Tag Archives: Events



This week we will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, to celebrate the joys of the holiday season with our families.

We will re-open, with regular shop hours (shown above) on Friday, on December 26th, featuring our annual Inventory Sale both in-store and online.

Make post-holiday plans to visit us at The Factory:
462 Lane Drive,
Florence, Alabama 35630

Call us +1.256.760.1090 or email office (at) alabamachanin.com




In 1982, Ari Weinzweig and his business partner Paul Saginaw opened Zingerman’s Delicatessen in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Today, that institution has evolved into a collection of food specialty businesses (known as the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses, or ZCoB) that includes a bakery, mail order operation, a coffee company, candy manufacturer, a barbeque restaurant, creamery, and a catering and event planning service. The decision to build new, independent businesses (instead of franchising the deli) proved to be an sustainable strategy for operating a business, an effective approach for establishing growth opportunities for employees, and a way to ultimately give back to their Ann Arbor community.

In March 2015, we are delighted to be hosting Ari and our friends from Zingerman’s here at The Factory in Florence. I’ve long been an admirer and student of Ari’s work, teachings, and books. (And as an introduction to Ari, you might want to check out this interview with him on our Journal.) His philosophies and approaches to running a business have helped me and the Alabama Chanin family create a better work environment here at The Factory. Our staff studied Ari’s latest book, Managing Ourselves, as part of a workplace enrichment program, and we each wrote visions of how we want to take ownership of our individual roles, while benefiting the team and helping the company grow as a whole.


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Newsletter #23

We have a lot of new announcements this month online and at The Factory. Our holiday Evergreen collection launches online tomorrow, and our DIY Gift Guide will be featured online beginning Thursday, December 11th.

This Thursday from 2:00pm – 4:00pm we will also host a Holiday High Tea at The Factory to celebrate the one-year anniversary of The Factory Store + Café’s grand opening. We invite our friends and neighbors to enjoy complementary high tea and to shop the Alabama Chanin holiday market (look for our Evergreen collection too). The Factory is now open on Saturdays. The store is open from 10:00am – 4:00pm, and the café is open from 11:00am – 2:00pm.

Join our mailing list to receive our monthly newsletter and keep up with our latest news, new products, and stories featured on our Journal.

Update your mailing subscription to include the newsletter here.
xoNatalie and all of us @ Alabama Chanin



The notion of the five-day workweek was introduced in the early 20th century in New England, as a way for Jewish workers to observe the Sabbath. This idea slowly spread to factories across the nation—mainly due to union demands. Department stores were also gaining popularity during the late 1800s and early 1900s and, once the 40-hour workweek became standard, more and more people began to spend their newly established weekends shopping in the city.

As weekend and holiday shopping became a popular pastime, big department stores began to construct window displays with the intent of luring shoppers inside. These creative and festive displays originally introduced the notion of “window shopping.”

Some of my favorite memories as a child were Saturdays with my grandparents and cousins on trips “to town,” window shopping, strolling the sidewalks, lunch at Trowbridge’s Ice Cream Bar, and catching up with friends and neighbors. When we began talking about a Saturday opening and lunch at The Factory, these childhood Saturday memories came to mind.

After a successful year of weekday commerce (our one year anniversary was November 18th), The Factory Store and Café are now open for business each Saturday. My daughter Maggie, who doesn’t yet know what it means to “work”, is excited to have the chance to help in the café. We are grateful to our staff who have rearranged their schedules to allow for Saturday opening, and to all of our guests who made a visit last Saturday. Please join us for brunch each and every Saturday for an ever-changing and evolving menu.

Thank you to everyone who made this first year a roaring success. We are grateful for each and every visit and hope to see you again soon.


The Factory Store
9:00am – 5:00pm Weekdays
10:00am – 4:00pm Saturdays

The Factory Café
11:00am – 2:00pm Monday – Saturday



On Design - The History of Stenciling

Join us this Monday at The Factory for the third conversation in our On Design Series. This week Natalie discusses the practice of stenciling—including examples of designs throughout history and various techniques used over time, alongside a short, hands-on introduction to making stencils.

Monday, December 8, 2014
10:30am – 11:30am

Alabama Chanin @ The Factory
462 Lane Drive
Florence, AL 35630


Open-to-the-public, the cost includes admission, participation in the conversation, and a cup of The Factory blend coffee, a cold drink, or tea.

Register here for our third event.

P.S.: If you can’t make it to the lecture and want to experiment with stencils on your own, we have a selection of stenciling materials and design resources on our website and a suggested reading list here.

If you are interested in learning more detailed stenciling techniques, we are offering our first One-Day Stenciling Workshop on May 14, 2015. During this workshop, we will design and create stencils through combinations of original artworks and existing stencils. Workshop participants have the opportunity to work with a variety of stenciling materials, experiment with mixing fabric paint, and explore a variety of stencil transfer methods like airbrushing, painting, sponging, permanent and fabric markers, fabric pastels, and transferring inkjet patterns onto fabric.

Learn more about this and all of our workshops through The School of Making.



#givingtuesday and #gratitude

Today, December 2, 2014, is the second annual #GivingTuesday.

“It’s a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company, or your organization to come together to give something more. Then tell everyone you can about how you are giving. Join us and be a part of a global celebration of a new tradition of generosity.”

Remember SOLA and so many others that could use a little help. Gratitude is everywhere to be found.


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?) Continue reading



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. Registration required.

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


Essentials (1)

Join us this Thursday evening, November 6th, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm in Austin, Texas, for a reception celebrating our Alabama Chanin pop-up shop inside the Billy Reid store at 1122 West 6th Street. The Austin store features our Heath + Alabama Chanin collaboration, Alabama Chanin Essentials, alongside our hand-dyed Indigo, books, and more.

For more information, contact: austin (at) billyreid.com, sales (at) alabamachanin.com, or call, +1.512.354.1884.

See you there,

Essentials (2)





Alabama Chanin as a concept and a company began as a DIY enterprise. I made the first garments by hand, to fit my own body. Our entire business model was created because I couldn’t find manufacturing for the sort of garment I wanted to make—and so, we created our own manufacturing system, one stitch at a time.

Because those first garments were made from recycled t-shirts, many of our customers took the concept and re-imagined it for themselves, making their own patterns and clothing. Others felt that—with just a little help—they could create something similar, something that was their own. Almost accidentally, our garments were stirring in others the desire to make. Slowly, and as the internet became more robust, sewers formed groups on the internet to share their Alabama Chanin-style garments and swap ideas. This was the beginning of a more formal DIY presence in our company.

These things were happening at the same time as I began writing our first Studio Book, Alabama Stitch Book. Writing that book helped me crystallize my thoughts on making, open sourcing, and education. It was, in essence, me putting voice to what was important about sharing ideas and creating a community of makers. Throughout the writing process—and as the company grew and evolved over the years—I returned again and again to the idea of keeping the living arts alive. It’s the belief that survival skills for food, clothing, and shelter, are important arts that we live with every single day. And these arts—often considered secondary arts—are equally (and perhaps more) important as the “primary” arts of painting and sculpture.

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