Alabama Chanin: Handmade In Florence | This is Alabama

ERIN: People ask, “Why aren’t you somewhere else?” And you know, again it goes back to thinking about the sewing traditions in our community and the history of textile manufacturing. And it just feels like the right place to be. We’re a small team. We work very closely together. Natalie imparts so much knowledge on everybody from you know from sewing to running a business to design and creation. Alabama Chanin is kind of the head of our family of businesses and so we do so many different types of making and operations underneath that. So, we have a school of making. We have our flagship store, and our cafe. We work with local farmers to source our ingredients for the cafe. We have a machine manufacturing division of the company here on-site where we’re doing you know finished garments that are machine sewn. We have the artisan business model set up here in the community. So all those facets fit together to make Alabama Chanin. JUANITA: You know, the idea of a designer being in our area, and I have the opportunity to take things that she and others create and then make them, put the finishing touches on it… That’s a very valuable thing. I think it gives people in the area pride. It gives them encouragement to know that we can be a part of a much greater scope than just our own little state. And I think it definitely has instilled some pride and some value in some arts maybe were lost.>>RACHEL: In school we learned about the pendulum swing where trends will be so prevalent in the industry for so long that it will eventually swing the other way and I think with fast fashion and instant gratification you know it’s been kind of the prevalent source for so long that people are shifting away from that. It’s a better investment to purchase a piece or make a piece that is going to last out of great materials and you know how it was made and that it was sourced you know domestically and whatnot. Just learning about Natalie and what she was doing here at a young age… It’s really kind of shaped me with the way that I think about the world and the way that I think about design and processes and even down to the food that I eat and how recycling is important… It’s really kind of played a factor into all aspects of my life. I was 12 when my grandmother told me about the ad that came out in the local newspaper asking for the artisans when Natalie first started Project Alabama. So I’ve known about it for the majority of my life. ERIN: I think it’s really great to have this kind of this creative hub and it’s really unique place in north west Alabama. We’ve got a lot of great you know great other things happening in our community. Billy Reid… he’s a fashion designer. You know, his headquarters is here. We’ve got a lot of you know up and coming artist, and the music scene here is really great. So, it is very inspiring. I think just from being able to physically come here and see the space or if you ever go on our website and look around we really try to capture the beauty in everything that we make through those outlets and so I think it’s definitely a very inspiring place to work.

4 Replies to “Alabama Chanin: Handmade In Florence | This is Alabama”

  1. I bought your books and am looking forward to sharing time with them. Your attitude, your sense of community and your respect for a well done job makes my heart smile. Love from Canada

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