Women entrepreneurs and owners of Pink Sand Beach Designs, Nancy and Michelle Green, not only sell patterns, kits, and fabric, but they provide employment opportunities for other women who otherwise might have been shut out of the work force.
Meet Founder Nancy Green
Before Pink Sand Beach Designs, Nancy Green had worked 25 years as an executive for IBM. When she retired from IBM, she knew there was a second career just waiting for her discover.
Nancy had been sewing since childhood. In 2004, after she retired, Nancy started sewing homemade bags. It didn’t take her long to see that her finished handmade bags didn’t end up looking very professional because regular quilt batting was customarily used as a filler. Nancy set to work incorporating her background in construction and engineering to analyze different fusible interfacing that could be used to replace the batting. Not long after her discovery, Nancy approached Luella, a local quilt store owner, and asked if she could teach a bag making class using her own pattern. In a class that traditionally only got a handful of attendees, twenty-four people signed up for Nancy’s first class taught at Luella’s Quilt Basket!! Due to that initial success, Nancy continued to teach as well as sell her original patterns at the Quilt Basket.
Four years later, in 2008, Nancy decided to sell her handbag patterns at Quilt Market. Having never gone to Quilt Market before, and not knowing what to expect, Nancy took 4,000 patterns that she had printed at her local print shop. Those patterns sold out quickly and her original business of making and selling handbag patterns began. Today, Nancy and Pink Sand Beach Designs sells 60-80,000 handbag patterns annually.
Pink Sand Beach Designs
When two of Nancy’s three daughters (Michelle and Kathryn) were in high school, they wanted to sew rag quilts to earn extra money. Nancy helped them buy their fabric, make kits, and sell their quilts at the local Manhattan Beach Old Town Fair. The girls named their business, Pink Sand Beach Designs after the pink sand beaches they had seen on a trip to Bermuda. The girls were in busines for a couple of years and sold over 1,000 quilts. When Michelle and Kathryn moved on to college, they sold their business name to their mom. Six years ago, Michelle joined her mom as a partner in the business.
With a passion to help other women get ahead, Nancy and Michelle hire college students to cut the fabric for their kits and stay-at-home moms to assemble the kits. In addition, they have women from local quilt guilds sell their samples.
Today, Pink Sand Beach Designs not only sells patterns, kits, fabrics, notions, and thread on their website, they also have a retail store located in a business park in Torrance. Their kits are also sold by other retail outlets like Missouri Star Quilt Co. Pink Sand Beach Designs has come to be known by their customers as the “most modern, professional” pattern and kit maker vendor at Road to California.
Staying Relevant during the “Safer at Home” Order
When maintaining their retail store presence during the “Safer at Home” order in Los Angeles County got difficult, Michelle and Nancy got creative. Masks were their first venture during the Coronavirus shut down, along with selling elastic. During the first 3 weeks of the lockdown, Pink Sand Beach Designs sold 250,000 mask and elastic kits. “It’s what kept us alive,” shared Nancy.
They also began holding twice weekly Facebook LIVE! selling events, offering special online deals. The store has been turned in to a highly productive, mail order procurement center. “The Facebook LIVE! is really fun. If it’s not fun, I’m not doing it,” said Nancy.
Recently, Pink Sands Beach Designs hosted another Road to California associate, The Traveling Quilters. The Traveling Quilters wanted to celebrate their 30th Anniversary with a Facebook LIVE! of their own, and Nancy and Michelle were more than willing to provide the venue for the virtual event.
What started out as a way to have a second career, has become not only a successful sewing business but a compassionate business as well– a win-win for everyone!!
To learn more about Pink Sand Beach Designs, please visit their website.