I have loved my interviews with each of my featured artists, but I walked away from my talk with The Vintage Home Studio with a special fondness for Michelle Gann, the founder and craftswoman behind this self-started business. The Vintage Home Studio’s tea towels and other home decor items caught my eye several months ago, but speaking with Michelle left me with an even deeper admiration for her work and the dedication behind The Vintage Home Studio.
One of Michelle’s first major sewing projects was making her own prom dress back in high school, and from there she fell in love with the creative joy of sewing. In more recent years, when Michelle began pondering ideas for running her own business, hand-sewn items were a natural choice, though it took some brainstorming to create a product that would stand apart as something special.
At first, Michelle began by making colorful pillow cases, and while she still makes and sells these items, she soon discovered that the market for pillow cases was over-saturated. From there, Michelle began to think about tea towels: a creative blank canvas that was both charming and functional…supposedly.
“Growing up, there were certain towels that were decorative and you were barely allowed to touch. I didn’t want that at all…I wanted to create something that people were going to use. My motto for my towels has always been: Fun, Functional, Washable, Meant to Be Used!” – Michelle Gann
The concept is clean-cut: a pristine white towel with a border of colorful fabric and a crochet trim. But once you see one of The Vintage Home Studio’s towels, you’ll understand why Michelle’s products charm so many! The playful colors and tasteful details of Michelle’s towels add just the right decorative touch or seasonal spark to a table setting or kitchen.
Michelle’s others-focused, intensely supportive attitude exudes in the way she talks, and I was struck by her humility as well as her stalwart mission to support other makers. The Vintage Home Studio was not an overnight success; Michelle began her business in 2008, but it’s only been in recent years that she’s been deservedly noticed. Because of this, Michelle repeatedly emphasized the importance of persistence and community for those trying to make it in the small business world.
The Vintage Home Studio now has a large and devoted group of followers on Instagram, and Michelle’s customers find beautiful and playful new ways to incorporate her tea towels. Running her small business keeps Michelle hopping all day long–sometimes late into the night, too!–but she has aspirations for expanding her products to other household and functional goods. For Michelle’s beautiful craftsmanship as well as her positive attitude, The Vintage Home Studio is a joy to follow and support.