About Southern Fried Stitching
Hey y'all, welcome!
I'm Jennifer, the person that runs Southern Fried Stitching.
Growing up, I spent a lot of time studying and training to work with children. I have been a special needs camp counselor, teacher, public school counselor, crisis interventionist, and a children and family mental health therapist. Then in 2011, I had a baby and a lot of things changed for me. Before our little one had turned three years old, I had closed my private therapy practice, our small family moved back to my hometown of Columbia, SC and I was unsure what was to come next.
I found myself in my Mama's studio watching her sew and embroider monogram shirts and applique dresses for her grand kids. One day she suggested we go to a class being held by a local sewing store to learn about some new embroidery products. By the end of the event, I was forking over the money to purchase digitizing software and pumped to start making patches!
The only thing was I didn't know anything about machine embroidery or digitizing. My gracious Mama offered use of her 10-needle embroidery machine, teaching me a lot of the basics; how to hoop items, the importance of placement, what stabilizers to use, and how to thread this intimidating machine. We did odd jobs here and there for friends and family, calling our business "Southern Fried Stitching". I was watching videos and attending classes to learn how to use the expensive digitizing software that was a maze of buttons and vector points and wait, how did that happen? I spent a lot of time learning how NOT to do things, eventually leading me to learn how to actually do a few things.
In 2017, I officially began selling my art under the name "Scout's Honor", as I wanted to move away from the more traditional Southern monogramming I had been doing with my Mama. I was making my own designs, trying to learn as many skills as possible. One of those designs was a Duke's mayonnaise jar with the saying "This is how I judge you." Lemme tell ya something friends, PEOPLE LOVE DUKES MAYO. After having a show at a local eatery in Columbia, SC, Dukes reposted a picture of my hoop on social media and orders came flying in! People I knew from my youth were contacting me to say they saw my hoop. I didn't realize it just yet, but this one little hoop was setting me on a path to make Southern art.
I began applying for local shows, my customer base grew, and I was sharpening my skills as a digitizer and machine embroidery artist with each item I made. I found that people really enjoyed the Southern art I was making because it reminded them of their grandmother, or they sent it to a friend who had moved away, or maybe it reminded them about their first encounter with a Palmetto bug. Y'all, those things can fly. You would not believe some of the stories I have heard!
At the start of 2020, I decided to re-brand as "Southern Fried Stitching" for several reasons; I wanted to pay homage to the short-lived business I shared with my Mama, I felt like this name was a better fit for the art I now make, and I wanted a way to share my pride in being Southerner who makes Southern art. I feel very lucky to spend my days in my home studio in Columbia, SC embroidering art, clothing, and accessories.