We can not get enough of the hip and unique designs that Cloth & Twig Shop creates. From fancy custom wedding portraits, to adorable family portraits, to silly and cheeky embroidery hoops, you’re going to find something you love with Cloth & Twig Shop. And what is super intriguing is Karly’s creative journey and how she eventually founded Cloth & Twig.
Let’s get to know Karly and the story behind Cloth & Twig Shop!
Hi there! I’m Karly and my shop name is Cloth & Twig Shop. I create family & wedding heirlooms in cross stitch. I also create home portraits, cross stitch pillows and other fun wall art!
I work out of my home in Southern California. More specifically, my kitchen! I’ve converted a small portion of it into a functioning work space. I started stitching in 2013. I opened Cloth & Twig Shop just under a year ago!
How did you get started in your line of work?
My background is not super crafty. I graduated from FIDM (The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) with a degree in cosmetics merchandising and marketing. I worked as a makeup artist for a few companies and then moved into children’s wholesale clothing & accessories. Once I became a mom, I chose to become a doula and childbirth educator. It was an amazing time in my life but my on call schedule and home life was very out of balance. During my time as a doula, my husband started traveling a lot and I decided to take up a hobby. Cross stitch called my name and I gave it a go! It took me 4 months to finish my first project. But I was hooked.
During my last few months of doula-ing & teaching, I had a few friends ask me to make them in cross stitch. And thats how Cloth & Twig Shop was born.
How did you come up with the name of your shop?
The naming of my shop was a bit random. I wanted it to reflect the product that I was offering but not include cross stitch or something of the like. I looked at what my portraits were made of and it was essentially a piece of cloth to stitch on and a twig thats been formed into a hoop.
How do you create your work?
Each piece that I create is personalized. Each client fills out a short form with details for their portrait & we discuss their photos and outfits they’d like to see. Then I send over a color sketch for their approval or to make any tweaks before I stitch. Then I get to work! It normally takes about 8 hours for a simple portrait of 2-3 characters. More characters = more time spent!
When stitching is done, the portrait is cleaned, ironed, and mounted to be put into a frame or put in a hoop. Each portrait is beautifully wrapped and sent off to its home!
What is the inspiration for your work?
My inspiration is all of my clients! They send me photos and small pieces of their lives for me to freeze in stitches. I never get the same request twice. There are items in my shop that clients have inspired! I feel so lucky to create these portraits that will be in families for a very long time.
What is your next new exciting project?
Right now, I have a new product coming out the end of May. I have a large pillow for home decor but I will have a small version for anyone thats planning a wedding to add that special touch.
I am also going to be working on career portraits. Graduations, professions, etc like the doula I have in my shop now. I just need some time to get them in the shop, my clients keep me busy. Stay tuned!
As a small business owner, what is one piece of advice you would share with other small business owners?
I would want to encourage everyone to be their biggest cheerleader. Believe in your product. Believe in yourself. Believe in your creativity. If you can do that, you can reach your biggest goals, dreams, and beyond what you imagine. Its not always easy, but don’t give up on yourself.
What is a quote that you personally live by, or you have shared with others for inspiration?
My personal quote is verse from Joshua 1:9
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
It reminds me that I can do anything & I know Im never alone.
Why did you choose to join aftcra, and what do you enjoy about the community?
I chose to join to have more ‘eyes’ on my product, and I appreciate that aftcra supports US-based and created businesses!
What does “handmade” and “handcrafted” mean to you?
Handmade means that its made with your two hands! For me, my product is a true labor of love. I put about 15 hours average into each portrait. Usually more! Handmade means authentic, loving, and unique goods.
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