Since the first of the month falls on a Saturday, I decided to push up our Small Business Series post up a bit. So today I'd like you to meet the owner of one of my favorite stores and one of the sweetest people you'll ever meet, Lindsay Zodrow of Collected Thread. I first met Lindsay when I was in college at OSU in a printmaking class. I really enjoyed the art of print making but wasn't really great at it-- and I was always so jealous of Lindsay's work because it was so fantastic! In fact I still have a print that she made of 4 birds, which reminds me of her cute little bird logo. In addition to her shop, she has started a wedding like of handmade head pieces, boutonnieres and other wedding goods. So Let's hear from Lindsay:
Business Name: Collected Thread, a handmade boutique located in the heart of the Plaza District
Favorite Dessert: Tiramisu and chocolate chip cookies
Favorite Artist/Album: My favorite artist is Robert Rausenberg and musican is a tie between Sherree Chamberlain, Other Lives, Simon and Garfunkel, and , at the moment, Mumford and Sons.
When did you start your business? September of 2008
What inspired you to start it? I have always made things for my own entertainment. When I was in high school, I was one of the dorky kids who spent the weekends painting on my closet walls. When I moved to OKC after going to OSU( with a certain lady who is doing some mighty fine photography), I started a traveling artist market with my friend, Nora Bonnell. We would set up once a month and sell our handmade goods along with other artists. Once I realized how much people loved what we were doing, the store began to form in my mind.
What would you say was your biggest challenge to overcome? Probably the fact that I don’t have a clue as to what I am doing!!! I love making things but running a business is a whole other story. I have made a million gazillion mistakes but have learned so much.
Who/what was your biggest encouragement and why? I never would have started Collected Thread if it wasn’t for my husband’s encouragement and financial support. I am beyond thankful that he wanted me to pursue this crazy idea in my head. My next door neighbor, Amanda Bradway of DNA Galleries, has also been such an encouragement. We are doing the same thing by having handmade shops but in two vey different ways. It is so great to be able to ask her questions or throw ideas off of her.
What is your favorite part of your business: I love the community I have in the Plaza District. I love the random places conversation with customers goes. I LOVE getting to create new displays and installations in the shop. And it is pretty neat when a customer tells me that they feel inspired from being in the shop.
If you had advice to anyone who might be starting a business like yours? UCO has a small business development center in downtown OKC that is incredibly helpful. I would recommend meeting with them. And then get to know and support your business community. I love the relationships that I have with other businesses in OKC. We are not competing with each other but promoting each business. We hang out together on the weekends, throw wedding and baby showers for each other, and even write letters when someone is going through a hard time. I LOVE the business community in OKC.
Anything else about your small business that you’re passionate about? Anything HANDMADE!! It is the biggest compliment to me when a customer comes in and doesn’t believe something is handmade. I love it when an artist takes a trade that has been passed down and makes something modern and unique with it. I love getting to show off the talent that exists in Oklahoma. I have a lot of Oklahoma pride for someone who grew up in Texas.
Shameless plug: For anyone who has never been in the Plaza District, it is a great young local artists district on 16th in between Classen and Penn. We have an amazing art walk on the 2nd Friday of every month called LIVE on the Plaza. You will find artists selling on the street, local music, food trucks, street performers and whatever crazy stuff we are doing that month. Find more info at plazadistrict.org.
From Ely: Now, one of the things that I found really inspiring about visiting Lindsay is that she has her son in the shop with her. I really admire all the moms who are able to balance their work life alongside being a full time caregiver. Seriously, I don't know how you ladies (and gentlemen!) do it. Sometimes it's noon before I realize that I've forgotten to feed Pete breakfast. But Lindsay told me that she had committed to have her son Noah as part of her business plan and works along side him. She will even close up shop for a couple minutes at a time to feed and care for Noah with no apologies. Kudos to you Lindsay!