advertisement

advertisement

advertisement

advertisement

Colette Patterns

American Made Since 2009

Sarai Mitnick

Portland, Oregon
Sewing Patterns That Teach: Classic designs, beautiful packaging, and world-class instructions set Colette Patterns apart.
Oregon

Tell us about your business.

In 2009, I left what was supposed to be my dream job. I was working in Silicon Valley, for a huge internet company, doing what I'd always wanted: User Experience. But the job had not turned out as I expected. I wanted to make things. I wanted to help people. So after creating a business plan, doing mountains of research, and creating an initial product line, my husband and I picked up and moved to Portland, OR and launched our company. I couldn't have imagined a better path. Today, User Experience is still a huge part of what I do. I help people learn the all-but-lost art of garment sewing by crafting great sewing experiences. In return, our customers are the most loyal, engaged, warm-hearted people imaginable. Their support has helped us grow into into a flourishing small business. Our goals are to provide our audience with wonderful craft experiences in new and different ways and to provide our employees with a place to work they can love and feel proud of.

What makes your business stand out?

I'd never understood why sewing patterns were so difficult to use. The truth is, most women (and men) today learn to sew by picking up some fabric and a pattern and trying it out. Many of us are not lucky enough to have mothers or grandmothers to teach these complex skills. Yet, most sewing patterns assume a great deal of knowledge. They aren't the learning tools they should be, even though that's how they are used. Colette Patterns are different. They explain concepts and ideas deliberately, getting into the "why" as well as the "how." They include supporting material on the web, in the form of sew-alongs and tutorials linked directly in the patterns, as well as a handy glossary and a thriving community. Our instructions have often been hailed as the best on the market. That thoughtfulness also extends to the designs themselves. We create versatile pieces with interesting details, utility, and customizable options. We put our hearts into every aspect of Colette Patterns.

What's the best business advice you've received?

Having a successful small business is about much more than getting to do the hobby you love for a living. That may be how it begins. But in order for a business to grow and change, the business owner herself must grow and change. She has to give up more and more control, and spend less and less time doing that one thing that used to be the core of it all. As the business matures, you have to fall in love with the process of running a business itself. When you discover the joy in that, you're golden.
Advertisement

Mark Your Calendar

  • Nominations
    June 3–Aug. 29, 2014

    Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.

  • Judging
    June 23–Sept. 8, 2014

    Judges will select finalists throughout this period.

    Meet the judges
  • Online Voting
    Sept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014

    Vote for your favorite American makers.

    See the finalists
  • Winners Announced
    Oct. 17, 2014

    2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.

    See past Award Winners
  • American Made Event
    Nov. 7–8, 2014

    Join us for our annual event in New York City.

    Buy tickets now

More Nominees

  • Mautto

    Lynette Sedenquist
    We make attachable straps so you can wear your handbag the way you want. All hand-made in the USA with genuine leather and jewelry-quality chain.
    Style, Accessories
    CA
  • Six Finger Studios

    Nick Mask
    Inspired by the rustic nature of reclaimed wood, SFS combines the raw and refined to create unique coat/key/wine racks for any home.
    Design, Furniture & Home Accessories
    MT
  • Ryan Pieper

    Ryan Pieper
    A one man operation that designs, prototypes, and fabricates on his own. Hoping to find a company willing to mass produce within the USA.
    Design, Industrial Design & Lighting
    VA
  • All The Small

    Kathryn Barbosa
    I am a portrait artist with a twist- I work in miniature! My clients can wear a piece of sentimental artwork wherever they go.
    Style, Jewelry
    MA

advertisement

advertisement