eInsider: News from International Quilt Market -Interview with Edith Minne

May 17 2016

http://quilts-einsider.com/archives/april2016/qa-april2016.html

Q&A: EDITH MINNE

Founder and Owner, Renaissance Ribbons

 

For much of her life, Edith Minne—a native of France—has enjoyed a love affair with French ribbons. “Jacquard, Brocade, Damask, Satin, Velvet, Taffeta…those gorgeous French ribbons,” she says. “Even the names have a kind of poetry, evocative of a way of life, of chateaux, tapestries, gardens, old roses…”

 Minne launched Renaissance Ribbons more than 27 years ago, after moving to Northern California, and began the process of importing French ribbons to sell here in the States.

Since then, the company has transitioned—manufacturing their own ribbons in the U.S.—and grown to include an impressive number of collections from some of quilting’s biggest-name designers

We spoke with Minne about the company, the designers, and the interest and value that a good-quality ribbon can add to a sewing project.

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eINSIDER: Please tell us a bit about your personal and professional background.

 

MINNE: I come from Northern France, which has centuries-old traditions of lace, embroidery, and textile. So, you could say it is in my blood, as well as my heart.

When I was with Doctors without Borders in Africa and, later, India, I always kept colored threads in my backpack and would sew or embroider something whenever when I could.

 

Later, there was an opportunity to move to California. And a friend pointed out that there was no interesting high-quality woven ribbon, so I looked into it and found a niche…

 

In 1988 I started importing/distributing high-end woven Jacquard ribbons from France—the kind you can’t buy now. They were fabulous, and hand woven on ancient wooden looms as they had been for centuries.

 

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eINSIDER: How has Renaissance grown and evolved through the years?

MINNE: The market became more defined and—following the fluctuations of the economy—we made the transition from importing and distributing to creating and manufacturing our own designs and collections.

 

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eINSIDER: Renaissance offers a number of designer ribbon collections. What is the process for choosing and approaching designers?

 

MINNE: Mutual appreciation is the best way to describe the process! We feel blessed to have started with the wonderful  "Giants" of the textile world such as Amy Butler, Kaffe Fassett, Tula Pink, and Sue Spargo—our original  group!

Our designers are always thrilled to see how their designs look in woven form, rather than printed. Our ribbons are like miniature tapestries!

 We remain open to receiving submissions from new designers. It’s a limited market, and it needs good targeting and varied designs in order to appeal to wider audience, so it can take quite a while for a new design submission to get into the marketplace.

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eINSIDER: Your website offers some fantastic patterns and ideas for incorporating ribbons into sewing projects. Who develops these ideas?

MINNE:  Making the transition from supplier to an educational resource was a dynamic and fun process. We have our own studio where we develop ideas, and it’s always really exciting to see a project come alive with ribbon embellishment—even a small piece of ribbon in the right color and place can make a huge difference.

Now the word is out, and every day, we see exciting and unusual projects on the web from sewists getting creative with the ribbons.

 



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