The Evolution of Treadle Treasures
If you had told me 15 years ago that I would be making reproduction Civil War era clothing and shipping it around the world I would have laughed hysterically. I never planned this! However, over time, God opened doors and I walked through them. Now, here I am… sewing away and loving every moment of it.
There are so many advantages to my “job” – anything you enjoy this much really isn’t “work” or a “job” though. I like to say is a hobby that got out of hand.
I wanted to be a stay at home mom but I also wanted to earn a little extra income once my kiddos started attending school. This was the perfect solution. I work at home with a very flexible schedule. Now that my kids are getting a bit older they can even help and earn some extra funds themselves.
Treadle sewing machines became an addiction for me. Once I used one I was hooked. Now most of my work is done on them. But one machine just wasn’t enough. After all, some projects require more than one color thread so I really needed another machine. That was the excuse anyway. As I type my collection includes a dozen treadles and two hand crank machines. Sometimes I really wish I collected something smaller and lighter!
I started out making craft items and selling them at local craft/antique shows. As things progressed I found that my Civil War reproductions were my most popular items. My corsets especially gained in popularity. I try to listen to my clients and work with them to fill the needs that other sutlers are leaving open. Reenactors are a great bunch of people and I really enjoy working with them. They have many wonderful ideas – some pan out and others don’t but it’s always an adventure.
I also found that I really like selling over the internet vs. setting up at shows. I have climate control, a solid roof over my head and I can sleep in my bed every night! Yep, I’m soft.
The orders continued to come in and I got busier and busier. I decided I needed some help, and some more help and some more help. I now have about five people who help me out in various ways. One helps with the corsets, and the others make certain items for me. All of them are just looking for a little extra cash and no one wants a true job. They all love the freedom and flexibility of the work and I am very grateful for their help!
As my kids went through school the teachers asked me to come in and speak. I loved it! So did the kids. I had one little girl thank me for teaching her about “the way back then people”! You gotta love that. Teachers kept asking me to come back and I kept agreeing. Then word got out and I started speaking for other organizations. It’s a great way to learn and a great way to pass on our heritage.
I don’t know where Treadle Treasures will be in another 15 years. I don’t even try to guess. I’m going to keep on following where the Lord leads and I’m sure I’ll have a great time doing it!
Thanks for your support, interest and patronage. Without you none of this would have been possible.