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Cara Fox

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As a child, I grew up constantly creating and decorating with whatever was put before me. I wanted to learn arts and crafts and never missed an opportunity to do so. I was the kid who would spend the night with someone and want to organize and redecorate their room and make their space pretty.

I was designing on a dime before it was a reality show. I have a very good eye for using what is put in front of me to make a space cozy and creative, yet functional and fun. I come from a family of makers and craftspeople, as well as businessmen and women, and that definitely played a huge part in my creative journey. If there was a party or event to stage, I jumped at the opportunity. I was constantly creating spaces and art in my head — or questioning how things were put together.

I was very blessed to spend lots of time with my grandparents as a child. My grandfather was a woodworker/ cabinet builder and my grandmother was a quilter, and they both did a lot of homesteading just out of necessity. They gardened and canned, processed meat, made furniture, curtains, blankets and clothing, cut wood to heat their big beautiful white farmhouse, fished the pond to eat, and had beautiful flowers to decorate the yard. I can still envision the beautiful peonies that lined the driveway.

I think it is safe to say that those daily rituals of raising a family had more of an influence on my creativity than I realized. Being the oldest and self-proclaimed favorite grandkid, I spent every second under their feet and working right beside them. Some of my best memories are of the smell of cut wood in my grandpa’s shop and sitting at the sewing machine with my grandma.

My grandmother and my mother both were amazing at decorating a house on a budget, cooking delicious meals, throwing a beautiful party, and always creating spaces that people wanted to spend time in. They truly set the bar high for hospitality. Whether it was making cakes, decorating for the holidays, working in the garden or cooking in the kitchen, I grew up loving the sense of satisfaction that came from making. My grandmother and mother both were very resourceful and had their own unique styles.

My grandparents were from eastern Kentucky, and their entire existence involved using their hands, whether it was building primitive-styled furniture, gardening, sewing, hanging wallpaper and curtains, or repurposing whatever was lying around — because there was no room for waste. It was always fun to be in the mix.

As a student, I was definitely drawn to art class and anything creative. I took woodshop, home ec, and art, and would have been very content with no other classes. My grandmother taught me how to sew and quilt; and once I had a license and a job in high school and college, I would save my money and take classes at local creative shops, which led to my most basic form of a creative career. I started making woodcrafts and fiber art to sell at the local craft fairs.

As much as I loved making, I also loved creating spaces to sell my goods. The staging was just as important as the goods. My husband often jokes that people don’t know what to do with the bones of a setup and they want to buy all of it so that one small item looks good. I can honestly say I find great satisfaction in the end result, but it is pure joy to take whatever is around me and make it pretty.

Even at a young age, my room was set up like a creative studio. I organized pretty containers for pencils, scissors, and craft supplies, and stacked books in order of color or style versus theme. I folded blankets and towels so that they showed well and spent time fluffing my pillows and stuffed animals, making everything showroom-ready. In college, I would often receive compliments on my beautiful notes and handwriting, to which I would respond, “If I only knew what they said.” But yes, they were pretty with all of the doodles and designs. It did land me a yearly job handwriting Christmas cards for a local company that sent out hundreds of cards every year.

Fiber arts were definitely the area that I had my hands in most often. My grandmother was often working on quilts, so we would make trips to the fabric store. I’m not sure what I loved more, the beautiful shops or the actual bolts of fabric. But I know we would spend lots of time picking colors and studying patterns. She was the first to sit me down at a sewing machine and show me how it worked. We kind of joke about the fact that although my mom could sew, she definitely did not have the passion for it.

I vividly remember I had picked out a pattern for a pair of pants and my mom and I sat down and cut them out, only for her to sew the inseam of the legs together. It was at that point I knew that sewing and quilting were going to be something that I shared with my grandmother. There’s just something special about watching fabrics come together that have been chosen with thought for a particular family member or loved one.

I knew early on that I definitely wanted to have some sort of creative business down the road and that it would include sewing. I was often referred to as “Little Martha,” because I would study Martha Stewart’s magazines and watch her shows, and then try to reproduce many of the projects that she showed. Of course, back in that day, we did not have Pinterest and all the other wonderful resources at our fingertips.

When I wasn’t working with fabric, you could often find me with my grandfather building a birdhouse or a primitive-looking box to display treasures. One holiday season, we made little cabins with windows and stuck lights in them, their rusty tin roofs made from scrap metals found around their farm. I still have a few of those and absolutely treasure them. We would also try to grow big pumpkins that were unique. And we would take a drill, attach a drill bit, and drill holes through them so we could wire pretty twinkle lights. If I had an idea, my grandfather was always happy to help execute it.

My grandparents owned an old 1960s trailer that sat behind their home on the pond. It was used by a great aunt who would come visit in the summer on occasion. When she could no longer make the trip, I turned it into my first apartment studio. Of course, the first thing I did was paint over the horrible dark paneling and rip the linoleum up to put carpet down. But it was such a happy place and everything in it told a story. Whether it was something that we had picked up from an auction, or crafted, almost everything in it was reclaimed — except for a couple pieces of furniture. My grandma often asked if my furniture came from the burn pile, to which she would say: “You make my trash look pretty.”

At that point, I was going to college and taking classes of all sorts, but nothing really grabbed my attention other than business. I continued crafting for shows, took on a couple of booths within collaborative markets and pursued sewing pillows for a local antiques store. My dad would always say, “Someday, you need to own a shop on Main,” and I always kept that dream tucked in my heart and continued to grow it.

Fast-forward a few years and I found my prince charming, Mr. Fox. Not only was he amazing but he grew up with a family full of crafty women, so he definitely appreciated and encouraged my dream. We married, I left corporate work and had an amazing baby girl, and sewing became my late-night therapy. I wasn’t used to not working outside the house, so I definitely craved the need to create for others. I began sewing curtains, pillows, duvet covers and little apron knot dresses for my daughter.

I shared a picture of a dress on social media and shared that the fabrics were pulled from my grandmother, mother-in-law and my own fabric stashes — and then it went crazy. I sewed for hundreds locally, and a couple of pieces even made it to Hawaii. As our daughter began preschool, my husband encouraged me to pursue my creative endeavors, and within a year we opened Little Golden Fox on Main Street, in beautiful historic Madison.

I have two Bernedoodles — a mom and son duo. The black and white is the momma, named Marlee Moo Cleopatra Fox, aka Marlee. And the yellow is her son, Cash. We named him that because we should have sold him with the rest of the litter and taken the cash … but he is the most loving 1-year-old ever.

I had envisioned sitting in my little shop and sewing all day, greeting locals and tourists and making all of my favorite projects. I quickly found that running a shop on Main didn’t allow me to sew as I had planned, so I outsourced handmade goods from some of my friends and consigned vintage and kids’ clothing while working through the growing pains.

I set up a studio in the back of the building and would create products, paint furniture and host little sewing and paint classes — and that side of the business quickly took over. We added bolts of fabric to the shop, art and handmade goods.

Within two years, we outgrew the space and purchased a 10,000-square-foot industrial building two blocks down that was once home to Weber Brewing in the early 1900s. People thought I was crazy moving out of the busy district and even crazier for taking on such a big old industrial building. The first time I stepped foot in there I knew it was exactly where I was supposed to be, and that God had a plan to fill that building and use it for the creative community. My husband looked at me and said, “What will you do with a building that big?” To which I responded, “What won’t I do with a building this big?”

The building houses huge industrial wood doors that you can drive tractors through and although I am not driving tractors through them, I am definitely dreaming big, and they continue to open and the space continues to fill.

My creative space quickly grew and so did our business. I expanded on handmade and craft and our creative classes have just kept growing and moving into bigger spaces. It is nicknamed the “creative hub on Main.” Although my personal studio is in the shop, I tend to spread out and work throughout the entire building. I have my saws and wood tools in the back. My sewing machines and personal fabric stash are in the studio and the shop has a paint and pottery area that I spend lots of time in working and teaching.

There’s also a space for large creative events, and the back of the building (which is the best-kept secret) currently serves as storage for antiques I have acquired for a future remodel. Part of the best-kept secret is a basement that you can drive into. I have yet to define the future of that space, but it will be great.

The building has amazing creative energy and people often comment about it when visiting. When we purchased the building a little over 10 years ago, my husband immediately wanted to build our home inside of it and I was not on board. It is one decision I definitely would reconsider, although we are pursuing plans for an amazing renovation with possible housing in it.

My studio and shop are truly my happy place. I am blessed to do what I love for a living and that is: host creatives and share and teach in a place that brings joy to many. My studio currently houses lots of my favorite treasures. We have moved several times within the last several years due to renovations of properties, and I finally decided I wanted to place my faves in a spot where they weren’t constantly subject to being boxed up for another move.

No matter what kind of day I am having, this place brings me joy and happiness. It is a time capsule of my creative journey and a place that calms my often-overwhelmed creative mind. I am fortunate to have a space where people can see inside because, let’s face it, we all love seeing where the magic happens (hence, that is why we love this magazine).

The plan is to renovate the entire building and expand our creative offerings to more workshops, retreats, art and music shows, a quilt center, and special events with art elements. We want it to be a place that fosters all things creative for our community. It is truly a special place that we love to share and a place where community and love are always found.

As a child, I grew up constantly creating and decorating with whatever was put before me. I wanted to learn arts and crafts and never missed an opportunity to do so. I was the kid who would spend the night with someone and want to organize and redecorate their room and make their space pretty.

I was designing on a dime before it was a reality show. I have a very good eye for using what is put in front of me to make a space cozy and creative, yet functional and fun. I come from a family of makers and craftspeople, as well as businessmen and women, and that definitely played a huge part in my creative journey. If there was a party or event to stage, I jumped at the opportunity. I was constantly creating spaces and art in my head — or questioning how things were put together.

I was very blessed to spend lots of time with my grandparents as a child. My grandfather was a woodworker/ cabinet builder and my grandmother was a quilter, and they both did a lot of homesteading just out of necessity. They gardened and canned, processed meat, made furniture, curtains, blankets and clothing, cut wood to heat their big beautiful white farmhouse, fished the pond to eat, and had beautiful flowers to decorate the yard. I can still envision the beautiful peonies that lined the driveway.

I think it is safe to say that those daily rituals of raising a family had more of an influence on my creativity than I realized. Being the oldest and self-proclaimed favorite grandkid, I spent every second under their feet and working right beside them. Some of my best memories are of the smell of cut wood in my grandpa’s shop and sitting at the sewing machine with my grandma.

My grandmother and my mother both were amazing at decorating a house on a budget, cooking delicious meals, throwing a beautiful party, and always creating spaces that people wanted to spend time in. They truly set the bar high for hospitality. Whether it was making cakes, decorating for the holidays, working in the garden or cooking in the kitchen, I grew up loving the sense of satisfaction that came from making. My grandmother and mother both were very resourceful and had their own unique styles.

My grandparents were from eastern Kentucky, and their entire existence involved using their hands, whether it was building primitive-styled furniture, gardening, sewing, hanging wallpaper and curtains, or repurposing whatever was lying around — because there was no room for waste. It was always fun to be in the mix.

As a student, I was definitely drawn to art class and anything creative. I took woodshop, home ec, and art, and would have been very content with no other classes. My grandmother taught me how to sew and quilt; and once I had a license and a job in high school and college, I would save my money and take classes at local creative shops, which led to my most basic form of a creative career. I started making woodcrafts and fiber art to sell at the local craft fairs.

As much as I loved making, I also loved creating spaces to sell my goods. The staging was just as important as the goods. My husband often jokes that people don’t know what to do with the bones of a setup and they want to buy all of it so that one small item looks good. I can honestly say I find great satisfaction in the end result, but it is pure joy to take whatever is around me and make it pretty.

Even at a young age, my room was set up like a creative studio. I organized pretty containers for pencils, scissors, and craft supplies, and stacked books in order of color or style versus theme. I folded blankets and towels so that they showed well and spent time fluffing my pillows and stuffed animals, making everything showroom-ready. In college, I would often receive compliments on my beautiful notes and handwriting, to which I would respond, “If I only knew what they said.” But yes, they were pretty with all of the doodles and designs. It did land me a yearly job handwriting Christmas cards for a local company that sent out hundreds of cards every year.

Fiber arts were definitely the area that I had my hands in most often. My grandmother was often working on quilts, so we would make trips to the fabric store. I’m not sure what I loved more, the beautiful shops or the actual bolts of fabric. But I know we would spend lots of time picking colors and studying patterns. She was the first to sit me down at a sewing machine and show me how it worked. We kind of joke about the fact that although my mom could sew, she definitely did not have the passion for it.

I vividly remember I had picked out a pattern for a pair of pants and my mom and I sat down and cut them out, only for her to sew the inseam of the legs together. It was at that point I knew that sewing and quilting were going to be something that I shared with my grandmother. There’s just something special about watching fabrics come together that have been chosen with thought for a particular family member or loved one.

I knew early on that I definitely wanted to have some sort of creative business down the road and that it would include sewing. I was often referred to as “Little Martha,” because I would study Martha Stewart’s magazines and watch her shows, and then try to reproduce many of the projects that she showed. Of course, back in that day, we did not have Pinterest and all the other wonderful resources at our fingertips.

When I wasn’t working with fabric, you could often find me with my grandfather building a birdhouse or a primitive-looking box to display treasures. One holiday season, we made little cabins with windows and stuck lights in them, their rusty tin roofs made from scrap metals found around their farm. I still have a few of those and absolutely treasure them. We would also try to grow big pumpkins that were unique. And we would take a drill, attach a drill bit, and drill holes through them so we could wire pretty twinkle lights. If I had an idea, my grandfather was always happy to help execute it.

My grandparents owned an old 1960s trailer that sat behind their home on the pond. It was used by a great aunt who would come visit in the summer on occasion. When she could no longer make the trip, I turned it into my first apartment studio. Of course, the first thing I did was paint over the horrible dark paneling and rip the linoleum up to put carpet down. But it was such a happy place and everything in it told a story. Whether it was something that we had picked up from an auction, or crafted, almost everything in it was reclaimed — except for a couple pieces of furniture. My grandma often asked if my furniture came from the burn pile, to which she would say: “You make my trash look pretty.”

At that point, I was going to college and taking classes of all sorts, but nothing really grabbed my attention other than business. I continued crafting for shows, took on a couple of booths within collaborative markets and pursued sewing pillows for a local antiques store. My dad would always say, “Someday, you need to own a shop on Main,” and I always kept that dream tucked in my heart and continued to grow it.

Fast-forward a few years and I found my prince charming, Mr. Fox. Not only was he amazing but he grew up with a family full of crafty women, so he definitely appreciated and encouraged my dream. We married, I left corporate work and had an amazing baby girl, and sewing became my late-night therapy. I wasn’t used to not working outside the house, so I definitely craved the need to create for others. I began sewing curtains, pillows, duvet covers and little apron knot dresses for my daughter.

I shared a picture of a dress on social media and shared that the fabrics were pulled from my grandmother, mother-in-law and my own fabric stashes — and then it went crazy. I sewed for hundreds locally, and a couple of pieces even made it to Hawaii. As our daughter began preschool, my husband encouraged me to pursue my creative endeavors, and within a year we opened Little Golden Fox on Main Street, in beautiful historic Madison.

I have two Bernedoodles — a mom and son duo. The black and white is the momma, named Marlee Moo Cleopatra Fox, aka Marlee. And the yellow is her son, Cash. We named him that because we should have sold him with the rest of the litter and taken the cash … but he is the most loving 1-year-old ever.

I had envisioned sitting in my little shop and sewing all day, greeting locals and tourists and making all of my favorite projects. I quickly found that running a shop on Main didn’t allow me to sew as I had planned, so I outsourced handmade goods from some of my friends and consigned vintage and kids’ clothing while working through the growing pains.

I set up a studio in the back of the building and would create products, paint furniture and host little sewing and paint classes — and that side of the business quickly took over. We added bolts of fabric to the shop, art and handmade goods.

Within two years, we outgrew the space and purchased a 10,000-square-foot industrial building two blocks down that was once home to Weber Brewing in the early 1900s. People thought I was crazy moving out of the busy district and even crazier for taking on such a big old industrial building. The first time I stepped foot in there I knew it was exactly where I was supposed to be, and that God had a plan to fill that building and use it for the creative community. My husband looked at me and said, “What will you do with a building that big?” To which I responded, “What won’t I do with a building this big?”

The building houses huge industrial wood doors that you can drive tractors through and although I am not driving tractors through them, I am definitely dreaming big, and they continue to open and the space continues to fill.

My creative space quickly grew and so did our business. I expanded on handmade and craft and our creative classes have just kept growing and moving into bigger spaces. It is nicknamed the “creative hub on Main.” Although my personal studio is in the shop, I tend to spread out and work throughout the entire building. I have my saws and wood tools in the back. My sewing machines and personal fabric stash are in the studio and the shop has a paint and pottery area that I spend lots of time in working and teaching.

There’s also a space for large creative events, and the back of the building (which is the best-kept secret) currently serves as storage for antiques I have acquired for a future remodel. Part of the best-kept secret is a basement that you can drive into. I have yet to define the future of that space, but it will be great.

The building has amazing creative energy and people often comment about it when visiting. When we purchased the building a little over 10 years ago, my husband immediately wanted to build our home inside of it and I was not on board. It is one decision I definitely would reconsider, although we are pursuing plans for an amazing renovation with possible housing in it.

My studio and shop are truly my happy place. I am blessed to do what I love for a living and that is: host creatives and share and teach in a place that brings joy to many. My studio currently houses lots of my favorite treasures. We have moved several times within the last several years due to renovations of properties, and I finally decided I wanted to place my faves in a spot where they weren’t constantly subject to being boxed up for another move.

No matter what kind of day I am having, this place brings me joy and happiness. It is a time capsule of my creative journey and a place that calms my often-overwhelmed creative mind. I am fortunate to have a space where people can see inside because, let’s face it, we all love seeing where the magic happens (hence, that is why we love this magazine).

The plan is to renovate the entire building and expand our creative offerings to more workshops, retreats, art and music shows, a quilt center, and special events with art elements. We want it to be a place that fosters all things creative for our community. It is truly a special place that we love to share and a place where community and love are always found.

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