Hobbyist stitches second act

 In Business

Did you have an interest or hobby when you were a young child that fascinated and captivated you? A passion that you loved, could do all day and kept you up at night, lying in bed, just thinking about it? For some, that could have been outer space, baking, guitar, baseball statistics or horses. For Patty Lant, founder of Jardin Bleu, it was sewing.

“I can remember, about the age of six, taking a trip across the county with my mom and my sister,” said Lant. “My mom wanted to keep us occupied sitting on the train so she got us little cross-stitch kits. I was completely hooked. I loved it from the moment it was placed in my hands, and have never stopped.”

Fast forward many years and a significant corporate career later, Lant and her mom Shirley are still at it as the creative duo behind Jardin Bleu’s stunning linen and cotton creations.

“My mom always did a lot of sewing,” said Lant. “Growing up, I was surrounded by the rhythmic sound of the sewing machine humming as my mom made beautiful things for our home, clothes for my dolls and later, for me. Inspired, I started to create my own work. Looking back, no matter what my personal and professional responsibilities were, sewing has always been part of my life.”

Making the decision to leave a 25- year career at Bell and launch Jardin Bleu was not one Lant took lightly. Over time however, she started to notice that she was no longer interested in climbing the corporate ladder as she once was. Signs of work lethargy started to set in.

“On conference calls, I’d find myself day dreaming about fabrics,” she said, “and I realized that while I loved my job and was very grateful for my career, my heart was simply not in it anymore.”

When life threw her a difficult curve ball with a serious family accident, it sealed her decision and gave her the perspective she needed: Stop doing stuff you don’t like doing and focus on things that are important to you and that you enjoy. Lant picked up her needle and thread.

Starting slowly and carefully, Lant made a set of napkins for a friend’s birthday to test her abilities.

The reaction gave her all the assurance she needed to keep going, especially as other friends started to make requests. With the support of Tierra Hermosa’s commitment to local artisans, Jardin Bleu was launched.

Lant’s work combines sewing, design, fabrics and her love of organic things, like gardening, nature, and flowers. Jardin Bleu creates women’s clothing, home décor items such as cushions, cocktail and dinner napkins, table runners, table cloths and Christmas décor. The most popular are the personalized dog bandanas and reversible seasonal placemats for year- round use, with spring colours on one side and holiday cheer on the other.

Using very high quality cotton and wonderfully soft Belgian linens, Lant creates her own collection but also takes custom orders from people looking for décor items that enhance their current colour schemes and size requirements. Her mom provides beautiful detailing on the fabrics by designing sketches and artwork.

“Turning a hobby that I have had my entire life into something that is bigger is the perfect combination of passion and purpose,” she said.

You can find Lant and her stunning creations at the upcoming, fabulous 2DA Market at Windswept Farms, 678612 Centre Rd., Honeywood, Mulmur, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July 6, or find her on Instagram @ jardinbleu_linens.

Janet Logan is a Creemore resident with a background in business development and entrepreneurship. Amazed by flourishing new businesses across Clearview, her articles aim to feature these entrepreneurs and share their stories with the community.

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