Tell us about your business.Last year my husband, mother and I started a small textile business using my design skills, my mom's sewing abilities and my husband's heavy lifting. Our goal was to create textiles with as little environmental impact as possible, using only entirely US produced materials and making sure everyone involved makes a living wage without sacrificing style. We sourced fabric that is grown in Texas, spun and milled in North Carolina. When sewing became too much for my mom, we teamed up with some amazing women in North Carolina. I still do all the designing and hand-dye and hand-screen print everything myself in our barn. In terms of growth, I'd love to be able to offer my home textiles to a wider audience. Our products are not only ethically sound, they're also beautiful and really well made (I've been told they're husband-proof and can survive lots of washing and high-heat drying!). I'd love to be in more home-good stores to help get our products into more kitchens!
What makes your business stand out?Although our design sensibility is pretty original, combining elements of our Vermont surroundings with the years my husband and I spent loving antiques in Brooklyn, I feel that our ethics really set us apart. Our goals of supporting American Industry and creating an eco-friendly textile are the most important things to us. We always source as close to home as possible, and if we can't get something (like a button or thread) that's 100% US made we won't use it. Our organic fabric, water-based dyes and fiber-reactive inks have as little impact on the environment as is currently possible in the textile industry - although we've always fantasized about one day being able to sponsor research into better dyes and inks.
What's the best business advice you've received?"Watch your customers interact with your products!" My dad suggested that I do this, (although these probably weren't his exact words) and honestly it's huge! It's something you just can't get from selling wholesale or selling online. Looking my customer in the eye and watching what about my products excites them and what makes them look around for the next booth is vital for knowing how to market our textiles and how to move forward with our designs.
Mark Your Calendar
NominationsJune 3–Aug. 29, 2014
Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.
JudgingJune 23–Sept. 8, 2014
Judges will select finalists throughout this period.Meet the judges
Online VotingSept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014
Vote for your favorite American makers.See the finalists
Winners AnnouncedOct. 17, 2014
2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.See past Award Winners
American Made EventNov. 7–8, 2014
Join us for our annual event in New York City.Buy tickets now