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Road Warrior - Demetria Hayward

Road Warrior - Demetria Hayward

Written by: 
Amy Matheny

Meet Demetria (Demi) Hayward

“I get asked a lot about being a fabric rep,” Demi says. “‘What’s it like selling fabric? How do you even become a fabric rep?’ So I'm happy to shed some light on my experiences!”


According to Demi, “It’s who you know, but also what you know and what experience you have. The quilt fabric industry is a tight community. Many of the reps have been involved in the industry doing other things before actually becoming an independent fabric rep. A lot of reps come from a sales background, whether through working at or running a fabric shop, selling retail and notions, or working in marketing and sales. Some have even inherited their position from a mother or father, brother or sister, or a husband or wife.”


“No matter how you fall into becoming a fabric rep, what is true for most every fabric rep, is feeling lucky to have this job! We love fabric. Every day is different. We build relationships. We get to spend time with fun, creative shop owners. We are helpful. We step in and roll up our sleeves to assist our customers when needed. We think outside the box. We share our product knowledge to help shops purchase more effectively, so there is a marketing plan in place for every fabric line that is brought in. It’s not easy running a fabric retail business. We reps have your backs.”


Demi’s been in the quilting industry for more than 30 years. Her professional background is in marketing, sales, and product design, and she has worked for several manufacturers – her favorite being Moda Fabrics, which has been her home for the past 5 years.


She reflects to the beginning of her career, when she had no idea how big the industry was, and vividly recalls her first Quilt Market in Houston. “Seeing all the people crowding the aisles, the endless exhibitor booths and buzz. I remember walking through the quilt exhibits, taking in all the amazing quilts on display. I was awed and astounded. Quilters are such a creative breed. The way fabric can be cut apart and pieced back together into such beautiful shapes. Fast forward 30 years later, I continue to be drawn in by the creativity and beauty of what quilters and crafters do with fabric.”


“My shop customers are my friends. I love the warm greetings I get when I walk through the door. I love catching up on life and the goings-on in the shop. I love hearing the excitement over a fabric line. It never gets old.”

Like all jobs, being a rep does have its challenges too, Demi says. “Covering the territory of beautiful Southern California, navigating traffic is one of them. I live in Long Beach, which is really the center of my territory. Most shops are in a 2-hour radius from where I live. Of course, I have further distance to drive, but for the most part, it’s easy managing my territory. Thank God for the Waze app, my go-to for driving and minimizing traffic. I simply plug in the address and it tells me the fastest way to get there. To keep me engaged on the drive, I listen to books on Audible. It makes sitting in traffic less nerveracking. What would we do without technology, right?”

Demi’s face lights up when talking about her two teenage boys, Weston (14) and Blake (12). She feels it’s important to find that balance between work and family. “Frankly, most of the time, the work is the easy part. What’s definitely true for me is that I couldn’t do it without the support of my husband of 17 years, Bill. Our Apple iCloud calendar is our glue. And I mean it. We look at our calendar daily to see who’s picking up and dropping off whom. Our weekends are filled with the boys’ baseball and soccer games. Cheering them on and trying not to yell the loudest is totally hard to do. My boys hate it when I stand out in the crowd. The boys are literally eating us out of our house. I can’t keep the refrigerator stocked. I make daily – not weekly – runs to the market. I am always washing clothes too, and picking up after all the boys, including Bill. Yes, I am outnumbered at the house. All boys. Another benefit of being a rep is that I get to connect with women.”

Outside of my family, Demi’s biggest love is spending time with her mom, Sandra, and brother, Alexis, at Demetria Estate Winery, her family’s vineyard, in Los Olivos. “Nestled in the rolling hills of Santa Ynez, it’s my home away from home, a place to relax and recharge and yes, drink wine. We grow Rhône blends on the property and also produce Burgundian varietals from grapes we purchase in Santa Rita Hills.” 

When not at work or being a wife and mom of two, Demi finds a little bit of time to be a part of a women’s tennis group. She is also currently taking golf lessons, so now Bill won’t be able to make any more excuses for why she can’t join him and his friends on the golf course!

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