Lindsay Brook Designs (Birmingham)
The Maker: Lindsay Bolcar
When Lindsay Bolcar decided to pursue sewing goods for a living, she had an important realization.
“When I first started I tried to choose (fabrics) people would like and then I quickly was like, ‘You know what? People like what I like, so I’m just going to choose what I like,” she said.
That has been her approach to her business, Lindsay Brook Designs, and it is serving her well.
She has built her company primarily through neckties, bowties, scarves, hair bows and scrunchies. She also does a number of custom orders for weddings, baptisms and other special events.
Bolcar is amazed at how fast things have happened since she decided to pursue sewing.
“I accidently became a business owner,” she said. “About five years ago, we were struggling financially and I kind of looked around, ‘What can I make and sell?’ And I started making little smock dresses and my friends bought them and it kind of just became known that I would sew things for money.”
A bowtie here or a scarf there quickly turned into word-of-mouth sales, and that grew to trade shows and farmers markets.
Bolcar said she likes to choose slightly vintage styles but not too vintage. She believes the patterns she uses are a mix of modern and retro, and that gives them a broad appeal across generations. She acknowledges that she has a decidedly floral bent.
Bolcar sells her products online through her Etsy shop and a number of retail shops in Alabama and as far away as Wyoming, Colorado, Washington and Maine.
It’s holding true that people seem to like what she likes.
“I’m just beyond grateful that I can sew and make things with my hands and also contribute to the area that we live in and be a positive force in the community instead of a drain,” Bolcar said.
The product: Handmade ties and scarves.
Take home: A polka-dotted scarf ($16.99).