For eleven years I had a retail store called Anna Lena's in the heart of downtown Long Beach, Washington. It was a very wonderful and gratifying part of my life. I learned so much about the business world (and myself!), worked with fabulous women and, best of all, met scores of quilters--all with a story to share. Having the store led me deeper into the world of quilting, and that led to networking with other quilters and quilt professionals, writing quilting books and designing fabrics.
When I turned 50 in 2003, I decided I needed to do some long range planning. At that time, one of the goals I set for myself was to retire from the retail aspect of the quilt world when I turned 55. That would give me more time to teach, write, design fabrics and pursue some of my other goals. So, in the fall of 2008, I closed the shop. As you can imagine, it was with mixed feelings that I locked the door for the last time. I miss many things about having the shop, not the least of which is the interaction with my customers. Now we stay connected in other ways--I travel and teach, blog, send regular newsletters and belong to several quilting groups.