Meet Hannah Mathews, North Olmsted resident and owner of Cleveland Sewing Company. Hannah moved to a home in the Butternut Ridge historic district three years ago with her husband Tommy, son Jonah and dog Luna. Just when they were about to give up on their home search, a listing on Butternut Ridge opened up and they fell in love with the house. It is a continuous project for the family, but they’ve never felt so at home. Their home was built in 1922 and from what they’ve been told, the 2 acre property used to be a nursery. They’ve found water lines, an old well pump, old varieties of plans, slate roof tiles, black raspberries and countless other treasures. What drew them to North Olmsted is how versatile it is. “I love the pride in North Olmsted and I feel like I fit here!” As an artist, she would love to see an artist community grow here. “When artists gather, amazing things happen”.
Hannah and her family are very active and can often be found in the Metroparks, on bikes, kayaks or fishing in the lake. Hannah enjoys gardening and has spent countless hours uncovering landscaping that was overgrown by several invasive species. She is in the process of creating a large vegetable garden and would like to honor the history of the property by having a stand in her front yard with organic vegetables and fresh cut flowers. Hannah’s son Jonah plays hockey in the North Olmsted Mite program while her husband Tommy coaches the team. Hannah says, “We spend a LOT of time at the rink – a gem for the community! The North Olmsted Hockey Club is pretty awesome!”
Hannah began her business in 2004 as Captiva Designs – a supplier of custom costumes for competitive performers. Her business is now known as Cleveland Sewing Company. She is self-taught and learned by making mistakes in the beginning. After trying a few different venues, she decided she wanted to be available for her son, and less stressed, so she opened a shop in her garage with various industrial machines and she continues to do production work for local businesses, but she has also started focusing on her own work. She is currently enjoying making pieces from recycled items. She makes really pretty and cozy “Smittens” (fingerless gloves) and fleece-lined mittens from sweaters, coasters from slate roof tiles, lavender and flax seed relaxation pillows from party dresses, bags, wallets and journals from suede and leather jackets, vintage motorcycle inner tubes and racing leathers. Where did that idea come from? “My husband and I raced vintage motorcycles together for 5 years. We were national vintage sidecar champions in 2 different clubs and raced our own solo bikes as well. It was an amazing experience.”
When asked what she would tell someone wanting to start their own business, Hannah offered this advice:
“Be flexible. Be ready to change. Markets are always changing, tastes are always changing, fads come and go. Stay true to yourself. Stay positive. Keep on pushing. Meet new people. Be generous. Create a network. Know that some things just aren’t going to work. Don’t get discouraged. Listen to suggestions from others, but don’t lose sight of your vision. Don’t listen to the nay-sayers. Be aware, as there are doors opening for you all over…you just have to notice them. I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is to not be selfish with my work. The more you help other people with your business, the more it comes back to you. The community you create with your business network can be an amazing community.”
If you are interested in seeing some of Hannah’s items, you can find them at North Olmsted Noel on Sunday, December 6, 2015 from 3:00-6:00PM at the Senior Center. You can meet her, along with additional vendors, Santa, music, food, kids crafts and games, and more!
Find Hannah on Facebook: Cleveland Sewing Company
Find Hannah on Etsy: www.etsy.com.shop/clevelandsewingco