Hello hello and welcome!
I'm Morgan! I operate Storied Label out of a combination sewing studio + guest space in our home on the beautiful coast of North Carolina. I'm a homeschooling mama to two particularly cool dudes and one angel in the stars, supported by the actual most handsome boat captain to ever survey the seas. Here's a bit (lot) of my story (novel) and how Storied came to be!
TLDR: I love storytelling and have been sewing for nearly two decades and I freakin’ love it.
I come from a family of quilters, sewists, and all around creative folks who, quite naturally, passed their knowledge down through generations. My first quilt was completed at age 11 featuring what now seems to be the brightest selection of rainbow tie die cotton material known to humankind. Quality craftsmanship? Absolutely, I still have it. Visually appealing? Not even remotely.
Throughout my childhood I continued quilting, then as a limby teen who could never find clothes that fit just right, I began dabbling in alterations. As life hurdled forward, moves required for college and my high-school-sweetheart-turned-brand-new-husband's military enlistment became frequent. There was always one specific requirement: I needed a place to sew. Projects ranged from uniform additions for my soldier and his friends to teaching myself to read patterns to make my own clothes to upcycling interior design swatches into children's clothing when I learned the design business I worked beside was going to throw beautiful material in a dumpster.
This is about where my passion for sustainably producing quality garments got its unintentional but humble beginning. I worked in re-sale and had first hand views into the very real impact low quality, mass produced fashion has on our planet and even our economic system. I knew I wanted to fill the demand of folks asking to buy what I was making, but I didn't want to contribute to the textile waste I witnessed every single day, so my small shop dreams waited.
Over the next few years I gained more experience working in close proximity to wonderfully skilled tailors and by the time my rainbow babe was *finally* on the way I had shifted gears into upcycling him as many things as I could. It was THRILLING. Thrifting clothing with holes worn through or obvious permanent stains then giving it a whole new life, passing that new used thing to someone else, them telling me they passed it on too once it was outgrown. I loved it! Could this be my niche?
September of 2018 Hurricane Florence moved at a snails pace directly over our farmhouse. A hole ripped in the roof allowed water to inundate every rafter, stud, and floor joist. Even our potted plants died from being "overwatered". While we waited two weeks for the flood water to recede enough to go home, mold grew on just about every surface imaginable. We lost everything that we didn't evacuate with…I evacuated with almost every sewing supply I had.
For the next year my husband and I fought our insurance company for fair compensation displaced and separated by a couple hundred miles. Our then 2 month old paid exactly none of this any mind and grew so fast that I realized I might as well keep sewing and hold the joy it brought me close. So when my husband asked if we wanted to tag along on a long work trip in Florida I knew I wanted to make some cute but cozy but protective swimwear for my dude, and I quickly realized upcycling swimwear wasn't going to be an option.
Loads of research and question asking lead me to Spoonflower, a textile printing business based out of (omg no way) North freakin' Carolina. I could say their more sustainable print-on-demand (meaning they only print what a customer orders, when they order it) model and commissions paid to artists for their designs sold me, but honestly there was nothing I didn't love about the concept and ENDLESS designs! Material was ordered, swim clothes were sewn, I and my instagram friends were hooked. Too bad we were still displaced and stressed the heck out!
Handmade swim clothes were worn religiously on that incredible Florida trip and I stayed impressed with how well they held up to constant use. The mental wheels turned and I knew I wanted to make more when the phone rang a couple of weeks in. Our insurance company finally settled our claim. Life flipped upside down again but this time as we started over to find a place to live, finally finally finally, all together.
The move to our next house served the purpose of getting us together, but came with not much extra space for sewing and news of a whole entire surprise baby brother! I spent weeks converting the too-small-for-a-vehicle garage into a tiny sewing space while planning swimwear for beautiful beach babes. With spoonflower being so close by I contacted them to see if they would be interested in doing a tour that I could share via social media, but the year was 2020 and things were shutting down, so we opted for a sort of collaboration where I shared the process of using their material to make the boys’ swimwear for the year. The response was exhilarating!
Requests for handmade swimwear, up cycled goods, and even thrifted “story sales” became regular, but balancing it all with a brand new bub was a lot. In 2021 we moved one more time to a house that feels like home, settled in to new routines, soaked in every bit of those baby-baby days, and I took my time creating the sewing space I’ve dreamed of. Which just about catches you all up! Now I’m here with a touch more time to commit to doing something I love while keeping my business 100% waste free; not a shred of material that comes into my home leaves in a garbage bag, but instead gets saved to fill other projects like a recent reading nook floor cushion!
Everything gets used, it all has a purpose, and there aren't many things I make that don't have a story which I'm almost definitely going to share, thus the name Storied Label. These pieces move from my story to yours then hopefully to many others as they get passed on and on and that's something I'm so incredibly proud to be a part of.
I love what I get to do here and I love the appreciation you guys have for my work + the years I’ve spent committed to expanding my skill. I’m so grateful for the freedom to express my creativity in multiple ways here and I’m excited about the possibilities you guys help me realize. The support I’ve felt over the years and continue to feel would require an equally lengthy epilogue, but from the bottom of my heart: thank you, I’m so glad you’re here.