Photography by Emily Patten of Emily Patten Photography
Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
I’m Laura Seymour and I am the owner and fiber artist behind Hitch + Cord. I grew up in Rochester and graduated from SUNY Fredonia with a degree in English. That led me to many years in the world of corporate marketing where I slowly transitioned from large companies to smaller ones, and eventually to non-profits. While I really enjoyed marketing, sitting behind a desk all day just wasn’t cutting it and I always had that dream in the back of my mind of working for myself.
I launched Hitch + Cord on February 14, 2016. I work out of my home studio making handcrafted modern macrame wall hangings, plant hangers, bunting banners, etc. It started out as a hobby and I couldn’t have imagined how quickly it would grow into the business it is today. It’s now my full-time job which involves an online store, selling in regional stores, art shows and pop-ups, as well as teaching classes. To see my dream come to fruition has been so amazing.
What are you passionate about? What makes you tick?
I’m passionate about being an independent and self-sufficient woman. To be completely honest, I’ve never handled people telling me what to do very well. This transition to owning my own business has really empowered me to trust myself and get out of my comfort zone. Knowing that I have complete control over the direction of Hitch + Cord, from both a creative and business perspective, pushes me to be my best.
I’m also very passionate about animals and have three dogs who I adore. Before going full-time with Hitch + Cord I worked as the Social Media Coordinator for Lollypop Farm, our local humane society. Being a part of an organization that helps homeless and abused pets in our community was very meaningful to me. I miss being around all of the animals, but I now get to spend a lot more time with my own pups which is really great.
How did you get started? What were some of the difficulties you faced in starting?
I definitely have memories of macrame when I was younger because my grandma had a bunch of orange plant hangers and a crazy hanging side table in her house. It’s recently made a big resurgence and I was totally enthralled with the new modern look when I came across it. I wanted to learn how to make something for myself but was having trouble finding a class so I ended up going to the library and taking out books from the 70’s and ultimately teaching myself. It was a long journey of learning, cutting, knotting, taking knots apart, re-knotting, unraveling, frustration, doubt, late nights, and finally a bit of success.
Besides learning a new art form from scratch, I also had to learn how to run a business! There are so many small things you don’t realize go into it. I remember getting my first online order and saying to myself, “wait, how do I ship this?” From packaging, to finances, to marketing, to time management, there’s definitely a lot to learn but the process has been really exciting and rewarding.
What is your biggest regret?
I’m still pretty new to this so I don’t really have any regrets at the moment. I try not to waste time regretting things when that time can be better spent on figuring out if something went wrong and learning from it.
What is your best advice to someone just starting out? What advice do you wish someone had said to you?
My best advice would be to not wait for that perfect moment to start something new. The longer you wait the more time you have to second guess yourself. Don’t let fear get in your way, just make the leap. I’d also say make sure you invest in your brand early on. Your brand is your reputation so while good design and marketing can be expensive, in the end it really pays off.
I wish someone would have told me not to compare myself to others. Especially with social media today it’s so easy to doubt yourself and your work and think you aren’t good enough. Stay focused, stay confident and continue to learn and grow.
Lettering by Shelby Zink
What inspires you? How do you recharge creatively?
I’m inspired by so many things but especially by other people who make things with their hands. It’s so easy to just go to the store and buy something that’s been mass produced so I’m always grateful and impressed when items are handmade. Seeing how much time and effort others put into their work inspires me to keep pushing myself to be better at what I do.
I recharge by traveling. My husband and I have been traveling internationally for years and we love going to places that aren’t your typical tourist destination. Experiencing new cultures, food, art, and architecture always inspires me when we come back home. I even name all of my pieces after our travels.
What is the most challenging part of running your business?
Sticking to a schedule has been a big challenge for me now that I work from home. I’m a super organized and task-oriented person so I thought it would be easier than it is. It’s ultimately just me and my two hands making everything so it’s easy to get overwhelmed with what I need to accomplish. I’ll admit I have those days where I don’t change out of sweats and get nothing done. But I also have days where I crank work out and feel super accomplished. I’m working on finding that balance, but I’m still dreaming of the day where I don’t feel like I’m always behind.
What is your favorite part of what you do?
I have so many favorite parts! Finding the perfect piece of driftwood, the last snip of the scissors when I finish a piece, when that piece then finds a new home with someone who appreciates it, and meeting and talking to new people at shows just to name a few. I also really enjoy sharing my knowledge of macrame with others through classes because I wish I had someone who taught me.
Name some local creatives/business owners that you really admire
Erika Sorbello who owns Gallery Salon & Spa. She’s been my stylist since she first started Gallery Salon in it’s original location. It’s been amazing to watch her grow her business into what it is today. She’s also so supportive of local artists and showcases their talents every year through her artisan sale.
Laura Bascomb-Werth & Mary Presutti of Emerson & Oliver. I met these ladies earlier this year and they’ve really taken me under their wing. They inspire me to take on new challenges and I can always rely on them for their openness and honesty.
My husband Tim Seymour. He’s my biggest supporter and an incredibly talented Creative Director. Hitch + Cord wouldn’t be what it is without his guidance and creative insight.