The first time I learned of Heather’s mad sewing skills was Halloween, 2006, when her then four-year-old daughter rolled up to our neighborhood to trick-or-treat in a gorgeous wedding dress that apparently she requested the NIGHT BEFORE…so Heather made it. Just sat down and sewed it. Sewed her a wedding dress!
And not a simple A-line shift, either, but Ariel’s wedding dress from The Little Mermaid. Puffy sleeves, box pleats, aqua trim, layers upon layers of white satin, exactly like the one below.
She’s got skills, and not just in the sewing department. She’s a savvy business owner who can run numbers, deftly manage inventory, kindly help customers, pick fabulous colors, order fun new products, and who always has her eye on design and on the next new thing. She keeps Peekawhoo hopping and moving forward, and she’s been a business owner for 11 years.
Read on to learn more…
1. Why embroidery?
I started sewing after my daughter was born and took all those pieces to be monogrammed to a local shop in Atlanta. After my son was born, I wanted to start working for myself from home. Monogramming seemed like a good fit. I asked the woman who owned the shop in Atlanta how she started and she ended up mentoring me through the process of starting an embroidery business from home, just as she had done. She was a tremendous resource starting out. Everyone needs a mentor.
Vintage Simply Stiched, Heather’s first business
2. What’s the biggest challenge of owning a small business?
It’s a constant hustle, because no one is going to sell it better than you do. There’s no “how to run a successful online embroidery business” guide book. We are the marketing team and decision makers and we’re not always right. But, you keep finding the things that work and do more of them, while always working on the next new idea.
We’re mostly work, but we also like to play!
3. Tell us a little about Women in Business. What prompted you and Marquin (of Marquin Designs and Vino and Van Gogh) to start this great series?
In our small town of Greenville, most of the small business owners are women and women with whom we are friends. We wanted to create a group that could get together and teach each other. Often times as women, we have a hard time asking for help or advice. We all have our strengths and weaknesses in our own businesses. Marquin and I know that we all have knowledge to share, ideas to collaborate on and that we can learn from our peers. We’ve had some great speakers join us to lead each series so far. Lots of good advice, lots of Q+A and everyone leaves with a little more than they came with. This group is designed to bring like-minded women in business together to share ideas that help us work smarter, not harder.
Women in Business at Vino and Van Gogh
4. Top three favorite concerts?
Justin Timberlake 20/20
Taylor Swift 1989
Madonna Greatest Hits Tour 2004
Bunny Shakes it Off
5. What’s your favorite Peekawhoo gift and why?
The Jellycat bunnies. Seriously, they really are the cutest, softest, most fluffiest thing ever. And they have these sweet little faces, a little cocked sideways that reminds me of my cavalier, George, when I’m talking to him. This is why we don’t wrap them in cello bags as gifts… we’re afraid they’ll suffocate.
6. What inspires you?
Fashion + Interior Design + Artists. I love color and am often wearing my favorite color pink. There’s a little bit of pink in every room in my house too. If I could go back to school, I would go to Parsons School of Design in NYC.
7. What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
My husband is truly the best gift giver. I don’t have a favorite, but he’s dialed in that I love jewelry. And he buys good stuff… As a mom, the best gifts are the ceramics the kids made in art class in elementary school. I have some that hang on the wall in the kitchen and several crumpled looking bowls that hold my coffee and sweetener. I love seeing them everyday! My teenage daughter has also taught herself hand-lettering and has made me several quotes that are special to me.
8. Beach or mountains?
Kiawah Island. That’s my happy place. I’ll take the beach + sun all day, everyday.
9. What is your favorite monogram font for a girl?
Traditional Script, it’s what I have always done for my daughter since she was a baby, and I still love it today, 14 years later.
aden + anais Dream Blanket with traditional font
For a boy?
Circle. Same for my son, it’s what I’ve always done for him. It’s classic.
Jellycat Puppy with circle monogram
10. Any closing thoughts?
I started embroidering 11 years ago and met a lot of moms who became my friends. I love that part of a small business. I never would have thought you could make internet friends too. But it’s crazy how you get to know your regular online customers and the blogger/influencers we’ve met along the way whom we also consider friends.
Heather, thanks for checking in with us and for making all of our days a little brighter by bringing us Peekawhoo.com!