It all started with a sewing machine and a dream..
My grandma was a seamstress. I remember her pulling out her sewing machine and using her dining room table to cut yards of fabric. She was resourceful. She taught me that creativity could be found in many places. My mom learned in 4-H and picked up tricks from grandma. When I left for college to study fashion design, my mom gave me my grandma's old sewing machine. I found out a few years later it was the best gift.
Thanks to those four years spent at Iowa State University earning my Bachelor of Science degree in Apparel Merchandising, Design, and Production, I gained lots experience in textiles and sewing construction. The idea to start my own brand blossomed during a semester spent abroad. While studying at the London College of Fashion, I fell in love with history, design, leather work and the slow fashion movement.
It's all about the process
Whether it's breathing new life into old pieces or sourcing new natural materials, I enjoy creating high quality goods inspired by the people who wear them. My love of nature has instilled a passion for natural fibers + dyes, and even sourcing textiles directly from farmers. In a world where practically everything is mass produced and sold to thousands of people, I appreciate handmade pieces and materials crafted by makers.
My love of nature and plants started my love affair with natural dyes. At this point, it's not something I sell in my shop, but a creative outlet with no pressure on the outcome. I do enjoy creating table linens for special events, though.
My first sewing machine
This machine belonged to my grandma, then my mom, and now I use it everyday to sew labels in A Well Worn Story products. It has been in my family for almost 50 years and marked the beginning of my sewing journey.
Farm to fashion
This year I started sourcing leather directly from grass-fed farmers, specifically my sister-in-law at Homestead Wisconsin. We worked together to find a tannery in Iowa to process the hide. Not only is it important to know where our products are being made, but the materials as well.
A Well Worn Story was born out of my desire to create essential pieces for your wardrobe. I want to make getting ready in the morning more enjoyable, for myself and for you. I started this business for a few important reasons:
To create goods that reconnect the product and the maker.
To foster a deeper connection between the product and the consumer.
To build high quality, handcrafted goods in the Midwest.
To speak about the importance of conscious consuming.
To breath new life into old things - ultimately saving materials from ending up in landfills or low-income countries.
Each item in the shop is designed and crafted in my small studio space in southern Wisconsin. I am focused on using sustainable materials and building a capsule wardrobe full of handmade and ethically produced pieces.
a little more about me
When I'm not behind my sewing machine or punching holes in leather, you can find me hiking, hunting for treasures at flea markets and thrift shops, playing board games with my brothers, or sitting next to a lake somewhere in Wisconsin. I also love sharing my craft with young women in Haiti through the Sa Voix Collective, where I serve as a designer + teacher. Through these trips, I have seen first hand the impact our fashion choices have on the lives of people living around the world.
These are a few of my favorite things..
Back roads. Red barns. Old farmhouses. Bike rides. Work clothes. Little coffee shops. Lakeside cabins. Antiques. White pines. Small towns. Vintage textiles. Local hardware stores. Blue skies. Front porches. Leather boots. Quaint shops. Sweet potato fries. One room churches. Simple gatherings. Squeaky wood floors. Hiking. Sewing. Vegetable Gardens. Home cooked meals. Road trips. Natural fibers. State parks. Screen doors. General stores. Family Heirlooms. Rural living. Natural dyes. Linen aprons. Slow fashion. Homegrown food. Flea markets. Thrift stores. Cider beers. Simplicity. Community. Faith.
Thank you for being here! Check out the shop, read the blog, and send me a message introducing yourself!