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In this seventeenth in a series of mini-interviews, learn more about our Threads of Success speakers and their sessions!

On Saturday, October 26, from 11:20 am-12:05 pm, Barnes will present “Running Your Own Race: Only You Can Be You!”

Why did you want to participate in the Threads of Success conference?

It is an honor for me to participate in Threads of Success—my students call me an “encourager.” I want so much to share some simple, achievable goals with people BEFORE they participate in their first Market! You can do this—and it’s easier than you think.

What was the biggest challenge for you in breaking into this business?

As a pattern designer, one of the biggest challenges for me was to develop relationships with the major distributors. And now, as a fabric designer, one of the biggest challenges is to develop relationships with shop owners. This is the realization that there will always be a “next” challenge. Find the right tools to get you past your “biggest challenge,” at any stage of your career!

What is the one piece of advice you wish you knew then that you do now?

The best advice anyone can give, is to find someone that will give you their best advice. Look for someone that’s willing to share, that wants to collaborate, rather than compete. Ask them to mentor you, and offer something in return. Search out the positive, and don’t worry about the negative. Keep moving, and you will succeed!

What is the most important thing you hope people take away from your presentations?

After hearing these Threads of Success presentations, I hope that each participant will have a clear path ahead of them! And the confidence to tackle all of it! Because, well, as I mentioned in the first comment, my students do consider me an “encourager!”

For more on Natalie and her work, visit


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