Haystacks was born 9 years ago on my dining room table. I was looking through fabric sites on the internet when I came across a newspaper printed fabric I loved. I called this company, and they finally agreed to send me a sample of this fabric. I worked on the design and played around with the fit, and the energy pant, or epant, was born. It is hard to find vendors that will work with a small company starting out, but luckily they decided to take a risk on me and do some custom printing. I could choose the prints I like and then print them on the fabrics of my choice!
After a winter of sewing at home with football field lengths of fabric on my dining room table, I was able to rent a beautiful studio above a store in the small Midwestern town of Leland, Michigan. I sewed there throughout the winter, preparing to open my first store in a historic fishing village. I rented one of the old fishing shantys down by the river, and opened up the first Haystacks. This small 100 square foot space was stocked full with colorful energy pants, and other hand decorated and sewn items. I would sew in the evening and then work in the store during the day to keep it stocked. It was so much fun to watch my designs sell.
Soon with the help of a good sales staff, I was able to begin opening stores in other locations. Just recently we have grown out of our design studio in Leland and have moved to a larger facility, where we have real offices. One of the bittersweet moments in this business was when we moved our studio out of its original location to something that would better suit the growing business. We are very happy in our new location though!
Today we have five Michigan stores which are located in Fishtown, Leland, Suttons Bay, Glen Arbor and Traverse City, along with our website, www.haystacks.net.
Much of our line is based upon the use of colorful prints, unusual fabrics, and simple ideas. About four times a year I go to fabric sourcing shows, where I find new and unusual fabrics, vintage trims, lace, and fresh prints for the coming seasons' line. Most of the fabric we use is printed for us in the United States. Our prints are changed at least four times a year, and we are always on the lookout for something eye catching and different.
Haystacks Jacquard and Textured fabrics have quickly become one of our signature items. We bought one roll of it, and made some skirts. It took us quite a while to track down the knitter, and when we did, we ordered our first 1,000 yards. The Jacquard fabric with its distinctive knit pattern became an instant favorite. Two or three times a year we bring in a large quantity of fabric which is knit and dyed for us by our Mill. Our seamstresses then cut and sew the fabric into our most popular items for that season, such as the Jacquard and Textured Bias Skirts and also into the Textured 3/4 Sleeve Tops.
Our Vintage line has continued to do well for us. We create many items using vintage trims and fabrics, such as our headbands, belts, and Vintage Skirts. It was my fascination with old rick rack that was the inspiration for this product. We use a base fabric and cover it in in layers with vintage fabric scraps and then as a finishing touch top it with vintage cotton rick rack or rayon seam binding. The unusual color combinations vary from season to season. Through the years we have added vintage headbands, keychains, belts, coin purses, wallets to our vintage belt and accessory collection.
Many of our designs start out as test items, they are put in the stores, and our sales staff monitor these items for fit and popularity. If we have items that are winners, we produce larger quantities, expanding the colors and prints. It is the feedback from our customers that helps us to tailor our product to meet our customers needs and likes.
Our goal is simple. To make you feel great about yourself. We believe that every woman needs clothing that is as unique as she is.
Thank you for reading the story of Haystacks. Oh and yes, the name originated because I moved to Northern Michigan to become a hay farmer, which I quickly gave up because the equipment broke down quite a bit more than the sewing machine I was used to operating.
Lizzi Lambert, Owner, Haystacks