Augusta Handmade Fair

Our Spring Event is on May 4th from 12-4pm.

CRUELTY-FREE STITCHERY

handmade non-paper towels, cloth wipes, cotton rounds, straw pouches, reusable totes, and more

Meet The Artist

WHO ARE YOU, WHERE ARE YOU FROM, & WHAT DO YOU DO?
My name is Abby, I’m from Kentucky and moved to Augusta last year. I’ve been passionate about the environment since third grade, and have been sewing for just as long – over 20 years! Finally, I put the two together in 2018, and started my business Cruelty-Free Stitchery to help you start making less waste – in ways you’ll actually stick to!
I found the reusable product options on the market to be “underwhelmingly beige,” and so expensive that I didn’t want to use them. Now I make a variety of reusable cloth products, the most popular being NonPaper Towels – in bold, interesting prints and colors.

DESCRIBE YOUR PROCESS. All of my products are made in small batches, with as little waste and as few synthetic materials as possible – down to the smallest details like thread and tags. When I have a new product idea, I put the design through a pretty extensive test before I even cut the first piece of fabric.
For example, the pieces must fit all parts of the fabric – which influences how big the pieces are, as well as how much fabric I purchase. (I use algebra and geometry more often than I’d like to admit!)

Most of my products are meant to directly replace an otherwise disposable item, but I’m excited to be expanding into making accessories with secondhand and scrap materials – like my key fobs and foldable tote bags.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Just a few weeks ago, I received an email from someone that placed an order a little over a year ago. They told me they previously used a roll of paper towels per week – and now after using my NonPaper Towels, they only used two rolls of paper towels for the entire year!

It’s stories like that, along with the little community I’ve found of my fellow “imperfect environmentalists.”

FUN FACT ABOUT YOU.
I’ve been vegan for almost 10 years, and am Autistic and ADHD!

FAVORITE THING ABOUT DOWNTOWN AUGUSTA.
My husband and I love to visit both record stores – Grantski and Psychotronic!

WHY DO YOU LOVE TO DESIGN, CREATE + MAKE?
It sounds counterintuitive, but being creative gives me a sense of control in an otherwise chaotic world. If something isn’t right, I can fix it or start over.

With sewing in particular, I love the connection to the past. I was taught by both of my grandmothers, who were taught by their mothers, and so on and so on. Sewists today still use the same techniques, even as it has become more of a hobby/craft and less of an essential life skill like it was for our ancestors.

WHAT IS ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WOULD SHARE WITH OTHER ARTISTS + MAKERS?
Don’t forget yourself. We can get so caught up in what will sell, what products to make, what the price should be, etc that we forget to enjoy the process or why we started in the first place! Your customers want to buy from a person, not a faceless corporation – so it’s okay to sprinkle a bit of your personality into your products and marketing. For example, I’ve always been a “spooky” kind of person, every day is Halloween. But I was hesitant to incorporate that into my business because I didn’t think it would go well. Now my Halloweenish products are the best-selling ones, year-round!
And take time to make something for yourself – and don’t post it on social media. It’s so freeing.