A couple from Levant creates a sewing and embroidery business based on nursing careers
LEVANT, Maine (WABI) – At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, a nurse in the Levant began sewing PPE for her healthcare colleagues. With the help of her husband, the idea took off.
Tracie Seymour, RN, started out by sewing face masks and brush caps.
âWe’re both nurses, so I started out making masks because back then that was the only way to have masks,â Seymour said.
At first, she and her husband, Jason, were just giving them away.
âI’m his # 1 non-paying customer,â said Jason Seymour, RN, laughing. âI have about fifty. “
Soon they were selling Tracie’s creations on Etsy as Sewing Seymour. They made over 1,800 sales, attracting the attention of buyers from as far away as Australia, Italy and Spain.
âI received a lot of positive reviews,â Tracie said. âPeople love the way they fit, they love the way they’re sewn. So they have been quite popular.
Tested and used by the Seymours themselves in the field, the nursing supplies are made to last and can be washed in the wash.
Due to popular demand, they then started to offer embroidery as well.
This added a whole new element to their business, Embroidery designs by Sewing Seymour, and officially brought Jason on board.
âOnce she got the embroidery machine, I started playing around with it, figuring out how fast you can run with which fabrics,â Jason said. âItâs been a learning curve for sure. Fortunately, I didn’t get stung. I’ve seen people who’ve sewn their finger before, and I’m like ‘Ouch!’ “
Their offerings now include stockings, caps, t-shirts, stuffed animals, and more. Although they do charge these days, they keep their prices low – only making a few bucks for a cap.
But the only item they refuse to make a profit on are children’s chemo hats. They say they charge just enough to cover the cost of the materials.
âYou always want to think that everyone’s going to have a good result, but you know everyone doesn’t,â Tracie said. âSo that’s a way for kids in the hospital to express themselves. We’ve had superheroes, we’ve had Disney princesses.
Each child’s chemo hat comes with a message of encouragement. Something, as nurses they needed themselves from time to time.
Through COVID-19 and the loss of a dear friend, the Seymours say this business has given them a business opportunity.
âI feel like I can create stuff. Someone’s life is not in my hands, so to speak. If I screw up a hat, I throw it away. You can’t really go wrong in a hospital setting, âJason said.
” I really appreciated [the fact] that now that we’ve been in the business for about a year and a half, we’ve grown, not really big, but big enough that we can start giving back, âTracie said.
The Seymours are now working with a number of local businesses and have participated in community fundraisers. Someday, with that support behind them, Tracie hopes their side job can become a full-time job until retirement.
If you would like to see more of their work, you can visit them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sewingseymour.
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