Author Archives: Alabama

SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY @ THE FACTORY

SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY @ THE FACTORY

In 2010, American Express founded Small Business Saturday as a way to help small businesses gain local attention, and in turn, more customers. Small Business Saturday falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday—two of the biggest (and busiest) shopping days of the year, occurring at big box retail locations and e-commerce platforms, respectively. The day encourages consumers to make an impact in their neighborhood and community by shopping at small businesses instead of major retailers.

Over the past several years, this shopping day has grown into something of a movement. Small Business Saturday has been officially recognized by the U.S. Senate, and politicians all over the nation (including President Obama) have expressed their support. Each year, more and more communities and businesses get involved and promote the importance of shopping “small”. It is the hope of all those participating that this, the fifth year of Small Business Saturday, is the biggest one yet.

For the first time since opening last November, The Factory Store + Café at Alabama Chanin will be open on Saturday, November 29th, as part of Small Business Saturday; and, per many requests, we will begin keeping shop hours each following Saturday. This decision came about in order to make our storefront and café more easily accessible to those who may work during the week or live too far away for a weekday visit. (Weekend road trip, anyone?)

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THE FACTORY | THIS WEEK 11.17.2014 – 11.21.2014

THE FACTORY | THIS WEEK 11.17.2014 – 11.21.2014

“I’m grateful for always this moment, the now, no matter what form it takes.” – Eckhart Tolle

Here is what we have going on this week, Monday, November 17 – Friday, November 21:

STORE

Join us on Monday, November 17 for Third Mondays @ The Factory. Come and connect with fellow sewers and share inspiration while working on your latest project.

The Factory Store and Café will be open on November 29 as we participate in Small Business Saturday. Stop by The Factory to shop locally and receive 25% off your in-store purchase.

There’s still time to pre-order the fourth installment from our Alabama Studio Series, Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns. All pre-orders will ship in the spring with a special surprise. When you pre-order a copy, you can request to receive an electronic postcard at checkout that can be easily printed and wrapped for a holiday present.

Store Hours
Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm

TOURS
Stop by any weekday at 2:00pm for a guided tour of our space, including The Factory, the Alabama Chanin production and design studio, and Building 14.

CAFÉ
Join us for lunch at The Factory Café this week and enjoy our fresh, seasonal offerings.

Just in time for holiday celebrations, we now have freshly baked whole cakes available to purchase for $38 each from The Factory Café. Please give at least a 24-hour notice when placing your order.

Also, don’t forget to check out our ready-to-go items like fresh ciabatta bread, egg salad, pimento cheese, and our soup of the day.

Café Hours
Monday – Friday, 11:00am – 3:00pm
*Lunch service begins at 11:00am, but coffee and snacks are available all day.

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2015 SWATCH OF THE MONTH

SWATCH OF THE MONTH 2015

In 2014, we were inspired by our extensive fabric library—and readers expressed interest in trying new techniques—to create our first Swatch of the Month Club. Our library of sample swatches archives over 500 techniques, embroideries, fabric treatments, and colorways that we have experimented with or used in past and upcoming Alabama Chanin collections.

If you have visited one of our trunk shows or attended a workshop, you have likely browsed giant binders of these swatches. Each individual sample represents a small moment in our company’s history and growth—as a whole, they represent a decade of design history. In 2015, we are offering a new Swatch of the Month Club with an expanded selection of stencils and techniques. We learned a few things about this process during our 2014 run and have updated the program this year to reflect those lessons and streamline, saving packaging and reducing our carbon-footprint.

When you enroll in Swatch of the Month 2015, you will receive the full year’s necessary notions (thread, embroidery floss, and a label), along with the first month’s swatch in a beautifully wrapped box. For those who want to add additional embellishment to swatches, you have the option to add 6oz. of chop beads, 6oz. of bugle beads, and 1oz. of sequins for an extra $30—or you may choose to purchase sequins and beads separately. Select this option upon ordering and you will receive all beads, along with your notions, in your first package. After the initial shipment, we will mail your 10” x 16” fabric swatches and an informational insert via United States Postal Service (USPS) at the beginning of each month.

SWATCH OF THE MONTH 2015

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LAVENDER-INFUSED VODKA

LAVENDER-INFUSED VODKA

This month, we offer our second installment on creative cocktails from Jesse Goldstein on the often overlooked of beauty lavender as a flavor. Hopefully you will be inspired to experiment with your own infusions to create spirits with complex, but delicious, flavors.

While the idea of infusing herbs and botanicals into spirits may seem to be more popular these days than taking a “selfie”, the practice is nothing new. Take Chartreuse for example: infused with more than 130 botanicals, Chartreuse has been made by the Carthusian Monks in the French Alps since 1737. But just because infusing is an old idea does not mean that we can’t continue to interpret (and reinterpret) the process to create flavors that are fresh, modern and, most importantly, breathtakingly delicious.

The flavor of lavender has never really caught on in this country, though for centuries it has been used around the world as an herb and condiment. (Please watch Juliette of the Herbs.) While it often finds its way into an abundance of scented candles, lotions, and soaps, all too rarely does it find a home in our food and drinks.

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CHILDCRAFT: THE HOW AND WHY LIBRARY

CHILDCRAFT: THE HOW AND WHY LIBRARY

On a recent outing scavenging local thrift and antique stores, I stumbled upon a set of children’s encyclopedias, titled Childcraft: The How and Why Library. Although an incomplete collection, the books were in good shape and decently priced so I happily acquired the lot. (I am a known collectorhoarder, lover, gatherer—of books.)

While modern encyclopedias have existed for around three centuries, the first set aimed at children (aptly titled the Children’s Encyclopaedia) appeared in the early 1900s. The Childcraft books were first published in the 1930s, with updated versions produced throughout subsequent decades. The editions I found were copyrighted 1976, and I was particularly intrigued by the volume titled Make and Do, which is full of simple, kid-friendly crafts, including sewing projects aimed to make learning (and doing) fun.

CHILDCRAFT: THE HOW AND WHY LIBRARY

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THE FACTORY | THIS WEEK 11.10.2014 – 11.14.2014

THE FACTORY | THIS WEEK 11.10,.2014 – 11.14.2014

“What works good is better than what looks good, because what works good lasts.” – Ray Eames

Here is what we have going on this week, Monday, November 10 – Friday, November 14:

STORE

Join us on Monday, November 10 for the next installment of our On Design lecture series. This month, the conversation continues with a lecture about Charles and Ray Eames—husband and wife designers—and mid-century design. Registration is $7 and includes admission, participation, and a cup of The Factory blend coffee, a cold drink, or tea.

Our 2015 Swatch of the Month club launches on Thursday, November 13. Register in-store or online before Black Friday to receive your first package in time for holiday gift-giving (or to stitch for yourself).

Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns, the fourth book in our Alabama Studio Series, is still available to pre-order. All pre-orders will ship in the spring with a special surprise. When you pre-order a copy, you can request to receive an electronic postcard at checkout that can be easily printed and wrapped for a holiday present.

Store Hours
Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm

TOURS
Stop by any weekday at 2:00pm for a guided tour of our space, including The Factory, the Alabama Chanin production and design studio, and Building 14.

CAFÉ
Join us for lunch at The Factory Café this week and enjoy our fresh, seasonal offerings.

Also, don’t forget to check out our ready-to-go items like fresh ciabatta bread, egg salad, pimento cheese, and our soup of the day.

Café Hours
Monday – Friday, 11:00am – 3:00pm
*Lunch service begins at 11:00am, but coffee and snacks are available all day.

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I BELONG TO THIS BAND

I BELONG TO THIS BAND

Here at Alabama Chanin, we continue to be drawn to the distinct and historical Dust-to-Digital catalog. Dust-to-Digital is a unique recording company that serves to combine rare recordings with historical images and descriptive texts, resulting in cultural artifacts. We have previously written about several of their collections that resonate so well with our brand. We believe in preserving traditions, and Dust-to-Digital truly speaks to that with their historically rich albums.

I Belong to this Band: 85 Years of Sacred Harp Recordings is a moving glimpse into the history of Sacred Harp singing and its deep Southern ties. Compiled by Matt Hinton and Lance Ledbetter, this CD features 30 recordings as varied as the earliest recordings of the genre from the 1920s, 30s and 40s. It also includes a pleasant mix of home recordings made by small groups of singers in the 1950s as well as contemporary recordings of all-day singings.

I BELONG TO THIS BAND

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ON DESIGN: THE EAMES + MID-CENTURY DESIGN

ON DESIGN: THE EAMES + MID-CENTURY DESIGN

Join us this Monday at The Factory for the second lecture in our conversation series: On Design. Last month, Natalie spoke on the Bauhaus and the creative process. This month the conversation continues with a lecture about Charles and Ray Eames, husband and wife designers, and mid-century design. We’ve been finding inspiration from the timeless furniture, interior, and design details featured in Mid-Century Modern, by friend Bradley Quinn.

On Design is part of our ongoing Makeshift conversation about design, art, business, community, and much more. As one of our educational initiatives, the lecture series falls under the umbrella of The School of Making, a new arm of the Alabama Chanin Family of Businesses. We continue working to give The School of Making an active voice in our local community, our state, and the making community, at large. We hope you will join the conversation.

Open-to-the-public with limited seating, the cost includes admission, participation, and a cup of The Factory blend coffee, a cold drink, or tea. Register here for our second event.

On Design: The Eames + Mid-Century Design
Makeshift multimedia presentation by Natalie Chanin

November 10, 2014
10:30am – 11:30am
The Factory @ Alabama Chanin
462 Lane Drive, Florence, Alabama
Open-to-the-Public with Limited Seating
Registration Required
$7.00

Look for more information on this and other upcoming Makeshift events on our Journal and/or join our mailing list.

ON DESIGN: THE EAMES + MID-CENTURY DESIGN

 

UNCONVENTIONAL & UNEXPECTED

UNCONVENTIONAL & UNEXPECTED

I’ve never met Roderick Kiracofe, but, I’ve known about his quilt collection for a long time. I believe that I heard his name shortly after I returned to Alabama over a decade ago. In those early days, I was working with quilters to create the garments that would make up my first collections. My neighbors supported my interest in quilts and quilting, happy that I was embracing a skill so highly valued in the community. Back then, it wasn’t uncommon for me to open my door in the morning and find a bag of quilts left by an anonymous soul. They were often “garbage quilts”, as they are called around here—quilts that had seen better days. Many were shedding handpicked cotton through feed-sack fabric, worn so thin that the strings left couldn’t contain the internal batting. They were quilts that had been used to cover animals or as seat padding for an old car. But someone knew that I would see their value and appreciate their history.

UNCONVENTIONAL & UNEXPECTED

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