Tag Archive | Artikal Millinery

Sip & Stitch with DC Threads Recap

Last Friday night I was excited to attend an event at DC Threads in Adams Morgan. My friends and fellow lovers of all things creative, Allison Lince-Bentley and Laura Lee hosted  women business owners who discussed the challenges and rewards of starting your own business.

Laura and Allison

What and inspiring and enlightening discussion about how Crafty Entrepreneurs turned their Hobby into a Business. If you missed this event you truly missed a treat.

The panelist from left to right were as follows:

Evelyn Bandoh, writer, speaker, creative business strategist, trainer and coach through her business, EAB Creative Planning Services

Holly Slayton, founder of Artikal Millinery, owns a studio in New York city where she keeps the art of hat making alive with her beautiful designs and engaging classes.

Anne Smyers, owner of House to Home One-Day Redecorating, assists clients in making living spaces more beautiful, comfortable and functional using what they already own

Valerie Williams is the designer and owner of Holland Cox, a line of handcrafted fabric handbags and fashion accessories.

and of course the host for the event

Allison Lince-Bentley, co-founder DC Threads Sewing Lounge and the owner of the Bits of Thread Sewing Studio

Allison began the discussion with telling the story of how she first began by volunteering as a sewing teacher at various locations while still working her day job. Fortunately she worked a job that would allow her some flexibility and she could still get her work done and fullfill her passion. Unfortunately it wasn’t a job she was thrilled to be doing and she was quite anxious to move on. Once she decided to take the leap of faith and open up a sewing studio she had a sense of satisfaction and never looked back.

Valerie and her beautiful purses

Valerie who has worked with Allison on various projects throughout the years took a few sewing classes and soon found her passion in making purses. She too was working a job where she was not feeling much self-worth. She longed for the day to spend her days sewing. When her job had to make budget cuts her position was one of the first to go. Her colleagues knowing her passion said to her “congratulations”. She knew this was one of the best things that could have happened to her.


Anne who has taken a very interesting approach to interior design decided that she wanted to start her own business whereby she would help people use the items they already have in their homes and re-purpose and reuse them to make their space more livable on a tight budget. Having the support of her family she too took a leap and has explored and eco friendly way of redecorating

Holly and her fascinators

Holly a self taught knitter/crocheter currently lives in NYC  but lived in DC several years ago. While she was living here she bar-tended and made crocheted hats, shawls, scarves and ponchos for some friends which quickly caught on and suddenly there was a demand.  One day she was asked to take on another shift which would prevent her from working on her the one thing that was fulfilling and made her feel whole. She decided she would walk away from that job move to NYC and pursue her passion. She soon ventured into the hat making arena and now creates these beautiful fascinators. In addition she hosts parties and travels along the east coast teaching class.

Evelyn who was the last speaker spoke about getting yourself in the right mindset to make a decision on whether or not your hobby is a hobby or could potentially become a business. She refers to herself as a chief creator alchemist. She works with women who are considering taking th leap to make certain this is the right move to make. Essentially she is a business coach who helps people to build on their dreams. She too worked a great job but decided to put a stake in the sand and set a date for when she would depart. She determined she wasn’t being paid enough, the job was not all that it was cracked up to be and she knew she had a God given gift to marry common sense reasoning with the creative innovator and bring them to an organized thought.

These five women were such an inspiration and so encouraging to those who are longing to step out on their dreams. Listening to how they all shared a common theme which was do what you love and love what you do. They all started out a little afraid of what was to come before them but believed in their talents and remained determined to make it work.

I look forward to connecting with them in the near future and inviting them to come speak to the Sewing Society very soon.