Welcome to my little corner of the web. I'm Laurie Kahn-- owner, designer, seamstress-- the woman behind the brand. I've been married to my high school sweetheart for 35 years. I've got 2 grown daughters and all of my grandchildren have fur. We've made our home in rural Whitley County, Indiana since 1987.
I've been a professional seamstress since 1995 when I started sewing infant and children's clothing for a friend-- a local designer-- to be sold in her lovely retail shop. I feel very blessed to have contributed to my family and indulged in my creative passions by doing what I love. When I started sewing as a "career" it was so that I could stay home with my girls while they were little. After they grew up and moved away, being self-employed allowed me to set my own hours so that I could be with my mom as much as possible during the very difficult last years of her life. My business will never make me rich monetarily, but it has indeed made my life richer in all the ways that really count. It has allowed me the flexibility in my daily schedule to always be available to care for the ones I love.
After my friend's retail store closed in 2001, I did a lot of contract sewing /designing on my own. The first holiday-market craft show I ever participated in was so successful (and the shoppers so encouraging) that it led me to open my first online shop back in June of 2005. I started out making all kinds of purses: quirky boutique-style bags, custom photo purses, embroidered Scripture purses, 'repurposed clothing' handbags, & recycled wrapper purses and accessories.
Jumping ahead to the summer of 2008, my original website's Wrapper Purse Collection attracted the attention of a large company (which upcycles non-recyclable things to make unique products.) Their CEO contacted me out of the blue, and I happily joined their design team a few weeks later. It was pretty cool to be recruited to work as a design consultant for Terracycle (designing totes, bags, purses & accessories made using recycled chip/candy/wrapper materials.) I enjoyed this work for several years until the increased order volume for my own website made it unsustainable.
Around that same time (summer 2008) I made my very first apron for my daughter who wanted to be a pastry chef when she grew up. I enjoyed making that apron so much that I couldn't stop making them. It was love at first stitch! Making aprons has become my new obsession. I absolutely love beautiful fabrics, and I enjoy the creative process of combining fun prints with beautiful colors in each unique apron to create something you won't find anywhere else! Heirloom quality workmanship for maximum customer satisfaction has always been my ultimate goal!
In April 2011, I finally opened an Etsy shop to see if that marketplace would work for me. (I had seriously considered selling on Etsy when I was starting out. I even created an account and started moving items from my website to Etsy. But I ended up deleting the whole thing almost immediately because the extra Etsy fees scared me away. I also worried about retaining control over my shop & my finances when selling in a marketplace.)
Things went so well on Etsy that by July 2014, I decided to simplify and streamline my business by closing my original website and selling exclusively on Etsy. Selling on Etsy was great for a really long time. In hindsight, I kind of wish I would have opened my shop on Etsy in 2005. However, recent developments with the Etsy business model have made me decide to go back to the beginning-- creating another new, standalone website. Ironically, the things that kept me from joining Etsy in 2005 are the same things that have pushed me to branch out once again.
GRAND (RE)OPENING- MAY 2023: I plan to keep my Etsy shop open along with this website, for now at least. We shall see how things go. Bear with me as I learn how to build a website again after so many years away from the practice. I will have to say that creating this new website on IndieMade has been so much easier than creating my original website in 2005! To get things up and running as soon as possible, I have simply transferred my products from Etsy to this website with very few changes from what's found on Etsy-- but I'll continue to add improvements as I learn how... AND now that I have full control of my store finances again, I am happy to say that I am reinstating my customer loyalty discounts. (I hated to have to discontinue them on Etsy because of their ever-increasing fees, forced returns, & mandatory advertising program that I had no control over.) I truly do appreciate my customers, and I couldn't do this without their support. ❤️
Thanks for visiting today and taking the time to read a brief history of Laurie's Gifts.
QUOTE THAT INSPIRED THE NAME OF MY SHOP
"If you have any talent - That's your gift from God. And, if you use that talent - That's your gift to God," ~ Red Skelton