New York City-based startup Stitchroom aims to update the process of designing and producing custom upholstery pieces. “We’ve removed the often intimidating and complicated barriers of the traditional custom process by creating an easy to use online tool that allows you to entirely customize pillows, cushions, and more,” says founder Ella Hall. We talked to Ella to learn more about what inspired Stitchroom and why sustainability is at the heart of the company.

How did you come up with the idea for Stitchroom and how did you first get started?

I grew up in the Midwest and my love for design and sewing brought me to NYC in 2009 where I briefly pursued a career in fashion before joining a fast-growing interior design startup and it was there the idea for Stitchroom was conceived. Working in client services I recognized the difficulty interior designers and their clients experienced in getting the simplest products custom-made. Either the cost was too high or the turnaround time too long, so on a single sewing machine in my small NYC apartment, I started sewing custom pillows for a few interior designers.  Soon after the word got out, my customer base started to increase and it was then I saw the vision and opportunity, and ran with it! What had started as a side hustle quickly transformed into a growing operation. A year after starting the company I brought on a co-founder with an engineering background to help build out the Stitchroom platform where the process was entirely streamlined and all of our customers projects would live and be managed. 

What’s the Stitchroom process and what makes Stitchroom unique? 

Stitchroom’s mission is to streamline the custom upholstery experience from start to finish. We’ve created a process of purchasing custom that is easier and faster than it’s ever been before. Traditional upholstery has been around for hundreds of years, but very few business practices have changed so we’ve updated the ordering process. You start by logging into your account, creating a project, uploading your fabric of choice, and designing your products. We specialize in pillows, cushions and other simple upholstery, where you can customize: dimensions, fabric, trims, and more. You can also track the progress of your order in real time. Most products ship in 2 weeks and all products are made locally in NYC!

Tell us a bit about your Sustainability practice? 

When Stitchroom started, the operation was housed in my living room. While space was limited, there was no room for the extra fabric pieces leftover from projects, and customers didn’t want it. I was left with bins and bins of beautiful remnant fabric pieces that were not large enough to be donated, and the trash was not an option, so I decided to use the fabric to create throw pillows and sell them. Pillowsforpurpose.com is a website where 100% of the proceeds from the pillows go to charity. This sustainability practice is part of every order where the customer has the ability to donate the extra fabric from their Stitchroom order or we can ship your remnants back with your purchase to eliminate waste. Pillows for purpose allows us to give back to our community and establish a sustainable recycled fabric system. With each purchase, a pillow is donated to a shelter. 

What’s next for Stitchroom? 

We’re constantly evolving and adapting to serve our customers best and now we are currently focusing on building out new some new tech features to streamline the custom process even more. We will be launching a new fabric collection soon and are working on some collaborations with interior designers! It’s a very exciting time at Stitchroom and I look forward to continuing giving users the ability to fully customize their homes and offices making them more personal than ever!