“We decided to create a product that provides home sewers with everything they could ever need.”Larry GeffnerCEO
“We decided to create a product that provides home sewers with everything they could ever need.”
Larry Geffner started his career in the garment industry over forty years ago and has been working in the Garment District ever since. As a young adult, he got his first job in pleating, working with his father. This experience played a formative role in teaching him everything about pleating, stitching, and sewing. Armed with these skills, he started “Vogue” — later rebranding it “Vogue Too”, a pleating, stitching, and embroidery business focused on garment development for independent designers and design houses. While still leading Vogue Too’s operations, Larry more recently decided to expand into the direct-to-consumer space. To do so, he joined forces with Brenda VanName in 2018 and founded Threadymade, a company that sells pattern-free sewing kits using designer quality fabrics.
“It is the simplest that sewing can be.”
Threadymade offers pre-pleated and pre-smocked sewing kits to sewers of all levels. As Larry describes it, “We have twelve-year-olds using our kits, as well as adults transforming our skirt kits into pants.” Originally, Larry and Brenda planned on creating kits that did not necessarily include every step of the sewing process, but they soon realized that many home sewers would not have some of the necessary items on hand. They conducted some research and found that no one offered everything a beginner would need to create a piece. “Why only offer a few things when we can offer everything?”, shared Larry. As a result, the kits they launched contained absolutely everything that a first-time sewer might need, including pre-cut fabric, a guide with cutouts to facilitate sewing, and required elastics or straps. Each kit even contains an extra panel of fabric to play around with and make a mask or a headband. The only item that is not included is a sewing machine.
“If home sewers were to buy every piece on their own, it would cost them twice as much.”
To improve their customers’ experience and educate inexperienced sewers, Threadymade goes the extra mile by providing paper guides and “how-to” YouTube videos to its audience. These visual guides also demonstrate the behind-the-scenes work, from the pleating process to inserting elastics. Threadymade’s goal is to make the process as easy as possible and encourage curiosity and creativity.
As a bonus, Threadymade ensures that all materials come from high-quality, pre-existing fabrics; the business values sustainability and does not import fabrics or other materials. Finally, thanks to Threadymade’s partnership with Vogue Too, all kits are created and assembled in the Garment District, thereby allowing the company to further reduce its carbon footprint.
“We are a one-stop-shop whereas a lot of other companies only cover one step of the process.”
As a startup, Threadymade has encountered several challenges, with the pandemic hitting hardest. COVID and the national lockdown halted manufacturing at Vogue Too, which also reduced the quantity of materials supplied to Threadymade. Additionally, Larry notes that the garment industry’s shift from sourcing production domestically to sourcing it globally has led to hardships. In the 2000s, larger fashion brands relocated their production to lower-cost countries, to the detriment of small local companies that are paying more for materials and workers. However, he learned to adapt using innovative ways of working and optimizing his processes.