Success Stories

So many of you have blown me away with your success. Some of you have become fabric designers, opened your own manufacturing companies, and shared that you’ve learned more in my courses than you did in design school.

It seems like every day I hear from one of you that you’ve landed your dream job, opened your own business or started making money doing what you love.

Here are just a few of the incredibly inspiring stories that have been with me. If you have a success story you’d like to share with me, I’d love to hear it. Just email me!

Featured Stories:

Above: Dylan Mizerzwinski | Keera Job | Deane Christiansen | Shannon Orr | Nancy Noreth | Amanda Brandl

Diane Rooney

My fabric samples of my first collection for Makower UK arrived and I cannot tell you enough how exciting it is to see it! And how amazing to have this fabric with my designs on it.

I’ve been fortunate over the years to work as a freelance designer primarily in the craft/hobby industry but have always struggled with low self esteem and confidence issues. Plus, I’ve always known that I wanted to do something more with my designs – a lot of my work was for craft software. I used to look at them and think how I’d love to have my own fabric line with them.

It was Bonnie’s advice of “there’s room for you” and “do one thing” that kept me going and have me more confidence to do this.

I’m 54yrs old. This is huge for me at this time in my life. I’m grateful every day for this work and career change. As a result of this collection, I’ve designed and am teaching some workshops at my local fabric shop (I’m going to do them as online courses at some point) – I’m doing a little bit of mentoring – always believe in sharing everything you know and I know that’s another thing Bonnie teaches. Plus, Quilt Now magazine are doing a little feature. There’s other opportunities as well plus I’m working on new collections.

I believe in faith and action. I believe that as you physically move forward and start to show your work and have those “10 seconds” of bravery, doors open. Be encouraged.

Oh and I can’t wait to get sewing with my fabric. I’ve designed a quilt for this collection and start work on it today!

Stephanie Nehme – Fabric Textile Studio

Bonnie’s classes were the first courses I ever took on my journey to learning textile pattern design in 2016. Her classes remain the cement that laid a comforting and confident ground for me to move forward, especially for someone like me that could not draw or paint (yep!). Bonnie makes you believe it’s possible through trust, practice and dedication, exemplified by her own success.

In April 2017, I launched Lebanon’s first textile pattern design studio. After just 10 days of launch, I was contacted by a big fabric store in Lebanon to create a collection of patterns (project due Q1 2018). In November 2017, I was also chosen to take part in a design collective in Beirut where I now have my very own Pinteresty desk and I can’t wait to spread warmth and joy through the work I create :-)

Anne LaFollette Art

After spending over 25 years dutifully climbing the corporate ladder at huge international retailers like Esprit, Gap and Old Navy, I got laid off. It was a total shock. But when one door closes, another opens. My family has always kidded me because I’ve collected art supplies wherever I go. Now was the time to start using them! Last year I found Bonnie’s pattern design classes and I’m HOOKED. I jump out of bed every morning thrilled to continue this creative journey. I’ve launched my website, been a featured artist at West Elm, and I just published my first class. I have exciting goals for myself in 2018 and I can’t wait to accomplish them. There is much more for me to learn. I can’t wait for Bonnie’s immersion course to support me along the way. I’m living my motto: It’s Never Too Late To Create!

Bärbel Dressler – Bear Bell Productions

I had just turned 39, with family, house, cars and mortgages when I decided to quit my safe job in marketing since many years and start my creative business. It might seem stupid since I had no design education, no experience of working as a designer, no existing clients and therefor no income.

Three years later I just sold a pattern to one of Sweden’s largest home textile companies and I’m starting to get a steady income from several sources besides licensing and selling patterns.

Looking back on my journey a very important turning point is when I came across Bonnie’s courses. From her I learned how to build my creative business – from learning Illustrator, developing my design style and process, creating pattern collections, to building my portfolio and online following. I guess I could call myself a self taught pattern designer, but that’s not entirely true – I’m Bonnie taught!

Aga Kobylińska

In 2013, I suddenly discovered a surface pattern design industry. Despite having nothing in common with design, I couldn’t resist the temptation. I bought online classes, and, shortly after, decided to make it my career. In Nov 2014, I left my job to focus on building creative & software skills. I was excited but also afraid of failing! These kept me on track: design contest awards, inspiring stories, words of love.

Finally, magic started to happen.

In 2015 I got my first long-term freelance contract. I was designing plenty of patterns, learning ways to do it smartly and fastly. To share my discoveries, in 2016 I started my Skillshare teacher adventure (over 1700 students by now!). The same year I showcased my work in public during an International Textile Fair in Poland. Many cooperations resulted from there! Today I have over 30 patterns licensed and many projects ahead! Feeling thankful :)

Kelly Shipley – Dig’n Designs

I graduated from College in Business Information Systems, but creating digitally became my true passion. My first exposure to digital creations was first: becoming a creative team member of a Scrapbooking company. While doing this one day, I accidentally came upon one of Bonnie Christine’s courses on teaching how to design surface patterns from scratch. I knew then that this is exactly what I was supposed to do with myself. Since then, I’ve done things that I never would have dreamed were possible over a year ago. I have opened 2 successful online stores/businesses, worked with custom orders locally and internationally, consult with Plasma and Laser businesses on designs and I volunteer my work for a local church group.

Abby Hersey

I studied design in college, and had worked in the printed graphics industry for 10+ years but I wasn’t fulfilled. In exploring modern fabrics for my quilting habit, I simply couldn’t get enough of the inventive and engaging patterns. I wanted to be a fabric designer, and set about learning how to use my design skills to create technical repeating patterns. Bonnie’s classes were informative and inspiring. I began by selling my designs on the Spoonflower platform, and now have patterns licensed for use on fabric and other products. I was emboldened to share my work in other markets, and have illustrated multiple national ad campaigns as a result. I was able to quit my day job, and now work full time as a designer and illustrator – and I’ve also started teaching Skillshare classes of my own!

Shannon Christensen

Personally I know a lot of work goes into teaching classes and we don’t always know a student’s outcome from taking one. But I wanted you to know that after taking your classes, I’m now a fabric designer for Windham Fabrics! My first line of watercolor florals is Cottage Joy, releasing wholesale this Spring. I’ll even have a booth at Spring Quilt Market 2018! I’ve been able to sew, craft, and paint for a long time as a stay at home mom. Then I got interested in surface design but didn’t really know how to go about it until I found your classes on Skillshare. My first project with you wasn’t that good, though you were encouraging. From that I realized what I needed to work on and set about doing it.

Fast forward a bit. Out of necessity, I found myself needing to pursue building a career full time. There were several reasons but the biggest one was that my oldest daughter passed away from complications with her pregnancy while giving birth to Joseph. A year later her husband died and we found ourselves raising Joseph. My husband’s work has him away from home alot but we felt strongly that he needed to be home more as a male role model for Joseph. So with the help I got from you I’m working hard and redefining myself into a full time surface pattern designer. Another daughter recently partnered with me and made contact with Windham’s CEO, Mickey. And that led to a contract for the fabric collection. There’s so much more to the story – a fabric projects book, look book, quilt patterns, other products in the works – it’s all amazing! I’m super excited for every day. It’s hard to push through the difficulties when you’re sitting there by yourself trying to figure things out, but quitting isn’t an option. You never know where the road’s going to take you. Adding your class to my journey made a huge difference with the path I’m on now. So thank you very much Bonnie!

Elles Rodenburg

I’m a surface pattern designer and photographer from Delft, the Netherlands. My education is in graphic design. I did beautiful photography assignments like weddings, portraits and lifestyle photography. But I wanted to develop my skills in surface pattern design. By following this new path I combine my experience in photography with my love for patterns, color and design. I followed the courses from Bonnie and I learnt so much during these courses, so I decided to become a member of the Roost Tribe and I know this membership will help me to accomplish my dreams. Beside designing patterns for great companies around the world, my dream is to develop my own brand where my creativity blossoms in designs and patterns for a variety of products.

Denise Palmer – Denise Anne

I fell in love with design when I was in high school, but never pursued it as a career until recently. We moved to a new town, I wanted to work, but for myself. I struggled to balance running a business and the needs of my toddler and large family. It became clear I needed to do something different.So I focused on learning. After finding Bonnie’s classes, I spent about a year learning and reading everything I could on illustration, watercolor, and pattern design. Today as a self taught designer, I am successfully growing my studio selling digital illustrations, and have done custom work for several brands.Since making the focus on lifetime learning, I learn something everyday. Design feels like what I was meant to do, and I truly love my job as an illustrator and designer.

Camilla Carvalho – Oak Print Design

As a child I always enjoyed drawing and doodling but I never pictured myself pursuing that career path. After working many years in another field, I decided to pursue my passion and took a few graphic design courses to learn how to “draw” on the computer. That’s when I found the surface pattern design world. I then took one of your courses and I found out this was “my thing”. My designs are delicate and crisp, and mostly inspired by nature. I have a wide range of designs great for use in stationery, fabrics, apparel and home decor industry. Clients include Printed Village, Estudio iCertain, Julius Zoellner, Quiltweaves and Chamomilla Baby.

Fiona Solley

I am an illustrator, designer, sewing enthusiast and teacher who has always seen colours, shapes and textures all around me. This has led to making patterns and creating stories through my illustrations. By combining delicate watercolours, bold colours and graphics and hand drawn illustrations, my work tells a unique story.

In 2017, I took the plunge into pursuing a creative goal creating artwork and patterns to sell. I participated in one of Bonnie Christine’s workshops and through this series of workshops I further developed new skills for my creative dream. Since then I have created enough work to produce a portfolio, launched my own website and online store to showcase and promote my artwork and products, taught design at a local design college and participated in a business mentorship for artists and creatives.
And most importantly to my soul is that I have the motivation and love to draw and paint every day!

Rachael King – Rachael King Designs

After a return to study when the last of my children went to school 5 years ago, I have been working solidly to establish my new career as a surface pattern designer. I gained a diploma in graphic design and used my new found skills to bring my artwork to life in repeat patterns, a long held obsession since childhood. I was represented by Nerida Hansen Print & Textiles for my first portfolio showing at Surtex 2017 and from there, I have been incredibly fortunate to have a collection of designs printed onto fashion fabric and distributed throughout Australia. I love painting in watercolour and bringing my florals and motifs into Photoshop to create vibrant designs. It is my dream job!

Featured Stories