Craft-ish Episode 23: Alabama Chanin Founder, Natalie Chanin

craft-ish alabama chanin

A Conversation with Natalie, Founder of lifestyle company, Alabama Chanin

This week Vickie sat down with Natalie Chanin, a pioneer in the slow design movement and the creative force behind the sustainably-made goods lifestyle company, Alabama Chanin.

Due to a scheduling conflict their conversation was cut short, so Vickie was unable to squeeze in all of the questions she’d intended. During the time they did have, though Natalie filled her in on the slow-fashion philosophy, Natalie’s signature, piece-work design style, and the importance of knowing where the origin materials for what you put in and on your body come from. 

This episode is sponsored by:
logoalabama chanin zipper bag

Get a FREE pencil and 100% organic cotton Alabama Chanin zipper bag ($19.95 value!) with any Albama Chanin purchase of $75 or more at!
Use code: VickieMakes  Offer valid until 9/22/16 — while supplies last!

Show Notes:

Design weaves its way into the fabric of our lives. As designers, we carry the responsibility of using our skills to enrich the environment–on every level. In a world that is constantly inundated with new products, I strive to create products that enhance lives—both at the individual consumer level and the large-scale manufacturing level.


Chop Bead detailing by Alabama Chanin

By incorporating age-old techniques and manufacturing processes into modern design, using organic and/or recycled materials to create new products, open sourcing our materials and methods, or creating educational systems around making, it is my hope that communities and lives can be touched by the products that we create through my company, Alabama Chanin.

alabama chanin cast fabric cuff

Fabric Cast Cuff from Alabama Chanin Collection #30

Alabama Chanin celebrates and preserves unique traditions and crafting techniques, with a strong commitment to community through Made in the USA, local production. The company is rooted in the tenets of the Slow Design movement: good, clean, fair—which encourages designers, artists, and consumers to create and utilize thoughtful products in a socially and environmentally responsible way.

alabama chanin bennet coat

Hand sewn, 100% organic cotton Bennet Coat from Alabama Chanin Collection #30

I continue to learn and to teach craft traditions, using them to bridge generational, economic, and cultural gaps, as education and open-source transparency are the cornerstone of Alabama Chanin’s philosophies. By unifying pride in craft with contemporary design, our work integrates timeless culture and American heritage into a constantly changing world.

Since 2000, Alabama Chanin has expanded to include a family of businesses: the Alabama Chanin collection, The School of Making, The Factory Store + Café, and Building 14 Design + Manufacturing Services. All facets work together to create a collaborative community and idea exchange, healthy growth, and a love of quality goods that last.


Alabama Chanin Heath Ceramics

Natalie Chanin, Courtesy of Heath Ceramics

Alabama Chanin Links:

Company website

Current Collection

A. Chanin Machine-made line

Heath Ceramics Collaboration


Nest Partnership

Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns



Produced by: Vickie Howell

Edited & Mixed by: Dave Campbell

Music Provided by: Explosions in the Sky


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One Response to “Craft-ish Episode 23: Alabama Chanin Founder, Natalie Chanin”

  1. Kathy Pinkerton

    Vickie, I have recently enjoyed listening to all of your podcasts “binge” style, over the last couple of weeks. Your talent for interviewing is not only clearly refreshing for those you interview but, for us the listeners as well. Your topic choices speak to your love for all things creative. There were topics that I thought that I would not be interested in but, found that I was so glad that I listened. I have laughed, been entertained, and learned – thank you! I am looking forward to what you have planned for the future!


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