When Michigan native Julie McCullough arrived in Dallas in 2001, she brought her creative drive and passion for handmade attire with her. The Pin Show co-founder and owner of Make Shop & Studio has a new venture: Folksie.
The fashion and home brand includes men’s, women’s and children’s pieces you can buy online. There’s also a blog about the lifestyles of people who inspire McCullough, and the five people who hand-make each garment and piece, one at a time, in McCullough’s Dallas Design District studio.
These are simple statement pieces, designed to become wardrobe staples. Among them, you’ll find flowing tunics, comfy kimono tops, fashionable coats, button-down shirts and vests, priced generally between $100 and $200.
“I believe if you make a well-crafted product, you can make a living,” says Folksie founder Julie McCullough.
McCullough started Folksie in 2012 but got serious about developing it as a brand last year.
“Each component of the Folksie brand fulfills a creative place for me,” she says. “I also get to produce products that fill the home and style voids for the creative people in my life.”
These are not mass-produced items. Folksie pieces are “small batch,” often with only 20 to 50 units per fabric/style.
“We are sourcing our materials from quality suppliers that we trust, using mostly cottons, linens and wools, as well as some surplus fabrics that come from designers in Los Angeles and New York,” McCullough says.
One of the cornerstones of Folksie is socially responsible employment.
“We pay an above-average wage for our staff and provide a family work environment, realizing that life comes first and we all support each other through any challenge, even beyond a day’s work,” she says. “These things may add some costs to our operation and the price of our product, but we as a team feel it is important that everyone succeeds.
“This is a much more sustainable way to do business.”
Sales have been fantastic, McCullough says, and largely driven by word-of-mouth. As for the future, McCullough says she is focused on maintaining the brand's steady and healthy growth.
“Ideally, I would love to be able to tackle more and meet more makers, learn from and collaborate with them, and keep this dream of craftsmanship-over-commerce alive,” she says. “I believe if you make a well-crafted product, you can make a living, and we would love to add more jobs to this movement.”