We spent an afternoon with Kathie Sever, founder of chain-stitch collective Ft. Lonesome, in her Austin studio to learn about how she started her business—which has a cult following among those in the know—and why one-of-kind pieces are so, so special.
First things first: What exactly is a chain-stitch collective and what do Kathie and her team do? It starts with sourcing—she works with experts who find vintage clothing from different eras—and then her team gets started, sitting down at one of the chain-stitching machines they have in the studio and either stitching their own original designs or getting to work on a one-of-a-kind piece commissioned by a customer.
“I think we harken back to our roots when we’re able to don something made entirely with our narrative in mind,” which was a driving force behind why she started Ft. Lonesome, Kathie explains. Originally, she was working in manufacturing for her children’s clothing line and realized she wanted to be the one making the actual clothes—more hands-on, so to speak, and we mean that quite literally (nothing is mass produced at Ft. Lonesome).
So she started working on her own pieces and, like all entrepreneurs, has experienced several ups and downs. “I tend to learn from my failures and there have been ample failure opportunities.” And what she considers her greatest achievement? “The ongoing evolution of our collective vision and voice. I am perpetually in awe of how lucky I’ve been to find a work family so committed to the health and vibrancy of the company.”
A piece from our limited-edition collection (only 100 were made). Get it here.
Liking the sound of all this? We’ve teamed up with Kathie to bring you a limited-edition collection of pieces just for us and they’re as beautiful when worn as they are hanging on a wall. Take a peek. And if you want to get really personal, come to one of our Ft. Lonesome events—they’ll be in select stores, making chain-stitching dreams comes true. Get all the details, here.