Brooke Floyd and Laura Eicher were teachers at Academic Magnet High School who were interested in sewing as a hobby. They began taking lessons at Hancock Fabrics at Westwood Plaza, which recently closed. The store did not have a space dedicated for lessons. It was crowded and uncomfortable. There was nowhere else in West Ashley to take sewing lessons.
In February 2011 they came up with a business plan to open their own store dedicated to giving sewing lessons. In March, Brooke and Laura attended a fabric show in Las Vegas. They talked to vendors and bought fabric samples. They initially rented a space on Ashley River Road and prepared their shop after the school day ended. On June 11, 2011, they opened Five-Eighths Seams. A seam allowance for clothing is typically 5/8 inch.
The store expanded rapidly. Originally, the store’s goal was to open the store after school to give lessons and sell a little fabric. Floyd and Eicher discovered the fabric from other stores would often shred or melt when ironed. The retail section of the store grew as the need for quality fabrics grew. Floyd found out she was pregnant and knew she had to give up teaching. Owning the store has allowed her to maintain a more flexible schedule. Eicher decided to stay in teaching and left the partnership. She still teaches lessons at the shop. Daniela Perdomo, once an employee, has become co-owner. The shop recently moved to a bigger space at 1942 Sam Rittenberg Boulevard.
The shop’s niche is children’s clothes. Young mothers find sewing a creative outlet. The store does focus on apparel sewing but also carries quilting products.
“Wearing something you made yourself builds confidence and pride,” Floyd said. “Sewing is a life-long pursuit.”
For more information, visit FiveEighthSeams.com.