On this episode of the Craft Industry Alliance podcast we’re talking about building a career in the sewing industry with my guest, Mathew Boudreaux.
Mathew Boudreaux of Mister Domestic learned to sew as a kid, but never really got into it until he had his daughter Helena, who is now four and a half. He thought it would be a great way to connect with her if he could make her cool clothes.
With a new motivation to up his attention-to-detail, the quality and coolness far exceeded even his own expectations. Once he started posted his projects on social media, the quilting world quickly took notice of his fearless use of color and print, incomprehensibly fast output, carefree enthusiasm and humor, and ability to seek out, acquire and share new skills.
Optical Illusion Weave Pattern by Mister Domestic
Several years ago Mathew began posting photos of the things he was sewing on Instagram, not knowing that there was an online sewing community. Through the comments on his posts he was introduced to other makers and realized that he could launch a business in the home sewing and quilting industry. He started a blog and YouTube channel and began working with brands like Art Gallery Fabrics, Aurifil, Brother and others to do co-marketing. His brand, Mister Domestic, grew at an accelerated pace as a result. Just a few weeks ago Mathew announced that he’s now designing fabric for Art Gallery.
Sunflower Fold’n Stitch Wreath Tutorial by Mister Domestic
In this interview, Mathew talks about his business strategy and the intentional way he thinks about his brand. He talks about how he chose the name Mister Domestic and why he recently got the name trademarked. Mathew has a mission for his brand and a long-term business plan that he’s following. His brand is built on joy and positivity and he uses those feelings as an anchor when making decisions about what to do next. He also uses focus groups to help guide him on messaging.
Mathew has kept his day job which requires a significant amount of travel and we talk about how he fits everything into his busy life. He also talks about being a father and being gay and how that’s felt as a member of the quilting community.
We refer to:
- Wefty needle and fabric weaving
- this woven denim trenchcoat Mathew made for his daughter, Helena
- this TED talk by Shonda Rhimes
- this photo of Mathew and his husband kissing Helena which caused him to lose 500 followers
- Gilead, the pharmaceuticals company where Mathew is a sales rep
- EPP (English Paper Piecing)
- Project Runway and learning to sew fast without being a perfectionist
- the Crafty Lumberjacks
Mathew is dedicated to lifting other people up. He often buys patterns and products from other makers and shares them with his followers. His life has had some ups and downs. He struggled with alcoholism and also lost a beloved sibling. Both experiences helped him to consciously choose to view life through a positive and uplifting lens.
And, of course, I ask Mathew to recommend great stuff he’s enjoying right now. Mathew recommends:
This episode is sponsored by Make Modern magazine. Make Modern magazine is a digital magazine especially for modern quilters. Each issue features at least 10 projects with full patterns for quilts, minis, pillows and more. Make Modern is also packed with feature articles on the latest happenings in the modern quilt community and interviews with quilt superstars. Sign up for a free six month trial subscription, exclusive for Craft Industry Alliance listeners at www.makemodern.com.au/whileshenaps, hurry offer ends March 15th 2018.
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