Z Fabrics was founded in 2006 by Mary Zarate, out of a need for fabrics that reflected the unique and creative community of Portland. Z Fabrics set up shop in a tiny but iconic 420 square foot building in Portland’s East End, with a microscopic business loan and a few bolts of fabric.
Zarate applied for a Family Development Account (FDA) through Women, Work, and Community (WWC) and was accepted. The four-to-one match for business helped move the business along.
“The Family Development Account (FDA) program was crucial in our development,” Zarate said. “The FDA allowed us to increase our inventory, which increased the number of purchases. It was just doubling my money at that time.”
Mary also took microenterprise and asset development classes at WWC. She also got some one-on-one assistance in these areas, and says getting that support was an integral part of her success. “It helped big time. I learned how to budget, manage bookkeeping, and become a business owner and entrepreneur.”
Through hard work, a well thought out business plan, and a passion for fabric and sewing, Z Fabrics has blossomed into a pillar of the sewing community. This spring, after five years in business, Z Fabrics moved into a new 1,140 square foot space in the historic Time and Temperature building in the heart of Portland’s Downtown. They continue to inspire with more classes and events, helping to reawaken an interest in the art of sewing.