Folk Fibers Blog

  • Growing a Business

    I've been working through business exercises and in the midst of my 5 year plan I felt inspired to compile a list of example businesses that I relate to and feel inspired by. Thought this maybe helpful to share with you. 


    Alabama Chainin: Natalie Chainin has created a signature style using a reverse applique technique and everything is made by hand in the USA. From embroidery to seam, the garments are completely hand-sewn by artisans working in their own homes and business using a modern cottage industry method of manufacturing. A company and community.


    Swans Island Blankets: Weaving and natural dyeing is a labor of love and handmade value. Each piece is created with techniques honed throughout centuries of fiber arts. They hand make everything in authentic fashion and always to the highest possible standard. Swans Island is a company and a community centered in Maine and determined to create objects of beauty and utility in authentic and earth-friendly ways. They welcome anyone and everyone to visit the company in Maine. 


    Juniper Ridge: Wild harvested plants to make perfume and bath products, an old fashion approach = dream job. Every Juniper Ridge product has a harvest number stamped on the front. You can input the harvest number on the package through their website to see photos of the plants in your fragrance and the Juniper Ridge crew who gathered them! I'd love to adopt this for my naturally dyed fabrics. Juniper Ridge inspires me to continue wild harvesting my dye stuff and feel proud about choosing a slow earth-friendly method for achieving color on fabrics.



    Deynse Schmidt Quilts: I have a special place in my heart for Deynse. Back in my college days she passed through the SCAD fibers dept in 2005. I was one of the lucky students to take her improvisational quilting workshop. It changed my life. I admire Deynse for creating a successful quilt business that has been going strong for over a decade! She is a talented designer and has a strong voice and following in the quilt community and beyond. Throughout the years she has been featured in many articles and published 2 books where she shares tips and techniques for making quilts. Denise offeres a series of quilts through her brand at different price points. I relate and admire mostly her "Couture Quilts" hand-sewn by Amish craftswomen. 


    A.P.C. Quilts: Designed by Jessica Ogden & Jean Touitou from A.P.C. a french clothing brand based in Paris. The A.P.C. quilts hark on traditional quilt patterns, alot like me! One of the big differences is A.P.C. quilts are manufactured in India. There is nothing wrong with that, in fact it appears to aid in keeping the cost down which should make for some happy customers. There is video showing a glimpse into the quilt process, very inspiring, but makes me want this in America!  

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  • Comments on this post (7 comments)

    • Karen Alexander says...

      I just cringed watching the women stooping over the paper hand pricking the pattern for pouncing one needle hole at a time. Backbreaking! Can’t someone send ‘em a few pounce wheels? Cut the time on their knees significantly! I see nothing “romantic” about this type of “hand” work….Give me an address, and I’ll send them a dozen! – Karen

      On May 15, 2014

    • Ronah says...

      Dear Maura,
      I just came across your website and I am truly in love with your work. I have been a quilter all of my life. I live and work in NYC and as an artist and crafter I am invigorated to find a few young and active quilters branding themselves and quilting as a creative business vision.

      On October 19, 2013

    • Tammie says...

      such a lovely post and blog ~
      i enjoyed the film in India. to watch the women work so efficiently was a joy to see. Also the women are dressed so beautifully. love that!

      On August 20, 2013

    • Karen Alexander says...

      Wow… great video of the Indian quilt factory, but there seemed so much “inefficiency” in what seemed like and otherwise “modern” sewing factory. Ex: the modern Brother commercial models did not even had thread cutters on the side or presser bar, much less mechanical cutters… picking up large fabric cutter to cut just a thread? And all the work ON THE FLOOR! Simply backbreaking labor… can’t they furnish a few tables to do the layering and basteing on? And finally… what’s with the pin pricks for the pouncing of the pattern I’ll personally buy these poor ladies a few pouncing wheels to speed this process by HOURS! If we are going to give them machines, can’t they also be provided (for pennies more) the “rest of the tools” to make the work go even faster, but better – easier on the bodies of these working women?

      On August 13, 2013

    • Susie says...

      Thanks for sharing! I’ve been needing inspiration. I just found it here :)

      On June 24, 2013

    • Maura says...

      Ahhh sounds like a dream Ana. I hope to visit someday!

      On June 24, 2013

    • Ana says...

      The Swans Island showroom and workshop outside of Camden, Maine is beautiful and inspiring. The modest building houses the showroom, weaving room and dye lab, a sight to behold. Their blankets are gorgeous and their merino yarn is the best quality I’ve ever worked with.

      On June 24, 2013

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