Natalie Chanin: Building Family

ColumnNatalie Chanin’s bi-weekly column, Material Witness, offers a seasoned designer’s perspective on the fashion industry, textile history and what happens when love for community trumps all.

Last year, Alabama Chanin was included in the Starbucks campaign: Stories are Gifts – Share. See the video below. We met some lovely new friends – Jamie, David, and Luke – who traveled to Alabama to tell our story and celebrate with us.

A year later, it is nice to be reminded that home is a special place; your home and the people around you help create who you are. A home can be anywhere and your family can be made up of so many people, regardless of their biological relationship to you. Alabama Chanin was born out of my own “coming home,” of the distinct sense of place that is my community.

We often say that we at Alabama Chanin are a family. In fact, we say it so often that I fear it is beginning to sound a bit trite. But, please know that there is no underlying falseness in this sentiment. This family that we have created is the heart and soul of our company. We hope that you can feel it in everything that we do.

Embrace your family, whether they are yours by blood or by choice. Reach out to those who mean the most to you. To paraphrase my grandfather, a truly wise man: alone we can be weak and subject to the harshness of the world, to those who wish to hurt us or circumstances that may fracture our spirits; as a family, we can stand strong against those things that might wish to injure us. We are protected and supported, celebrated and loved.

Happy Holidays.

The Heart and Soul:

Natalie Chanin is owner and designer of the American couture line Alabama Chanin and author of three books including Alabama Stitch Book  (2008), Alabama Studio Style (2010) and the upcoming Alabama Studio Sewing + Design which comes out spring 2012. Look for her bi-weekly column, Material Witness here and follow her on Facebook and her own blog at Alabama Chanin.

Natalie Chanin

Natalie “Alabama” Chanin is owner and designer of the American couture line Alabama Chanin and author of Alabama Stitch Book (STC – February 2008), Alabama Studio Style (STC – March 2010) and Alabama Studio Sewing + Design (STC – Spring 2012).