Yearly Archives: 2008


From Small Is the New Big: and 183 Other Riffs, Rants, and Remarkable Business Ideas by Seth Godin :

Small is the new big. Recent changes in the way that things are made and talked about mean that big is no longer an advantage. In fact, it’s the opposite. If you want to be big, act small.

Consumers have more power than ever before.

Treating them like they don’t matter doesn’t work.

Multiple channels of information mean that it’s almost impossible to live a lie.

Authentic stories spread and last.

The ability to change fast is the single best asset in a world that’s changing fast.

Blogs matter. If you want to grow, you’ll need to touch the information-hungry, idea-sharing people who read (and write) them.

There are no side effects. Just effects.

Indulge short attention spans.

Aretha was right. Respect is the secret of success in dealing with people.

Do something that matters.

Small Is the New Big: and 183 Other Riffs, Rants, and Remarkable Business Ideas by Seth Godin


HELEN KELLER“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.” Helen Keller

Helen Keller was born and raised in Tuscumbia, Alabama, just across the Tennessee River from my home in Florence. Every year, my Grandfather Perkins would take us to see The Miracle Worker. My cousins and I always looked forward to going – not because of the content of the show – but because it was summertime and we were happy to be together. It is only since I am a grown woman that I understand the true accomplishments of this remarkable person.

This year, as part of our Alabama Studio Weekend, we will be hosting a dinner on the grounds of Ivy Green. Storytellers from around the south will grace a stage where, long ago, a small girl challenged the world, against all odds, with the steady guidance of her teacher, mentor and friend Annie Sullivan.

Learn more about Helen Keller here:

The Story of My Life

The Miracle Worker




The Arts and Crafts in Contemporary Fashion and Textiles

William Morris said, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” This is the essence of the Arts and Crafts Movement.

Joanne Ingersoll and The Museum of Art at the Rhode Island School of Design have put together an amazing show called Evolution/Revolution – The Arts and Crafts in Contemporary Fashion and Textiles which runs from February 11 – June 15, 2008.

We are honored to have two pieces included in the show. (A detail from one of our “Textile Stories” quilts is below.)


But, more important is that the Exhibition Notes are a wonderful document of the work that is going on today. While they are extremely beautiful, they are also beautifully poignant for the times in which we are living and working. Joanne has done an amazing job of addressing a difficult theme which could have easily lost its way and, consequently, given us a clear vision of where we are headed in the future.

Download the PDF version of the exhibition notes here thanks to RISD:

And read a review of the show by Greg Cook here:

I am hoping that the show will have legs and travel…




After seven years of living, working, laughing, sewing and growing in this house at Lovelace Crossroads, we are moving past “The Crossroads” and on to “The Factory.” (Home to “The Original Project Alabama.”)

Our new building, originally built in 1982 for Tennessee River Mills, sits in the heart of the industrial community that was a hub of textile production from 1976 to 1994, when NAFTA was signed. That textile community hung on through the year 2002, when the last vestiges of production were sold, closed down or moved overseas.

Steven, our production manager, once worked in the very room we will be occupying.

So, it is like a sweet homecoming to move up, move beyond and to finally have room to work on fabric yardages, new collections and other upcoming projects. A flagship store will be opening in The Factory very soon.

All of our contact information remains the same, only the location has been changed to incorporate our growing family:

Alabama Chanin (at) The Factory
462 Lane Drive
Florence, Alabama 35630

Tel: 256.760.1090

We will be updating our website over the next weeks to reflect our all of our changes.



All of us at Alabama Chanin are thankful to the New York Times for including us in this Sunday Magazine article two weeks ago:

The Coats (and Dresses and Shirts) of Utopia

But today, I am thankful and smiling about a conversation that I had with one of the team members who traveled to our offices for the photo shoot:

He said, “Embrace the perfection.”

I looked at him blankly. “What did you say? Embrace the perfection?”

“Well,” he continued, “everything always works out for the best, right?”

I laugh and reply, “Yes, it certainly seems to…”

He says, “Then the best thing you can do is embrace the perfection of this moment because it is taking you to that future where everything always works out for the best anyway.”