10 questions with hand embroidery company Sew Sweet by Mackensie

We Southerners hold many things near and dear to our hearts, and a classic monogram is definitely at the top of the list. For Mackensie Heath, founder and owner of Sew Sweet by Mackensie, this is especially true, as she has made it her mission to bring a personal touch to children’s clothing through hand embroidery. We spoke with Heath to learn more about her business and why she’s so passionate about monogramming.

Mackensie Heath. Photo courtesy of Mackensie’s Sew Sweet.

1. What is your professional background? How did you get into the retail business?

I am a full time middle school teacher at Dunham School. I’ve been sewing or sewing in one form or another since I was little (both of my grandmothers taught me how to sew). Some of my fondest childhood memories are of practicing needlepoint/cross-stitch/with my grandmothers.

2. What inspired you to start Sew Sweet by Mackensie?

In April 2020, at the height of lockdown, I needed a quick birthday present for a close friend’s daughter (thanks to Elizabeth and Ann McCutchen). I had a brand new gingham dress, but I had nowhere to have it embroidered or monogrammed. I drew on a vintage Mike the Tiger design, hand embroidered the dress with needle and thread, and hoped she liked it. I’ll never forget when I threw it out my car window at the drive-in birthday party and Elizabeth said, “Mackensie!” You know people are always looking for hand embroidery, right? And Mackensie’s Sew Sweet was born.

3. When was your store launched and how has it grown or changed since then?

Sew Sweet has really taken off since the time I started it in May 2020. Because I’m a full-time teacher, I consider Sew Sweet my “professional hobby”. I quickly discovered that my friend was right; moms are looking for quality hand embroidery, and it can be quite hard to find locally. My range of services has also expanded considerably. Originally, I sewed children’s clothes. Now I work closely with each client to create a unique, personalized piece with each order.

4. What sets your company apart?

Photo by Mackensie Heath

My attention to detail and close relationship with my clients sets my business apart. Many customers want a classic look when adding embroidery to their children’s clothes. Hand embroidery offers a much softer look than machine embroidery. Delicate items like family clothes and handkerchiefs require much more detailed and intricate stitching than usual.

5. What does your daily life look like?

I teach at Dunham School during the school year which keeps me very busy. I have two young children, Shepard (5) and Rosemary (3), who also keep me going. My favorite time to sew is after my kids have fallen asleep – it’s just a relaxing way for me to unwind and decompress while being productive at the same time. Depending on the number of clients on my waiting list at that time, I usually sew between 2 and 3 hours in the evening.

6. What do you think is your overall style at Sew Sweet by Mackensie?

Two words: classic and personalized. Hand embroidery is a lost art. Many of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers have embroidered clothes in the past. It brings a timeless look to many styles of children’s clothing. Thanks to hand embroidery, I am also able to provide customers with a unique piece that perfectly matches their needs. For example, I like to embroider birthday outfits that coordinate with party invitations and decor. Using handwriting samples on handkerchiefs has also been very meaningful to some of my clients after the death of a loved one.

7. What are some of your favorite items in your store right now?

I had a lot of fun recently making hand-embroidered back-to-school bows. I tie each knot by hand, then embroider a custom design onto the ribbon. I also like to sew heirloom baptism dresses. It is special to embroider the names of the different generations who were all baptized in the same piece.

8. What do you think is the first thing people should know about your store?

Sew Sweet by Mackensie is a local small business. I embroider each piece with meticulous attention to detail and customization. Sewing with a single needle and hand thread allows for a very personal touch.

9. Can you give a hint of what customers might see in the future?

I’ll be selling my Christmas bows at a local kids’ boutique in Baton Rouge (more on that as the holidays approach). I will offer many designs and customization options, although I would always love to create a custom bow to match your child’s favorite outfits.

10. How can customers find Sew Sweet by Mackensie?

The easiest way to find me is on Facebook or Instagram. If you have a piece that you would like to have hand embroidered, it is best to contact us as soon as possible. My waiting list fills up quickly, especially during the holidays.

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