Is it just me, or do horse showing and needlepoint go together like coffee and donuts? As a child, I remember filling all of those "hurry-up-and-wait" hours at the horse show stitching belt canvases on the back of a golf cart. Last week, some lucky Instagramming led to the delightful discovery of The Stitching Fox, a boutique needlepoint shop with plenty of gorgeous equestrian-inspired canvases to pick from and an easy-to-shop website. Whether you're a life-long stitcher or new to needlepoint, we're excited to introduce you to Kathryn McMahon, owner of Stitching Fox.
You're currently based at the Tryon International Equestrian Center. What is your background with the equestrian community?
I'm a lifelong horse lover. I grew up in Augusta, Georgia and my sister and I rode in Aiken as kids. We mostly trail rode but also participated in equitation classes. After graduating from Sweet Briar College, I moved to Charlottesville and rode there as an adult and did a bit of foxhunting. I also spent a long time living in New York City where I had the chance to ride at Claremont in Central Park while that stable was still open. I don't ride currently, but I still love horses and it's nice to be connected to the equestrian community here at Tryon.
Tell us a bit about Stitching Fox
I opened Stitching Fox in Tryon in June of 2020. We sell a fun mix of traditional canvases along with more modern canvases painted by younger designers. I also sell premium speciality fibers and notions that we mostly source in the US and Europe. We're actually moving our business to Landrum, South Carolina at the end of April and will be right next door to The Farm House tack shop. And of course we offer our canvases online as well.
What was it like opening a business during Covid?
Many might think opening a business during Covid would be scary, but it has been an exciting first year. I think needlepoint has been a terrific way for people to keep their hands and minds busy during this stressful time. It's a way to wind down that is more relaxing than constantly scanning social media before bed. A lot of my stitchers also needlepoint while on Zoom calls to keep their hands busy!
I noticed that you have a lot of Bonnie Alexander equestrian canvases. Would you mind telling us a bit about those?
Bonnie's canvases are spectacular and we're lucky to be able to offer such a wide selection of her work, from belts to pillows, and beyond. What's wonderful about Bonnie is that she is open to customizing her canvases if people want to change the color of a horse or alter the horse's markings. We're happy to help a customer coordinate the customization of any of Bonnie's equestrian canvases.
My TackHack customers are located all over the country. If they order from your online store, would you be able to help them with fiber selection and canvas finishing?
Yes, absolutely! We offer a free concierge kitting service to everyone. Whether you've purchased a canvas from us or someone else, text us a picture and we'll text back coordinating fiber for purchase online. If you're ordering online, we will reach out via text when the canvas is ready to ship and ask if you'd like to see the coordinating fiber, once approved we will email an invoice so you may purchase online. We also provide comprehensive Finishing services. We work with an array of talented finishers, local and nationwide, mostly women who work from their homes. Mail your stitched canvases to the shop and we will help bring your creation to life! We finish pillows, Christmas stockings, ornaments, belts, keychains, clutches, dog collars - you name it!
Is there a final thought you'd like to leave our readers with?
I think needlepoint is a wonderful way to slow down during these times. A customer recently came in and talked about how, with needlepoint, it's the only thing that stays "done" at the end of a long and busy day. Needlepoint projects can commemorate life's special events - travel, birthdays, graduation, births - and mark time you've spent with family and friends. I think there's something really significant about creating an heirloom with your own two hands and imagination.
To browse Stitching Fox's broad selection of canvases, be sure to check out their website at www.stitchingfox.com.