Greener Grass Handmade
Stitching Love into Every Piece
What motivates your company?
Ultimately, Greener Grass is all about encouraging creative play and learning through beautifully crafted children’s items. We like to say that our designs are classic with a modern twist and plenty of Southern Charm mixed in. We use the highest quality materials – cotton, wool felt, wood – and pay great attention to even the tiniest detail so that all of our products are heirloom quality and made to last for generations. We hope that each piece that goes home with a customer encourages families to play together and treasure those sweet childhood moments.
Tell us about your location.
Greener Grass is located in my hometown of Fitzgerald, GA. We actually operate out of my childhood home. We don’t currently have our own retail location, but our line is available through our website and at about 35 boutiques across the country.
Tell us a bit about your customers.
Greener Grass is the perfect line for someone who wants to give a really memorable gift to a really special little person that will not only delight that child and inspire their imagination but will also be a special keepsake of childhood for parents.
Share the history of your company.
I’ve always been a maker at heart, but I really found my calling when I started sewing shortly after my husband and I got married in 2006. My Mom and Nana are excellent seamstresses, and they taught me everything I needed to know to sew pillows and curtains for our new home. Soon I started teaching sewing classes to friends, and my love for sewing and making grew. After our son Ford, was born in 2012, my eyes were opened to a whole new world of fun things to make for kids.
I received so many requests from friends and family to purchase teepees like the one I made for Ford for his first Christmas that we decided to launch Greener Grass Handmade, selling handmade teepees and playroom decor. Today we’ve expanded our offerings, but that same little teepee continues to be a top seller and Ford, now a 6-year-old with a wild imagination, continues to be my greatest sources of inspiration for all of our handmade products.
When we first launched the Greener Grass line in 2016, I was sewing each item myself in our home. As we began to grow and receive more orders and interest from stores, I quickly became overwhelmed! Thankfully I was able to turn to some wonderful seamstresses I knew (and some that I had even taught in my sewing classes) to help me.
How are you involved with your customers and community?
One our main goals with Greener Grass has been to grow the business in a way that we can employ our neighbors in our small rural town. Fitzgerald, like most small rural towns in the South, has fallen on hard times in recent years. Big corporations that at one time employed most of the citizens and left town and the United States in an effort to cut their costs. I think that small unique businesses are what can turn our communities around. When Greener Grass began to grow and I could no longer manage the sewing myself, the most cost efficient option was to outsource production to big sewing factory in North Carolina or California. They have the equipment and know how to manage a larger production load. However, I wouldn’t feel right about outsourcing when we need jobs right here in my hometown. So, I hired and trained some local ladies and I started learning everything I could about production sewing. We’ve made a mini-factory right here in town and we try to partner with our community in any way we can to help grow our economy. I may not be able to employ 200 people but each we celebrate each time we can put someone else to work at Greener Grass and add to our team. People are proud to have Greener Grass made in Fitzgerald. And I’m happy that I can still touch and work on every product that goes out the door to assure that it’s the same handmade quality that we started out with.
We travel all over the Southeast to be able to sell Greener Grass to our customers in person. I love getting to talk to people about the value of handmade and locally made products and the impact that it has on communities. I also love getting to talk to people about their kids and how much they love the items they buy from us. That personal interaction keeps the customers at the forefront of our business.
Tell us about your employees.
I have a small team of seamstresses who are mostly retired grandmothers who love sewing and knowing that each piece they work on is going to a special child somewhere. One of the ladies that works with me is my childhood best friend’s mother…only in a small town!
Currently, we are working to partner with the local high school to give students an opportunity to come and work with Greener Grass. We want to teach a new generation to sew. It’s also a great opportunity for creative students to work in a small business environment. I’m excited to see how this impacts both our company and the students involved.
What makes you excited to work here?
First of all, our products just make people happy. I love seeing the smile on people’s faces when they are shopping. The happiness factor to me is a really huge part of what makes Greener Grass special.
Secondly, I’m so proud of how our products are made, where they are made, and because of who they are made by. The production methods that we use to produce our heirloom quality line calls back to a time when things were made to last and were handed down from generation to generation. And I think we’re part of a movement that’s starting all across the South and the whole country of small businesses in small rural communities providing jobs for their neighbors, that are producing superior products and bringing them to the market. In a world where most items are made in large factories by automated machines, it is nice to be a part of product design and manufacturing where each piece is handmade and each piece is treated special knowing that from the time it is thought of till the time it is packaged up, someone is making it their priority to treat it as if we were making it for our own children and grandchildren.
What do you like about your community and location?
We are so proud to make our products in Fitzgerald and we’ve received tremendous support from the community. It’s so encouraging to know that we have so many people in our corner. Our local Chamber of Commerce and Development Authority have helped us greatly along the way and continue to be some of our biggest cheerleaders.
Also, being back in my hometown and having my family close by is one of the main reasons that Greener Grass exists on the scale that it does today. It really takes a village and my family pitches in at every turn.
How do you embody Authentic Georgia?
Growing up in the South, you know that handmade = love. I think of the time and effort that my mama (and so many of the women in my life) spends to make a delicious homemade meal or a fancy homemade dessert for a baby shower or party…it communicates so much love and care to the recipient. It says you are worth this time. She was thinking of you as they shelled peas or painstakingly frosted a cake. Watching my friends and family love each other in that way has had a huge impact on me. Now I try to replicate that sentiment with the time and care that we put into each of our items.
What makes Georgia so special and unique?
Georgia is home to me I can’t imagine growing our business anywhere else. We’re proud to build on the tradition of hard work and fine craftsmanship that so many generations of Georgia makers have upheld.