What can you say about a person who you’ve known since you were 5 years old? I’ve known Michelle longer than anyone on this earth except my family. We met in kindergarten. Her mother, Arlette, was our art teacher from kindergarten to 8th grade. And, Michelle inherited her mother’s (and grandmother’s) amazing talents. I always admired Michelle’s talent, her eye for detail. As a child I was always proud that she was my friend. I was tall and awkward, with frizzy, curly hair and glasses. Michelle was petite and adorable, with thick, long blonde hair and a bright smile. But, we clicked. And, today, as an adult I am even prouder still of my dear friend. Michelle is the co-founder of Cloud9 Fabrics and currently the Design and Marketing Director. Because I won’t do Michelle justice I will defer to her about page information: “Michelle has spent her entire life dedicated to the pursuit of creative endeavors. While she obtained a BFA in Photography at Montclair State College, she almost immediately abandoned the idea of going into that industry. Instead, she found herself moving from one creative job to another until she unwittingly landed a humble position as a designer's assistant in a men’s sleepwear and lounge wear Company. Within a few years and another company later, she found herself the Design Director for a prominent private label men’s underwear company where she honed her design, merchandising and marketing skills. After about 15 years in the industry that she never intended to make a career, she left the big NYC job to pursue her own projects and have more time with her children. Through her independent company, Cicada Studio, she developed and produced home décor weight printed textiles in cotton/linen blends. It was also at this time that she began to license collections for Henry Glass & Co, specifically for the quilt market, which opened up an entirely new perspective of designing and outlet for her talents. As the success of her Cicada Studio collections grew, her need to produce on a larger scale became evident. Being Earth-friendly has always been important to Michelle. As she researched her options and refined her ideas for a collection, the notion to create a designer line of fabrics that bridged the gap of high-end organics and mass-consumerism took shape. Cloud9 Fabrics is passionate about bringing eco-sensible fabrics to the quilt and craft market. Co-founders Michelle Engel Bencsko and Gina Pantastico recognized the need for contemporary designs in the eco-friendly, affordable fabric marketplace. In a world where Cotton is King and designer fabrics are becoming increasingly popular, it was apparent that there was a lack of organic cottons with a modern sensibility available to the sewing community. “ Cloud9 Fabrics has been a huge success, finding itself featured in magazines such as Martha Stewart’s Living, Quilter’s World and Fabric Trends just to name a few. The collections are bold, yet soft and are put together with such mindfulness that you will be in awe of the obvious dedication to attention to detail. I am exceedingly proud and pleased to share with you this week’s Fudofind: Michelle’s 4th annual Tea Towel Calendar. You will love looking at this soothing blue print throughout the year and when the year is over Cloud9 Fabrics invites you to use the calendar as a kitchen towel for the material is wonderfully soft and absorbent. To purchase this calendar please visit Cicada Studio. For more information about fabric collections please visit Cloud9 Fabrics.