But first, Betty gets a break.
Caitlin and I couldn't have met at a better time. We were starting to phase out my mom, Betty, in preparation for a little break. She had just helped us get through our first very successful Holiday season, not to mentioned my mom sewed for our entire first year. Our product has evolved into a better product over the past 12 months because she poured her love and tears (we had some tough times when our machine broke down . . . but that's a story for another day!) into thousands of Everyday Napkins now in the homes of all of our fans. Her hands, eyes, and heart went into washing, pressing, cutting, sewing and finishing every single Everyday Napkin. I have said this before and I don't feel like it means any less when I say it again, I could not have done this without my mom. So now it's time to give her a well-deserved break! She'll be back later this year to help with custom orders and special projects when we need her most.
the interview process
Starting the interview process was a bit daunting. How would I find anyone as good as my mom? I posted to Craig's List, Facebook, local schools and forums hoping I would find the needle in the haystack. Calls came in but I could tell they weren't the right fit. I had used "sewer/seamstress" in the job description and that's what I was getting. Hard-working I am sure, but people who just wanted to make quick cash, and do it from home. It was important that whomever I hired would be in the studio and truly part of the team at the earliest stages of our growth.
I had just finished an interview with my mom when I got a thoughtful email from Caitlin. She sounded great in her correspondence so I gave her a call right away. There was no time to waste. My mom was leaving for California in just a few days and we had very little time to train the new hire. I soon found out that Caitlin didn't even know we were hiring (more on that below). As we chatted, I could feel her passion for "making" over the phone. She said, "I just want to make and use my hands." I hadn't heard someone say that in a long time. It's the sign of a true craftsman.
Finding talented people who share your vision is hard to find. But something about our conversation gave me a positive feeling. She had experience at Spoonflower and has since started her own quilt and fabric company called Salty Oat. She came in two days later with her quilts and I knew if I paid close attention to her craftsmanship, I could look for a level of detail necessary for our napkins. They were beautiful. And Betty thought so too.
I couldn't have been more excited to meet Caitlin and to bring her on board as our first hire. As we celebrate our one year anniversary, I think about all things we've learned in 2015 and all the things I want this company to be. Caitlin has been with us for a few weeks now and will help us grow production and become more efficient. Keeping every part of the production in-house at this point helps us better understand our product and keeps us rooted in how my mom and I started. I'm super excited to show just our mighty our small team is!
Here's a little bit about Caitlin. I hope you get a chance to meet her in person soon!
KY: Caitlin, tell our fans a little bit about yourself!
CT: I'm a quilter and native New Englander. I recently moved back to the area after going to school and working in Texas, Maryland, and North Carolina. My husband and I just purchased a house outside of Boston, which was built in 1882, where we live with our black lab, Elton.
KY: We could feel your enthusiasm for "making" over our initial phone conversation. Tell us more about your love for sewing.
CT: Sewing is my passion and what I do most in my spare time, both in my home studio and with friends. I enjoy working with solid, hand-printed, and vintage fabrics, and am drawn to a clean, minimal, and Scandinavian-inspired aesthetic.
KY: We got pretty lucky. How did you find us?
CT: I began following The Everyday Napkin's Instagram account a few months ago, and loved the look of the products and the overall vibe of the company. Lately, I've been interested in doing more within the realm of small-batch manufacturing (sewing and creating inventory for small, handmade start-ups), and The Everyday Napkin was one of the first companies that came to mind as I began to reach out to people. The timing turned out to be perfect because prior to landing on your blog, I didn't know you were hiring!
KY: What do you look forward to the most at The Everyday Napkin?
CT: I'm excited to help expand our product line-up and our reach, creating napkins for new shops and collaborations with fun brands. I love the found fabrics we use to create The Everyday Napkin, and I love that they're meant to be used, washed, and loved daily!
Ice Cream: Ben and Jerry's Peanut Butter and Banana Greek Frozen Yogurt
Color: Navy & Peach
Design Style: Mid-Century Modern, particularly Danish Modern furniture
Guilty Pleasure Snack: Candy Cane Joe-Joes from Trader Joe's
Guilty Pleasure Show: I watch a lot of Netflix and reality TV while I sew, and The Bachelor is a current obsession
Place to Eat: Sabatino's in Baltimore, MD
New England Getaway: White Lake State Park