Baseball hats and baseball tees have been my wardrobe staples these past few weekends for judging watermelon eating competitions at the fairgrounds and buying bunkbeds at yard sales. Sonia puts a feminine twist on casual weekend wear. Even though I am in a ball cap, I still feel like I am wearing something that is my style thanks to her thoughtful designs and floral fabrics.
Sonia took some time to tell us about what inspires her designs and balancing motherhood with owning a business.
How long have you been sewing and when did you discover you love to sew?
I do very little sewing actually. Most of my work is done with embroidery machines. Some of my designs are created on embroidery machines and sewn on either by hand or with my sewing machine.
My Grandmother was a talented seamstress and ultimately inspired what I do. When I was very young she was a manager at a factory where they manufactured jeans. I loved visiting the factory and was specifically fascinated with the huge bolts of fabric and threads.
After retiring she did custom sewing and alterations for the community. She could make anything for me or my kids: cheerleading outfits, Halloween costumes, doll clothes, stuffed letters that spell out your name, so many fun things…
Where do you find the inspiration for your designs. Do you design around the beautiful fabrics you use?
Sometimes I find inspiration from fashion trends. Once I started seeing cactus prints and steer skulls on apparel and fabrics, I was inspired to do my “take” on the trend. I designed my cactus appliqué and my skull with flowers appliqué choosing a beautiful floral fabric that looked really nice on a mauve t-shirt.
Later I found a vintage quilt top in an old trunk and instantly was able to visualize how those designs would look cut out of the quilt top. Those pieces were one of a kind and instant bestsellers!
Other times I am inspired from a comment a friend or a customer makes. I make a shirt with a Rocky Top appliqué only because a friend said she wished she had a Rocky Top shirt for Tennessee Game Days. The design was immediately one of my most popular. But most of the time my daughter and I brainstorm design ideas. She is young enough to spot trends early and working in retail herself, she is a tremendous help to me. Fabric shopping for appliqués is our FAVORITE past time!
How do you balance motherhood and being a business owner?
When my daughter was almost three years old I had a little more free time because she was becoming more independent and needed me a little less. I work at home so it allows me to set my own hours. I have always been able to take my kids to school and pick them up. I can decide to take off whenever I want and if I need to I can work all night while my kids sleep (I’m a night owl). I have an Etsy shop to sell my work and I set up at several barn sales and festivals per year. My daughter is twenty now and she has been my helper/advisor/personal shopper for several years now.
Thank you for the interview Sonia! You can follow Sonia Stitch on Facebook and shop her Etsy Shop as well. She is having a pop up tent sale on July 29th for back to school. You can read more about that on her Facebook page and keep up with her future barn sale schedule.
Barn Sale photography taken by Kelly Mullins at Sweet Onida’s Barn Sale in Bloomington Springs.