An embroidery business in Villa Rica started from humble beginnings but is now a thriving community staple. Carolene Cox, aka The Sewing Lady and owner of 2 Sew 4 U Embroidery, learned to sew during a time in which it was expected of a young girl to learn the craft. “My grandmother taught me to sew, and I hated it. But she insisted,” Cox said. Cox eventually honed in on that skill, and with a Husqvarna embroidery machine and a single needle attached, started embroidery work in her bedroom. Thanks to some connections at Best Net Car Sales, it didn’t take long for her to get her first order. From then it took only two weeks for Cox to need to upgrade to a six-needle machine. Then sure enough, because of more completed requests, only 12 weeks later she moved into her garage for the work and again needed to upgrade– this time to a 12-needle machine.
In 2005, a friendship blossomed from her first big order with a car dealership. Cox noticed a food truck on the lot, “Can I look in there?” she asked the dealership owner. She needed to get her business out of the garage and the truck, having an office area and space for her now three commercial embroidery machines, was an ideal fit. With the truck, she was able to work motorcycle shows and festivals from Ashburn, Apalachicola, Alabama, Tennessee, as well as South Carolina. And throughout the school year, she was even granted permission to park on a school lot. She embroidered names to student backpacks as students were in and out of class, and Cox’s ability to speedily embroider and same-day finish was the reason the Sewing Lady nickname came to fruition.
In the 2000s vinyl became popular but brought with it a challenge. To work on the material Cox needed a new machine, the Scan-N-Cut, a cutting machine with the ability to cut and add design to a variety of materials. And for the new machine, Cox needed a new, bigger space. This prompted the thought of opening a shop on the ground. Cox initiated her search at where Hixtown Brewery stands today, but her husband found a place in Villa Rica – 214 Montgomery Street; “This is where you need to be right here,” she remembers him saying. Since 2016 Cox and her fellow embroiderers have been there. They work Tuesday – Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Cox adds, “That gives my coworkers time to revamp, refresh, and come back to work because [the shop] needs to be a happy place.” During Cox’s revamp and refresh time she is currently involved in the Main Street Advisory Board of Villa Rica as the vice president. She says, “whatever is needed I try to be involved.”
Cox very much appreciates her community and clients, including Gordon Foods, Saddle Creek, Magnum Paving, Hixtown, SweetTreatBar, Covenant Life Church, Kiwanis Club, The Golden City Cruisers, and numerous others. She comments, “The referrals and our customers are just wonderful.”
Her advice for new businesses on how to get started: “You start small, you can’t start big, you have to start small. And the collaboration with customers and referrals and people just being happy has made us a success,” she adds, “and trusting in God.”