We are pleased to bring you The Lace Cottage as a member of our Sewing House family! With our expansion to a new larger space in July 2023 at the Collierville shop, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to become the new owners of this longstanding community treasure!

“When I was young, I would frequently visit my grandmother at her quilt shop in Alabama. It was fascinating to watch her create her incredibly beautiful quilts and I have one of my favorites on display in my office. Watching her sew and design, being surrounded by vibrant fabrics and a rainbow of yarn felt magical! She taught me to sew and quilt, and it has been a very special dream to carry on her love of sewing and quilting with The Sewing House.

As a young Mother, I made clothes for my three babies and it was incredibly special to pick out the fabrics and patterns and see them wearing outfits I created myself. Now that they’re grown, I still show my love through quilting and garment making. I’m now making quilts and outfits for our grandbabies! Like every home sewist, I put my love into every single stitch!

Through the years, I’ve always admired heirloom garments. The intricate smocking designs are incredible artwork! Heirloom sewing always intimidated me so I never ventured past simple garments for years. I didn’t know where to start! When my oldest daughter was a senior in high school, I was determined to make her a beautiful graduation dress. I was working full-time and busy with three kids but it was important for me to make her a special dress. I’ll never forget how my experience with the Lace Cottage made this goal possible.

Rose and Kit showed me what a gift they both have for teaching. They made me feel like I belonged at Lace Cottage. Their patience and generosity with their time and knowledge impressed me beyond measure. These ladies made me truly fall in love with heirloom creativity! During this time, I started to use my vacation days to learn at Lace Cottage - I was determined and had a deadline! Rose and Kit both helped me sew the most beautiful graduation dress for Morgan. I will always be grateful to them!”

~ Jennifer Reith, owner

Picture: L to R: Kit, Jennifer & Rose

History of Lace Cottage

An interview with Kit & Rose - July 2023

Kittie Hadskey “Kit” opened Lace Cottage with her sister Diane Baxter in September 1999. It first began on Market Street - just off West Street in Germantown. This is the fourth location, carrying on a long tradition that first began with an idea shared over a cup of coffee between two sisters.

Kit’s vision, “When we first opened the shop, I brought my mother’s dining room table in and we threw a quilt on top of it for a tablecloth. We stayed open late on Thursday nights for customers who needed to come in after work for Sit & Smock nights and we invited customers to come for Monday Sit & Sew days. Monday was a time dedicated to projects. Some customers were old-timers and some were brand new. Visitors could stay as long as they wanted to feel comfortable with their projects. We wanted our strengths to be where the other shops had weaknesses. The customers became like family since we spent so much time together! Many of our employees started out as customers first and a few loved Lace Cottage so much, they became owners! Rose worked with us at Lace Cottage - she was a customer who would come daily to visit.”

Rose’s story, “Diane and Kit offered me a job and it was my dream job! I worked there starting in 2001 and bought the shop in 2005. As an empty nester, it was an ideal job for me at that time. Rosemarie was also a customer who would come daily and she stayed with us for hours. She was very familiar with the store and would jump in and help when needed. One day, Rosemarie and I met up for coffee and decided to purchase the shop from Kit when her sister Diane retired. The caveat was, “You, Kit, need to come to the store and help us!” That’s exactly what she did and we are still teaching together!

Sit & Sew on Mondays is where we first met Jennifer. She’d come to work on her daughter’s St. Mary’s dress at our shop. We’d typically have 10-12 people at Sit & Sew Mondays - they could come and work on whatever project they wanted to work on and receive individual help as needed. Jennifer would joke that she had her “Janky little sewing machine” with her to work on this beautiful heirloom garment for her daughter. She did a wonderful job on Morgan’s dress!

Vintage-style gowns for important milestones are a beautiful tradition. At St. Mary’s and Hutcheson schools, the Kindergarten girls wear these dresses as they “graduate” and move up to 1st grade. They also wear them when they are graduating from high school. It’s breathtaking to see the girls wearing all of these heirloom gowns - truly a special tradition! At right - Jennifer’s eldest daughter Morgan in her 2011 graduation dress.

Rose: “Lace Cottage is one of only a few heirloom shops left in the south.

It’s so important to be able to visit and feel the fabric. You need to see the colors up close and examine the lace. Most importantly, you need to visit to get in-person instruction.

“We are thankful Jennifer and Tom are the new owners to carry on the business. The long lifespan of a shop like Lace Cottage is quite remarkable - especially since things are shifting to internet-based sales. Loyal customers didn’t want to let this tradition go. The last shop location was at a Germantown mall now going through major renovations. The shop had to move or close and it was difficult to find a budget-friendly spot. Jennifer and Tom Reith have saved Lace Cottage! It’s incredibly special this has happened since it’s unheard of for a shop to serve customers this long in the heirloom industry.”

“Kit and I have visited many stores in Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi over the years. Heirloom stores are a rarity. Being in business for 24 years defies the odds. It keeps getting picked up and carried on. The people that we work with are truly special. In our group of women, we’re all friends. We are sisters and take care of each other. We’ve been through so much together and it’s a true sisterhood. We take care of each other and we like to share our knowledge. Through all the changes in ownership, Kit and I have been a part of it through teaching and offering our mentorship to those who wish to learn.” ~ Rose

Heirloom inspiration

Rose - I started sewing when I was 11. My grandmother taught me and it’s always been a part of my life. For 6 or 7 years in a row Kittie and I went to Martha Pullen’s school to learn for a week each summer. She used to have a variety of classes and instructors available to teach heirloom techniques. We brought our newfound skills back to the shop and taught heirloom to our customers. We credit Martha for boosting heirloom popularity worldwide. Newer machines have also added beautiful dimensions to the art form.

Kit - Martha Pullen had a published magazine, Sew Beautiful, and she’s such a well-respected expert in the field. She now has an international business and has traveled all over the world to teach. She used to have a small Huntsville shop we’d visit where she sold fabrics, threads, and supplies. Her school was in a large convention hotel - it was such a special thing to be a part of. She’s now a brand ambassador for BERNINA machines and there are online classes. I give Martha a lot of credit for our success. When we owned the shop, we brought some of Martha’s instructors to Lace Cottage to teach classes.

Rose and I are excited to be teaching smocking classes at The Sewing House. We’re teaching both beginning smocking and the next phase, picture smocking. Jennifer has asked us to teach classes every month. We’re going to also teach hand embroidery classes. Rose and I have been teaching together for 24 years!

We support one another. We always want customers to feel comfortable and we don’t want them to leave until they feel confident in their skills.

Smocking is quick and easy to learn once the technique is mastered. It’s a visual skill and best learned with hands-on instruction. It’s difficult to just look in books or watch videos. Like any skill, it’s a matter of practice - the more you do it, the better you get.

Over the years, each owner of Lace Cottage has held the same goal - to continue nurturing a thriving heirloom community and teach the techniques.

It was important to us that customers felt like they could ALWAYS come in and ask questions. There are no stupid questions. Customers would walk in and ask, “I know this is a stupid question…” We don’t believe in that - there are none. Everybody needs help at some point. We wanted customers to always feel comfortable to call or come in and let us help. That’s the philosophy of Lace Cottage. We would not have felt comfortable selling our business to someone who would not carry on that tradition. We’re so happy Jennifer and Tom are carrying this vision forward! Jennifer joined this community years ago and values the importance of heirloom traditions.

“We were told by so many customers, ‘This is my happy place’ or, ‘This is where I feel at home.’ It was like therapy! With this group of women, we’ve been through every issue in life - it’s a supportive community.

These customers have already sewn clothing for their children and now they’re sewing for their grandchildren. Many of our customers had grandchildren at the same time we were starting to have grandchildren. Lace Cottage is historical since it has now spanned an entire generation. We used to help women make clothes for their babies who are now having babies.”

“It tugs at my heart to see this evolve. Rose and I are honored to be a part of the Lace Cottage tradition as it moves to The Sewing House family in Collierville.” ~ Kittie

Jennifer’s vision:
“I never dreamed that someday I’d own a quilt shop and have the opportunity to carry on The Lace Cottage tradition in my own business. One of the main reasons Tom and I decided to expand to a larger space (nearly 3X larger!), is to keep The Lace Cottage mission going forward and bring our customers a much larger, dedicated classroom. We now have my dream classroom space and a big, gorgeous showroom of fabric collections, notions, and patterns.

We also have an incredible selection of sewing and longarming machines to appeal to every level of sewist, quilter, and machine embroidery enthusiast. From novice to professional-level creatives, my dream is to serve our community in the best way possible. Together with our beautiful gem of a shop in Tupelo, our Collierville shop is now complete with The Lace Cottage as part of our family. Rose and Kit have continued their smocking classes in our new shop and we’re absolutely honored to have them share their gifts with all of us! Come see us at The Sewing House and shop for your Lace Cottage fabrics and learn with us!”

~ Jennifer Reith

3660 S. Houston Levee Rd., #103 Collierville
(Next to the newest Stak’s Kitchen)
Monday-Thursday, 10 am - 6 pm
Fridays, 10 am - 5 pm & Saturdays 10 am - 3 pm
901-316-8783, info@shopthesewinghouse.com