Sew to Speak Haven for Modern Fabrics & Sewing Classes

Whether you can barely sew a straight line or are a master quilter, Sew to Speak at 4610 N. High St. in Clintonville has a little something for sewers of all skills. Anita Gastaldo opened the shop seven years ago and has been filling it to the brim with beautiful bolts of fabric ever since.

Sew to Speak grew out of a love for small business.sewtospeaklogosmall

“I have always had an interest in small business and small boutique kinds of shops,” Gastaldo says. And while she had always been a sewer, a sewing shop wasn’t the initial direction. Fashion piqued her interest, but she didn’t know a lot about the industry.

As she was musing the idea of her own store, her daughter got pregnant, which actually led to the decision to make it a sewing shop. She wanted to make a quilt for her granddaughter and while searching for fabric, could only find the line she was looking for at one store in the area.

“We realized there was so much fabric that wasn’t represented in Columbus,” Gastaldo says. Her love of modern fabrics would provide the direction for the store.

Seven years later, the Sew to Speak is bursting at the seams with fabric.

“We’re very selective in picking our fabrics because there is a lot of fabric that’s available for quilting,” Gastaldo says. While much of the sewing industry focuses on quilting (and it’s the easiest kind of fabric to find), it can be used for all sorts of things. Sew to Speak also carries more casual fashion fabrics like knits, rayons and a little bit of silk.

Anita Gastaldo

The store is a one-stop-shop for sewers, stocking all sorts of notions and a line of beginner to advanced Japanese-based Juki sewing machines. (By the way, Sew to Speak is giving one away. Details here – but hurry, it’s the last day to enter!.)

Everything comes full circle with Sew to Speak’s extensive list of intimate classes. Capped at four to six people, “We keep our classes small so you get individual attention,” Gastaldo says.

The store attracts a lot of beginners.

“Our best selling class is Sewing 101,” Gastaldo says. Attendees learn to make a pillowcase. In Sewing 102 it’s a tote bag, and in 103, a zipper is introduced. From there sewers can move on to basic garments like skirts, dresses and t-shirts.

Gastaldo says someone who wants to get started sewing comes into the store almost everyday. The DIY movement and the trendy homemade look are attracting more individuals to sewing.

Through the help of the ScaleUp program, Gastaldo is hoping to take Sew to Speak to the next level. One of the main goals is to figure out how to raise funds to move the store to a bigger space in Clintonville.

Other shifts have poised the store for further growth. When she started, Gastaldo wrote a business plan, but “To rewrite it as a strategic plan was really helpful,” she says. It’s also helped her reevaluate her leadership, letting her take a step back and lead the team while allowing her capable staff to take on more.

“Being in the program with 14 other people with small businesses, we all have the same kind of issues,” she adds. It’s reassuring to know that growing pains are not just her business, but the nature of all small enterprises.

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