Meet Dawn Olmstead and learn about her quilting adventure that took her to the high seas!
In the words of Dawn…
When I retired after teaching for 42 years, I decided that sitting in front of the television at 3pm, still my pajamas, was not a good idea. I mentioned this to one of my friends that was a travel agent and she said, “Why don’t you become a travel agent?” Why not, I thought.
I went to a travel agent conference and one thing they stressed, you needed to find a niche. As luck would have it, I had 3 quilts that had been sitting around for 20+ years that I wanted to get finished. I reached out to a quilter and we met to look over my quilts. Long story short, I realized that there are more than a couple thousand ladies that still quilt and the whole quilting experience has changed. Computerized sewing machines, longarms, amazing new tools, beautiful precut materials, etc. etc. etc. has more and more people flocking to the quilting business.
You may say, “What do advancements in quilting have to do with you being a travel agent?” Do you see where I am going with this? After looking at the internet, I discovered that quilters like to cruise. So, in January of 2017 I started Quilt and Cruise.
I was able to put my business together with the help of a quilt store owner, a sewing machine provider and several cruise lines. I found really creative teachers for my sailings in 2018. Our numbers started small but as the year went on I was able to build my cruises to respectable numbers. I have 5 cruises planned for 2019, one of which is a longarm education experience. 2020 is looking very good. One of my cruises is already booked to capacity.
There are a number of other quilting cruise businesses available to the quilting world, but what makes mine different? Most of my cruises involve one teacher working on two projects with the hope that when the quilters leave the ship they do not have a UFO. We spend mornings and afternoons quilting while we are at sea and the quilt room is open most nights.
Our kits are ready for sewing and the machines are state of the art Janome. The thing I take most pride in is the price I post on my webpage, until my reserved cabins runs out, is what you pay. No nickel and diming here, I really like bottom line pricing.
I have no physical product that I can hand you except postcards telling you about my cruises. I have lots of pictures posted on Facebook and my website of quilts that we worked on and will be working on in the future. I have biographies about my teachers and I have lots of information about the cruises you will be experiencing.
I will be attending the Daytona Beach, Lancaster and Spring Paducah AQS Quilt Week shows this year. If you attend any or all of those shows please stop by so we can talk about quilting and cruising. I will also be doing trip registrations at the shows. Most people do not realize that waiting to register might cause them to pay more for the experience or not be able to participate in the trip of their dreams.
If you are unable to meet me at the shows, please visit my webpage, www.quiltandcruise.com. Everything you need to know about our trips is there. Do not hesitate to give me a call if you have any questions.