Seams Unlikely. I had the pleasure of finally meeting Nancy last Fall when I went up to Wisconsin to tape a couple of episodes of her popular TV show, Sewing With Nancy, and I found her to be one of the most genuine people I have ever met... she was warm, welcoming and humble, which is something you don't usually get from high-profile people.
So, of course, I was curious to learn more about Nancy's life. Like most autobiographical books, this one begins at early age. I was fascinated to learn about farm life because it was so different from the way I grew up. Nancy really makes you feel like you were there... milking the cows, feeding the chickens and tending to the vegetable gardens. A far cry from my urban upbringing. From the very first few chapters of the book, you already start to get a sense of what shaped Nancy's personality... from the family values instilled by her parents to the health problems that plagued her since infancy. My heart broke when I read about the onset of Bell's Palsy and the myriad of knee surgeries that left her not only physically but also emotionally scarred. Nancy's writing style is so conversational, so frank, that you feel like you are sitting across the table hearing her tell you these stories over a cup of coffee.
When I was up in Beaver Dam last Fall, Nancy and I had an hour to kill during the drive down to Madison to film the TV show. At the beginning of our drive, I asked Nancy to tell me how she got started in the business. She explained how she used to travel with some of her favorite notions and people would often ask her where she got them, and how this evolved into her company, Nancy's Notions. Then she went on to tell me about how hesitant she was about appearing on TV because of her facial paralysis. Well, in the next part of her book, she goes into every detail you would ever want to know about how she started her business and grew it to what it is today.
Now, this is where I began to feel a bit more connected to her story. It was exciting to read about her husband, Rich, leaving his work to join her new endeavor (just like Jon did when he joined MODKID back in 2010). Then reading about how they moved the business from their cramped basement quarters into their first facility (just like we did a couple of years ago!). And hiring their first employees (just like we did!). And attending trade shows (helloooo?). Need I say more? I felt like this book was written just for me because I could identify with so much, but yet with every new chapter I was learning something new...something that hopefully I could apply to my own business. Nancy doesn't just tell you the good... she tells you the bad and the ugly too! The trials and tribulations of running a successful business while juggling a personal life are all spelled out right there in the pages of Seams Unlikely.
Of course, MODKID is still at its infancy stage, so I can only hope that one day I can achieve the level of success that Nancy has accomplished with both Nancy's Notions and Sewing With Nancy. More than 30 years later, they are still going strong and have a fan base as loyal as can be! Here's a funny anecdote: when we were wrapping up the taping of my second episode for Sewing With Nancy, the floor manager, Greg, said that I was a natural and totally belong on TV. Nancy looked at me and jokingly said "Oh-uh, should I be worried?". I responded, "Hmmm... 'Sewing With Patty' does have a nice ring, doesn't it?" We all had a good chuckle!
I jest, but honestly, I can only dream of building something like what Nancy has built here. She has surrounded herself with wonderful and supportive people who believe in her because she treats everyone with utmost respect. This and so much more can be found in Nancy's book, Seams Unlikely. I urge you to run out and get your copy today... you won't be disappointed!
Nancy is giving away twenty copies of Seams Unlikely. Please leave a comment on Nancy's blog HERE to qualify for book giveaways. Twenty random winners will be announced February 18, 2014.
If you'd like to read what the other reviewers had to say, check out the full blog tour here:
February 4 Nancy Zieman http://www.nancyzieman.com/blog
February 5 Eileen Roche http://dzgns.com/blog/
February 5 Pat Sloan http://patsloan.typepad.com/
February 6 Melissa Stramel http://melissaslilaclane.blogspot.com
February 6 The Long Ladies http://www.mariemadelinestudio.typepad.com/
February 6 Tori Thompson http://totallystitchin.net
February 7 Amy Barickman http://www.indygojunction.com/blog/
February 7 Melissa Mora http://mellysews.com
February 8 Shari Butler http://www.doohikeydesignstudio.com/blog/
February 8 Vicki Christensen http://www.sewinspiredblog.com/
February 9 Carolina Moore http://alwaysexpectmoore.com
February 9 Kate Mclvor https://theconfidentstitch.squarespace.com/blog/
February 10 Amy Ellis http://amyscreativeside.com/blog/
February 10 Melissa Mortenson http://www.polkadotchair.com
February 11 Ilene Miller http://happyvalleyprimitives.blogspot.com/
February 12 Liz Hicks http://blogerisms.blogspot.com/
February 11 Julie Herman http://www.jaybirdquilts.com/
February 12 Bill Gardner http://www.quiltersnewsletter.com/blogs/insideqn/
February 12 Elizabeth Evans http://www.simplesimonandco.com
February 13 Amy Webb http://www.amylouwhosews.com/
February 13 Lindsay Wilkes http://thecottagemama.com/blog/
February 14 Gertie Hirsch http://www.blogforbettersewing.com
February 14 Veronica Philips http://cloverusa.wordpress.com/
February 15 Jenny Gabriel http://www.sewvacoutletblog.com
February 15 Laura Wasilowski http://artfabrik.com
February 16 Frieda Anderson http://www.friestyle.com
February 16 Rita Farro http://ritassewfun.blogspot.com
February 17 Cindy Cloward http://www.rileyblakedesigns.com/blog/
February 17 Joan Hawley http://www.lazygirldesigns.com/blog/
February 17 Patty Young http://modkidboutique.blogspot.com
February 18 Nancy Zieman http://www.nancyzieman.com/blog/