Today on the Craft Industry Alliance podcast we’re talking about running an online fabric shop with my guest, Lindsay Prezzano. Lindsay and her husband Charlie own Hawthorne Threads, an online fabric shop offering a vast selection of curated contemporary fabric collections, patterns, and thread for the modern sewer.
Charlie and Lindsay Prezzano, co-founders and owners of Hawthorne Threads
Lindsay’s first foray into the handmade business world was through an Etsy shop called FabricationsByLin which she opened in 2007. At home with their first child, she had begun making and selling fabric covered picture frames. Over time, she started ordering fabrics by the bolt, making a few frames and then selling the remaining yardage in a second Etsy shop. When that second Etsy shop’s business far exceeded the first, Lindsay decided to go full force selling quilting cottons online.
Charlie is a software developer and when the fabric shop outgrew Etsy he built the robust ecommerce site that is now Hawthorne Threads.
Through years of hard work and remarkable dedication, Lindsay and Charlie have built a fabric business known for its exceptional customer service, social media savvy, and curated selection. Hawthorne Threads now has 30 employees and is housed in a warehouse in upstate New York, near Lindsay and Charlie’s home.
In our conversation we talk about:
- the unique advantages of running an online fabric shop (over a brick & mortar shop) and why it would be very difficult to do both at the same high level
- digitally printing fabrics (Hawthorne Threads has just released their 14th collection of fabrics designed and printed in-house)
- the early days of building a business
- email marketing
- how Hawthorne Threads uses Instagram
and much more. And, of course, I ask Lindsay to recommend some things she’s loving right now. Lindsay recommends:
- UPPERCASE magazine
- quilting over top of topographic maps (like this)
- window shopping for weavings online
This episode of the podcast is sponsored by Porter & Hazel leather goods. Porter & Hazel makes custom wrap bracelets, cuffs, dog collars, secret message bracelets, and more – all distressed and made to order with hand-carved designs.