Meet Road Vendor: Pineapple Fabrics

A family owned business, Pineapple Fabrics is an e-commerce company that offers pre-packaged, pre-cut fabrics that can be used in over 60 different projects designed by the company.

Rick Kimelman and his wife, Dot, are the driving force behind Pineapple Fabrics. It was Rick’s grandfather who, over 80 years ago, started the fabric swatching business, Swatchcraft. Over the years Swatchcraft has evolved into a full-service business offering graphics, imaging, printing, fabric sampling and shipping needs for their clients, other business owners. Realizing that there are “only so many companies to swatch with,” Rick wanted to reinvent the company with a focus on “making sewing fun.”

Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

Their first attempt at retail marketing was in 2012, putting together and selling pre-cut fabrics – jelly rolls, fat quarters, and layer cakes — from designers like Windham Fabrics, Andover, RJR Fabrics, Dear Stella, Michael Miller and others. Their first show was in March, 2015 at the International Quilt Festival in Rosemont, Chicago. The feedback they got from customers was that they loved the idea of having packaged pre-cuts but they kept on asking, “What do you do with them?” So, after that show, the company began work on 3-4 pattern designs to complement the pre-cuts.

Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

In 2016, Pineapple Fabrics began organizing their fabric packs by girl’s names in an alpha order. First was Alice, then Bella, Carla, Diana, Ellie and their latest, Fran. Each Pineapple Pack has different sized fabric cuts in different amounts unique to that particular name. When a customer buys a pack, they then choose one of 10 patterns designed to use with it.

Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

Says Dot, “We do all the work of cutting and coordinating fabrics so all the customer has to do is sew. The Pineapple Packs are packaged so that if you can’t get to it right away, the pieces won’t be scattered.”

In addition to the Pineapple Packs, Pineapple Quilts also offers Quilt Backs (precut backings that match quilt top fabrics) and their trademark, Bonus Quarter—21” X 21” squares that are found in every pack. In the future, they hope to offer swatching for their projects—bringing it back full circle to where the business originally started.

Making sure their customers have a “happy, positive experience” is Pineapple Fabrics’ goal. That is why this internet based company comes out to trade shows like Road to California so that they can hear firsthand what customers are looking for and then implement their feedback, offering a wide range of colors and patterns. Road 2017 was Pineapple Fabrics second time at Road to California. They commented on how nice the show is and how everyone they meet are nice as well.

Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

Another way Pineapple Fabrics connects with its customer base is offering an “outlet sale” every two months at their warehouse in North Carolina. The sales last three days and are “a lot of fun,” with special pricing, demos, and food trucks.

To learn more about Pineapple Fabrics and to order their Pineapple Packs and other products, please visit their website.