around her, waiting in line reminded her of waiting in line to get into Disneyland. She found her way to our booth and worked almost the entire show. She really saved us, Aunt Carol wasn’t used to that kind of pace. She was such a trooper though and did a great job. Maybe some of you were there and remember her. I know when I took over the demo table the 2nd morning people kept asking “Where’s Aunt Carol!!??” I have to laugh at that, Aunt Carol never met a stranger. She was awesome, we lost her about 15 months ago. We’ll never completely recover.
Fast forward to 2013, Kathy has been hooked by the quilting world! I remember her telling a customer early on that she was new to doing quilt shows and the customer said that it was a wacky world full of wacky people and Kathy replied “well, I think I found a home.” She certainly did. She was a great asset (and still is) and learned every aspect of the business of running a show. She began to do them by herself with family members we could get to help her out. People would ask me if I was going to a particular show and I’d say, “no, I won’t be at that show. I’m sending the more polished version of myself, Kathy.” One show we had a helper cancel at the last minute so Bernie graciously volunteered to help out. That was it, now Bernie was hooked! We had him do every show he wanted to. He wasn’t completely available since he had a day job already. He’s now known as the Pounce Man but he used to be known as the Bug Man in Houston where he owned a pest control business. At some point in that year 2013, Kathy overheard me muttering to myself about the high cost of shipping our booth all over the country and the flights and all the other costs associated with it. I distinctly remember saying “I wish someone could just travel in an RV to these shows….mutter, mutter, mutter…” Sometime later she brought it up and asked if I was serious. Of course I was serious! Then she told me it had been something she and Bernie have always wanted to do. My chin hit the floor at that statement and we went to work to make it happen.
That brings us to today. They’re living their dream and Hancy Creations has got their dream team! And now you know the whole story. See the pictures below, feel the love, see the happiness that is found at our booth. Check out the show calendar and if we’re in your area you owe it to yourself to go. We only attend the best shows in the country. You will leave inspired and even more proud to be a part of this wonderful and talented group of people known as quilters. (click on a picture to view in a slideshow)
We’ve made countless friends over the years in almost every state. It’s a great pleasure coming to your town and supplying you with tools that help you with the tedious process of marking quilts. We love seeing what you’re working on, what you’ve done with our stencils, and what your future plans are. Don’t be shy! Bring in your quilts so we can help you with that all important decision of how to quilt them. We’ve seen people rise to award winning status’s, and we’ve seen people who never knew they had any interest in quilting at all suddenly become completely inspired. It is a great honor to be a part of the quilt world and we hope to continue doing what we do for a long time to come. Thank you all for your patronage to our company, your support means everything to us. And thank you Bernie and Kathy Collier for the dedication, love and support you show our great customers, promoters and fellow vendors! We are so lucky to have you on Team Hancy. We’ll see you on the road! Safe travels to all.
Side note: After a very brief time of being in the quilt world Kathy is officially a quilter, and a good one. This was her first quilt, made for her Nona’s 100th birthday last April.
Share with us your story of Kathy & Bernie on the road! I know there are a lot of them out there!
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