Sarah's Cloth and Accessories is a Handmade Canadian based company owned and run by Nicole Dodge. Nicole is a wife and mother of 4 beautiful children. Her store offers unique, high-quality children's clothing, cloth diapers and mama and baby items.
Sarah’s Cloth and Accessories began in 2014, as a mother’s resourceful way to cut diaper costs. When Nicole had her third daughter, Savannah, she decided to use cloth diapers rather than disposable, but everything she found was too expensive.
In response to this predicament, Nicole decided to try and make them herself. Using her mother’s old sewing machine, Nicole slowly began to learn how to sew. In the process of creating these diapers, she discovered, she not only had a knack for creating clothing, but also enjoyed it.
Nicole went to school to study culinary arts and always thought she would have a career as a baker. She had no interest in sewing or fashion up until she opened Sarah’s Cloth and Accessories: “My Oma and my mom both tried to get me to sew when I was a kid, but it was too stressful”.
Although Nicole’s interest in sewing began as a way to create for her children, requests from friends soon poured in. She was pleasantly surprised to find that many people wanted to purchase her designs.
Sarah’s Cloth soon outgrew Nicole’s home and expanded into a cozy storefront: “My husband was tired of tripping over fabric in the dining room and kitchen, now my fabric isn’t taking over”. The store has been open for almost 2 years now, and Nicole believes having a store location has been great for not only her business, but for her. Helping to keep her work life separate from home.
Today, Sarah’s Cloth offers ready-to-order clothing in essential and seasonal lines, as well as pre-order options that allow for minimal customization for the style of clothing. The store displays Nicole’s uniquely crafted creations, along with items she fell in love with when her children were young. You can find her clothing in-store, online and in select stores in London.
Sarah’s Cloth remains competitive through its pursuit to offer novel products and services to customers. Just recently, they began offering discounted products to customers who sign-up for their monthly subscription boxes.
Nicole says that this new venture has taken off beyond her wildest dreams and gives her customers something to look forward to each month. “People love them! I had no idea, I just wanted to try it out”. This venture has proven to be successful for the store, with nearly all customers re-subscribing. Their monthly subscription boxes allow customers to sign up and receive a new surprise every month.
Upon receiving their orders, customers are pleasantly surprised to see the unique styles and fabrics Nicole has chosen: “It’s fun for me because I get to pick and I get to design, and if I want to throw in a little lace or decorative trim, or create shorts, I get to choose that as well”!
Nicole has a great following of loyal customers and it’s clear that customer satisfaction has always been essential to her success:
"My customers are the most important part of the business to me. I try to go above and beyond. Even if there’s a disappointment and mistakes happen, I try to make sure that I do better and learn. Of course, clothing and sewing are fun and important, but my customers make the business. Without them, there wouldn’t be a business".
It is apparent that although customers come for Nicole’s unique styles of quality clothing, they return for her great service.
So, what’s in store for this growing business?
Nicole is now looking to expand her business by creating a ‘mommy & me’ space in her store and continuing to hold workshops to support and teach new moms. She also says she would like to help those who have a passion for sewing by sharing her ideas on YouTube: “there’s always space to grow for any business and I want to be there for other people”.
When asked what she would like to achieve in her business, she answered, “To inspire others to start their own business. Not everyone is going to like your product or your style, but there are always people who will”.
Many people have inspired Nicole in continuing her business, but it was her third daughter, Savannah, and her late sister, Sarah, who inspired her to begin this journey.
"My third daughter is the one who I created the business for. She was named after my sister. I see her in her all the time. She reminds me to be inspired and to create. My sister passed away 8 years ago from leukemia. We always fought, but we wanted to wear the same clothes and had that sisterly love. She was always such an inspiration, always gave this joyful energy. I try to run the business in that same way. She was such a creative, fun, outgoing person and I’m not. This business forces me to do that. I always try to stand out like she did".
It is evident that Sarah’s energy shows in Nicole’s work, capturing that youthful and joyful exuberance that she saw in her sister.
From opening a business at home, to owning her own store, there’s no stopping Nicole!
Contact: 63 Frank Street, Strathroy ON, N7G 2R3 www.sarahscloth.com (226) 374-9289
The Business Help Centre (CFDC) of Middlesex County is staffed by a team of business professionals who encourage entrepreneurship and the pursuit of economic opportunities. Funding support for the corporation is realized through partnership with FedDev Ontario. As part of the Community Futures program, the Community Futures Development Corporation of Middlesex County provides the following: ● Business Consulting & Resources ● Term Loan Investment in Small Business ● Community Economic Development
The Business Help Centre’s, “loan helped me get started. Without that I probably wouldn’t have this. The workshops and guidance are great, they’re really good at connecting you with people that you should and need to be with”. – Nicole Dodge