By Brittany Wiley
BAPA Business Liaison
The Quilter’s Trunk, 10352 S. Western, a quilting, sewing and embroidery boutique, has been serving the area since 2015. Over the course of those 5 years, owner Katie Nathwani has created a “peaceful, colorful and friendly place” where customers have become a family.
Nathwani’s family lives all over the country, so connecting with her customers and her community has been of the utmost importance to her. When the pandemic began, the need for PPE was high, one of her customers who works at OSF Little Company of Mary Hospital asked for help and Nathwani agreed. They began collecting masks at the store to bring to the hospital. And the sewing community responded generously.
As the need for distribution grew, Nathwani reached out to the 19th Ward office for help. Ald. Matt O’Shea stepped up and subsidized the cost of mask kits. So Nathwani created a mask pattern, posted it on The Quilter’s Trunk website, and put kits in a tub outside the store door. People from all over picked up the kits and brought back finished masks for essential workers. Together they made and distributed over 6,000 masks.
The pandemic forced Nathwani to “change the business to support the community.” And her efforts were recognized. The Quilter’s Trunk was recently awarded the Synchrony Pillars Project Award. The Synchrony Pillars Project is a celebration of small business leaders who make a difference in their communities by changing what’s possible for their businesses and their neighbors.
The Quilter’s Trunk’s ability to help transcends mask–making. Sewing is a therapeutic activity and customers have developed their own support network. “Through the pandemic, the riots, the election cycle – when you feel like the world is going crazy; to have a therapeutic activity and provide good for the world is grounding,” said Nathwani. The business and its customers have worked together toward a common goal for the good of this community.
Nathwani wants everyone to feel comfortable shopping at The Quilter’s Trunk, whether you are new to sewing or extremely skilled. The store stock products for people on any budget. Customers are constantly praising them in reviews for their kindness, helpfulness, friendly nature and quality of products.
Support this pillar of our community this holiday season. The Quilter’s Trunk will be putting together a collection of gift ideas at different price points. They also give customers the opportunity to create wish lists at the shop for their loved ones.
Curbside, email and phone orders are available for those who cannot visit the store. Keep an eye out for their virtual classes beginning soon, www.thequilterstrunk.com/virtual-events.