Sewing pot holders and pillows may seem old fashion, but one local grandma has found enough success in her sewing business to provide a living for herself and two grandsons.
Marlene Moore started Home Comforts and Moore in 2001, just after retiring from teaching.
“I thought I need to do something. What am I going to do,” she said. “I decided I had some pretty good sewing skills so I decided to turn it into a business.”
She started with kids clothes and pillows and found her way into doing wholesale in Denver. After a few years she decided to do some retail sales, mostly at arts and crafts festivals across Arizona, and her product line expanded as she had direct contact with her customers.
Today Home Comforts and Moore sells pot holders, aprons, T-shirts, dog collars, key chains, pillows, napkins and so much more —all in unique fabrics and all sewn with care.
Just over a year ago Moore began selling her items on Etsy.com. In just over a year the online shop has sold more than 200 items — that’s on top of the thousands she sells at festivals.
The success of the business wouldn’t be possible without the help of Moore’s two adult grandsons, Travis and Jacob Lucas. She taught both to sew and together the three of them piece together all their products with a perfectionist’s touch.
“It’s become a selling point,” said Jacob, 28. “People look at the products and say ‘You made this?’ She comes up with the creative ideas and teaches me and my brother. Her biggest compliment is that the sewing is very good. Everything we make is high quality and people like the patterns and fabrics.”
Jacob said the job is serious, like any business, but there are perks working for your grandmother. Most days he enjoys free lunch and the work environment is very positive.
“There are no rules to what we’re doing here,” he said. “Sometimes we get an idea and we just run with it. She’s really good at that.”
Through the rest of the year Home Comforts and Moore has 19 events planned across Arizona and their shop on Etsy.com is always open. Moore also still does wholesale. It’s non-stop work, but working with her family and doing something she enjoys has made it worth it.
“We inspire each other,” she said. “We are always coming up with creative ideas to grow our business and it has really grown. Sometimes you just have to take a deep breath and wonder if you can catch up.”
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