About P31 Fabrications
Transforming your space can be daunting for the novice because of so many window treatment options. P31 Fabrications specializes in room transformations that will enhance your spaces for years to come.
Jean Powell officially launched P31 Fabrications, her custom drapery and decorating business, in 1992. But she was no stranger to decorating or business.
Jean began sewing when she was 7 years old, something she has always enjoyed doing. And she started sewing as a business as a result of a babysitting job. While sitting for the owner of a local auto dealership, Jean took a call to schedule installation of custom draperies in their home. She was intrigued.
So when Jean returned home after babysitting, she looked up drapery companies in the local phone book. She found two listed, and called the closest one. Not only did Jean find out about the drapery business, she landed a job. Her boss would give her a photo of what she wanted, and Jean would sew it.
A year later, Jean decided to go out on her own and started P31. She chose the name P31 because it stands for Proverbs 31, which talked about the creative woman who worked with fine linens and fabric. She met others in the industry, traveling with them to trade-shows to learn the tricks of the trade. Jean says she has thrived in her business because each project is “new and exciting.” And she enjoys working with clients that allow her to be creative. Among the things she sells are blinds, shading systems, window treatments, bedspreads, pillow shams and decorative pillows. She can do one window to an entire house.
Her work has been published in CityScene, Columbus Arts, Entertainment & Style magazine, as well as Smart & Simple Decorating book.
Oh, and the babysitting job? The owner of the auto dealership became her first client. She did two of their houses and then the houses of two of her daughter-in-laws.
Some Before and After Photos
I remember starting to sew when I was 7. My friend Jodi would come over and we would sew dolls and make clothes for them. I made a lot of my clothing while growing up and into high school. I attended Otterbein College for Stage Makeup and Costume design only to find that where I would want to end up is not where I would really want to end up which was Hollywood or Theater. Not sure what I wanted to do; I got a job working in financial positions at different companies only to be bored and ready to look for a new job in a year or so. I never could figure out how people could stay at a job for so many years.
One day I was babysitting and I took a call from a drapery company calling to schedule the installation of the new draperies. I remember saying to myself “that is what I want to do, make draperies”. (sounds stupid but it is true!) After I was finished babysitting, I went straight home and looked up in the yellow pages Drapery Workrooms. Saw two, called them both, offered a job from both and took the one that was closest to me. Worked there for a year and a half and then started my own business. While working at this job I met Joanne and she too was making drapes on the side along with working at this job. We became great friends and helped each other out so much in our businesses. When we would get discouraged or couldn’t figure a job out we had each other to talk through the problems and were always there for each other.
God has proven Himself faithful all these years. I was single when I started the business 18 years ago and he provided work for me and the family/friend support I needed. From day one with providing me a friend in Joanne, to my mom being my financial support to get my business going. My mom believed in me and did everything she could to support my dream. Today she still is such a support.
I had come up with P31 Kids years ago when I was teaching sewing lessons to children. I liked the name and wanted to do something with it. I only did one session and then nothing else happened with it. About 2 years ago I purchased an embroidery machine and wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it but got a great deal on it so I bought it. One evening while I was lying in bed, the best place to get inspired!, I came up with an idea to make Bottle Bands for the boys drinks. So the next morning I made a few up and loved the idea. I then took the burp cloths that I had and embroidered Oliver’s (my baby) name and quotes on them. One thing kept leading to another and P31 Kids was reborn.
One lesson I have learned, and it was a tough one to learn, was that when business gets slow that I need to enjoy the down time because God is faithful and will bring me more work. I would normally beat myself up and try to figure out “why” things were slow and get all worked up! I can also tell when I haven’t been praying for my clients or business or different aspects of my business and when I realize it and I get back on track I feel a huge difference, closer to God. I can not imagine doing this business or life without Him. He is the only true one that knows what is in my heart.