How One Family Turned a Small Town into a Quilting Hub

The rural town of Hamilton, Missouri, is home to 1,724 residents and at least one family of quilting enthusiasts. The town looked much like many other small rural towns before Missouri Star Quilting Co. took off a few years after its opening in 2008. Abandoned buildings lined the streets, and when the 2008 recession hit, many in the small town felt it. Jenny Doan, a founder of the quilting company, was no exception. When the recession left her out of luck financially, her son and daughter knew they needed to step in to help her make some extra money. Alan Doan and Sarah Galbraith helped their mother launch a business where she sewed quilts together for other people. Then they built a website to sell fabric. They tried to sell pre-cut fabrics for quilt-making, which were a relatively new product.

Quilting

This mural, designed by the Missouri Star Quilting Co. creative team, replaced a painting on the side of the building that was damaged by weather. Photo courtesy of Missouri Star Quilting Co.

But within the first year, business wasn’t doing too well. That’s when Alan had the idea for his mom to start doing video tutorials for quilting. They started recording YouTube videos using the pre-cut fabric, and eventually gained a large following. Now, Jenny’s YouTube tutorials have millions of views, and people come to visit her or write to thank her for getting them into quilting.

Business took off from the following the how-to quilting videos gained. Within 7 years of opening, Missouri Star Quilting Co. had remodeled 15 buildings in Hamilton that are now home to fabric and other quilting essentials and also welcome customers. People from all over the country now add Hamilton to their destination lists to meet Jenny and experience the quilting mecca for themselves.

—Jenna

Featured Image: This quilting company transformed Hamilton, Missouri into a center for all things quilting. Photo courtesy of Missouri Star Quilting Co.

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