A few months back, I discovered the beautiful fabric shop Stitcherie on Instagram. Though I’m only an occasional sewer — my poor sewing machine is probably covered in dust bunnies — I’m still enamored with the spectrum of whimsical fabrics that owner Kristan Kremer curates for her shop. So much beauty! I’m so excited that Kristan is here to discuss her inspiring career story, the importance of taking creative breaks and how to adapt when your plans change. If you’re interested in crafts and sewing or in owning an online shop, this interview will be a great read for you! // susannah
How would you describe Stitcherie?
Stitcherie is an online boutique that offers a curated selection of fabrics with a modern aesthetic for sewists and quilters.
What were you doing before Stitcherie? What inspired you to change paths?
Prior to opening Stitcherie, I owned a small design business that specialized in custom printable invitations and announcements. Although it was a successful venture, I closed it when it began demanding too much of my time. I had recently given birth to my son and my priorities shifted. Along the way I pursued a hobby in sewing and quilting. I made quite a few online friends through blogging and Instagramming my hobby and that eventually led to a new business in that industry.
When ideas are scarce, where do you turn for creative inspiration?
When I hit a wall creatively, I usually need to tune out all the noise. I get off the internet, turn off the music, and stow away all the books and magazines I’m perusing. I like to take my son to the playground and sit at a picnic table with my sketchbook while he plays. I also paint in the backyard when he’s playing. Most of those sketches and paintings never see the light of day, but sometimes something special comes from them in some way or another.
Click to read more of this Q&A with Kristan Kremer of Stitcherie!
Describe your workspace.
My workspace is a spare bedroom in our home. We recently moved and I was lucky enough to find a house that had everything we needed plus this extra large, bright space that I could use to set up shop. Right now it lacks personality because our fixer-upper home has lots of other areas to improve first. But it has ample space to run my shop and make stuff at the same time. I love that it has 2 sets of glass doors and views of nature. I’m a tidy person, but I can’t seem to keep my studio cleaned up unless I know people are coming over. Actually, I’m purging it now so it’s pretty messy!
What have been your biggest successes and challenges for Stitcherie?
When I began Stitcherie, I had this grand vision that I would eventually turn it into a brick and mortar fabric shop. That plan has changed due to many lessons learned about the industry and just running a business in general. While the decision to remain small and online only was a hard one to make, I think I’d consider it a success as well. Had I continued along my original path, the business may not have hung in there as long as it has so far. My favorite success has to be the solid 5 star rating on Etsy. Customer service is my favorite, and it really makes me happy to know my customers are happy.
What are your dreams for Stitcherie?
My dream for Stitcherie is that it stays small, believe it or not. Or at the very least, I don’t want it to grow to be too big for its britches. My shop has been criticized many times by peers for being small, but my customers praise everything from the selection to the customer service, so I must be doing something right. I only hope I can continue to earn that praise from the people that matter most.
Who do you look up to?
I look up to my mom, hands down. She’s taught herself everything she knows and she’s passionate about her career. She’s an amazing manager, treats her employees and customers like gold, and puts more into her work than anyone I know. I’m so grateful for the times as a child that I was able to watch her, to learn and soak it all in.
I am a huge Disney fan, and I really look to Disney when I’m in a business bind. Not necessarily Walt Disney himself, but my personal motto is “What would Disney do?” Once I ask myself that, I always know the solution to my predicament.
Where and how do you love to spend your time off?
I’m a majorly introverted homebody. On a regular day, I just want to hang out at home in comfy clothes watching my son play with his Legos and sitting around with my husband.
We vacation every year with some of our best friends. We rent a beach house together and they don’t mind when I hide in my room for a little while when things get too loud. Our kids play and have a blast and we sit around drinking champagne and playing cards. It’s the best vacation and a nice break.
What resources do you recommend to someone whose dream job is your job?
When I started my fabric shop, I had no idea what I was doing. I knew about Fall Quilt Market in Houston through the buzz it generates in the sewing blog community, so I started there. It was super overwhelming, but a wonderful learning experience. You can find more information at quilts.com.
If you weren’t running Stitcherie, what would be your dream job?
I recently figured out that my dream job(s) all have one thing in common — I love serving people! A few dream jobs include professional organizer, consulting for small businesses, or librarian.