Haystacks Brand was born 15 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 the 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 was hard to find fabric vendors who would 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 liked 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 an Historic Fishing village called Fishtown. 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, and with the help of a good sales staff, I was able to begin opening stores in other locations. We have grown out of our Loft in Leland, and have moved to a larger facility in Suttons Bay, where our Design Studio, Cut and Sew, and Online Store are currently located.
Today we have ten retail stores which are located in Fishtown, Leland, Suttons Bay, Glen Arbor, Elk Rapids, Old Town, Petoskey, and Traverse City Michigan, Essex Connecticut, and Delray Beach, Florida. Our website, www.haystacks.net is quite active for shoppers who cannot visit our retail locations.
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, with other fabric coming from Europe and South America. Our prints are changed at least six times a year, and we are always on the lookout for something eye catching and different.
Haystacks Brand 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. Several 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 Minx and Surreal Tops, Ballet Top and the Textured Tee.
Switchstacks, our Reversible line, Consisting of Bias Skirts, dresses, pants and tops are a top seller at Haystacks. People love the two sided fabric for travel, comfort and just having fun.
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 monitors 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. I love to work in the stores and see the reaction to the prints and styles that I have created for each season. It is so rewarding.
Thank you for reading the story of Haystacks Brand. 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.
Owner and Designer