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:
Be sure to subscribe to the Mister Domestic YouTube channel to get a brand new video every week and follow Mister Domestic on Instagram for lots of fun updates.
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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This was one of your best podcasts to date! Love Matthew, have been following him as far back as the famous woven trench coat project! Really interesting to hear how intentional his path to success is, very insightful and very inspiring!
Thanks so much for listening to the show!!
Love love love this podcast. Thanks to Mister Domestic for introducing me to your site. I’ve already been binge listening to your podcasts. Each one is so interesting and your sponsors are fascinating. I’ve already purchased items from businesses I didn’t even know existed, beginning with Make Modern magazine. I know what I’ll be doing for the next 100 or so hours -listening to every one of your podcasts! Matthew is such a wonderful person. Seeing his videos and Instagram posts always make me smile. His joy is and enthusiasm are infectious. I can’t wait to see his fabric line. Thank you again.
This is fantastic, Cathy. Thank you for listening and for supporting my Episode sponsors. That means so much to me!!
Wow. What an amazing podcast. I’ve listened to most of your podcasts but this one REALLY stands out. Great business advice; searingly honest discussion on the change in feelings towards craft projects when you start to sell; and how to handle sharing your art and life online. Great stuff.
Thanks so much for listening!
First, I love your podcasts. All your podcasts. But this one was especially informative and enjoyable. Thanks for your good questions, and for your thoughtful follow-up questions. A good host listens closely, and you do that. I have explored Monsieur Boudreaux’s web site and it’s great. But it’s his (and your) advice that really helped me, as a budding entrepreneur. One small note: Your link, above, for the white coffee is to an actual coffee company called White Coffee, which is based in New York. I could be wrong, but I don’t think this was what Matthew meant. White coffee is a technique for under-roasting coffee beans that produces a drink that is less bitter, more nutty, and which has higher caffeine content. It’s become popular lately, and is offered at various coffee shops. or online. You might ask Matthew for a link to the actual product he buys on Amazon. I’d be interested to know. Thanks again for your podcast. I subscribe to many, but religiously listen to only a few, and yours is one of those.