I’ve been reflecting lately on the changes I have seen since I started at Sew What?, as well as the stories I have heard about the early days of the company. It really is amazing to consider how far we have come in a (relatively) short time.
The business first started in 1992 with Megan Duckett sewing custom stage curtains at night on her kitchen table. Eventually, Megan quit her day job, and by 1996, Sew What? had grown to the point that Megan was able to rent a small commercial space and hire her first employee, a sewer – Maria, who is still with us today!
As the business continued to grow, Adam Duckett joined the business full-time. The company moved into a larger (6,000 sq ft) leased space. We bought a van and hired our first driver (Raul, who is now our Operations Manager). In 2003, Sew What? Inc. hired its first office employee, Silvia (now Human Resources).
A shot of the sewing shop at our second location
Megan and Adam were constantly focused on growing the company, and so in 2004, they were again on the hunt to find a larger location – but this time to buy. We bought and moved into our current 15,000 square foot location in early 2005. We finally had the space to add to our office staff, and today we have ten in the office, including sales, purchasing, accounting, and more. Our manufacturing staff has grown from just Maria to about 20 employees today.
Shots of the sewing shop and office in our current location
In the beginning, everything was handwritten. Now we use a fully integrated software system that encompasses everything from sales to job production to shipping to accounting, and much more. We also developed a custom software application to create sewing plans. Our website has evolved from a simple site built by Megan to a large professionally-designed site that gets a large number of hits each month, and just a couple of months ago, this blog was added.
We are really a family here at Sew What? Each month, we all get together, celebrate birthdays and company anniversaries, and share cake and memories. We care about each other, and we care about our customers and vendors, and I think that comes through. We have customers and vendors that have been with us and supported us almost from the beginning, and that is pretty incredible. It has been a lot of hard work, late nights, weekends – “blood, sweat, and tears” as they say – but it has been worth it. That little business that started on a kitchen table so many years ago is now a growing, vibrant and exciting business that is recognized as a leader in its industry. Who would have thought, all those years ago?