Alabama Chanin was born over two decades ago with just three employees. From the beginning, we were committed to a few central ideals, among them the importance of producing ethically and responsibly and the value of community.
- Share the Alabama Chanin commitment to good, clean, and fair work and life
- In passionate pursuit to design, responsibly produce, and sell products and experiences that enrich life, community, and planet
- Give service that makes people happy
- Show love and care in all our action
- Enrich as many lives as possible
- Provide abundant fiscal rewards to ourselves and our community
Founded in 2006, Alabama Chanin relocated to The Factory in Florence's Industrial Park in 2008.
That same year, Natalie published Alabama Stitch Book, the first of five (and counting) School of Making books. Our DIY arm – Alabama Studio Style D.I.Y. emerged organically from the response to that book and those that followed: Alabama Studio Style, Alabama Studio Sewing + Design, Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns, and The Geometry of Hand-Sewing. Our maker community continued to grow and it inspired us to launch The School of Making in 2014, which oversees Alabama Chanin’s ever-evolving educational programming including workshops and other initiatives.
In November 2013, we opened The Factory and slowly developed it into a sustainable shopping and gathering space. The Factory is home to our Friends of the Café Dinner Series, which allows us to bring nationally-recognized chefs and food experts into our community. The Factory has grown and expanded over time to include a variety of unique experiences for our guests.
After a few years of experimentation and steady growth, we launched our machine-made line in 2014. This collection of garments and home goods has expanded each year and is part of our long-term plan for creating sustainable goods at a lower price point. That line has folded into the Alabama Chanin collection as we’ve learned what it means to make things by machine, by hand, and in keeping with the tenets of Slow Fashion. We have also worked diligently to secure a supply chain that we can trust. As a way to assist other designers who need help in those same areas, we established Bldg. 14 Design + Manufacturing Services. We use the breadth of our production to facilitate collaboration and work with a range of other designers who believe in community, sustainable supply chains, and quality production.
As we developed the Bldg. 14 arm, we created a partnership between The School of Making and Nest, the non-profit organization that partners with artisans across the world to help establish and grow businesses that have social and economic impact. Central to this partnership was the plan to educate our local community in modern manufacturing techniques, in our best effort to reverse the trend of outsourced manufacturing.
- Quality products
- Impeccable service
- A great place to shop and eat
- Solid profits
- A great place to work
- Strong relationships
- A place to learn
- An active part of our community
Hierarchy of Systems
- Quality (to make, do, and be the very best that we can)
- Team (to work in a way that creates a strong, unified team within the organization and a positive working environment)
- Organic (adhering as closely as possible to certified organic standards)
- Local/Regional/Domestic (when all things are equal, purchase and use resources as close to home as possible)
- Design/Aesthetic/Purpose (to be designed and manufactured in the most purposeful and beautiful way)
- Price/Financial (to be affordable and also to benefit Alabama Chanin in the best possible way)
- Community (to be a benefit for the larger community in our region and around the globe)
- Press (alignment with a product or an organization lends to creating and/or strengthening our role in any of the previous seven items)