If this small blue house with the red “Open” sign catches your eye, do yourself a favor and stop in. Even if you don’t think you can sew a straight seam, the fabric selection inside might change your mind.
Yusuf Ordou and his mother, Laurie Ordou, opened the business in December 2011 on Rosedale Drive where it cuts between Old Dowlen Road and the Eastex Freeway. Laurie Ordou wanted to sew clothes for her new granddaughter and wasn’t happy with the selection of fabrics available to her. Her need was a void that others had noticed, and she decided to fill the hole.
“I traveled and liked the fabric I saw in other cities and couldn’t find much like it in Beaumont,” said Ordou. “I think the fabric lines we carry are a little different. The fabrics add something fun to quilts, children or adult clothes, bags and decorating.”
Business at the store has been increasing slowly but steadily, according to Ordou. “We are building a loyal clientele. We knew it wouldn’t explode all at once, but we are happy with the growth we are experiencing. It may take a few years, but eventually this will be my full-time job.”
Yusuf, her son, is at the store on a daily basis. He studied metal fabrication at Lamar University, directing a project building an electric car, and has worked at Southern Avionics. “Working with fabric is a little like working with metal,” he said. “You are bending the material to fit your concept. Fabric is more pliable, obviously, but it is still a form of construction.”
After purchasing the small house on Rosedale near Highway 105, they have been remodeling it to fit their vision. Bright blue walls compliment the wide array of colorful fabrics and a large cutting table. “We are gradually adding more fabric and pattern lines,” said Yusuf. “We want to expand the stock to fill all the rooms in the house.”
The designer fabrics in the store are bright and cheery. It is easy to imagine them made up into curtains, clothes, or purses and bags that are reminiscent of popular lines sold in many upscale stores. Amy Butler, Robert Kaufman and Hoffman are well represented in cottons, rayon and corduroy. Kokka of Japan is a fabric made of 85 percent linen, giving it a sturdy quality that will hold up well to wear. Cloud 9, from California, is a 100 percent organic fabric.
“I would like to get to the point where we carry all organic fabrics,” said Laurie. “Twenty-five percent of the pesticides used are put on cotton that we wear. When you think about sewing for children or our homes, you don’t want to use that fabric.”
Designer Fabric Boutique uses social media to keep in touch with its customers. “We post new arrivalson our Facebook page and love it when customers put up pictures of their work using the fabric they purchased from us,” said Yusuf.
Designer Fabric Boutique is like many small, independent shops. It was started because of one person’s need, and the hope that other people felt the same need. Word of this store is spreading among the area’s sewers and quilters.