The Missouri Star Quilt Co. story begins in Hamilton, a town of about 1,500 people. Like many small towns in America, employment was scarce. Towns that, once upon a time, thrived with local enterprise were left with abandoned buildings and crumbling infrastructure. Many local residents had to travel long distances to work, or were compelled to leave the area altogether to find employment. Our Dad, Ron, commuted an hour and a half to work each way as a mechanic for the Kansas City Star newspaper. He worked long hours and many night shifts to support our family. Sadly, in 2008, he lost a hefty portion of his retirement savings in the market crash. The newspaper industry was a sinking ship, laying people off every month, so we came up with a plan to help our parents with their retirement. My brother Alan and I had the idea to start a family quilting business.
That November, on a shoestring budget, we bought a building in Hamilton to house Mom’s longarm quilting machine and started the Missouri Star Quilt Company! At first we primarily offered machine quilting services and sold a few quilting supplies. Soon we realized that it would be difficult to make a decent profit here in our small town. As a result, we decided to take our new business online. Alan teamed up with his best friend, David Mifsud, to get the business going! They had become friends while serving in Kiev, Ukraine as missionaries and had always dreamed of going into business together. With Alan’s experience running tech-startups out west, David’s financial and marketing background, and my expertise in the quilting industry, we had the ingredients to start a successful online business. I ran the quilt shop and the daily operations of the company in Missouri while Alan and David focused their efforts online. Together we were able to work harmoniously to propel the company forward.
At first we relied entirely on our creativity to help the company grow without much advertising, but business really picked up when we started posting videos online of my mom Jenny, AKA “Mama Doan,” teaching simplified quilting techniques. It wasn’t long before Missouri Star became the biggest quilting channel on YouTube! Mom was a natural in front of the camera, but she didn’t anticipate becoming a quilting “sewlebrity!” Seven short years later, she has starred in over 300 quilting tutorials! With over 300,000 subscribers and 70 million views, Mom has been able to reach out to her viewers around the world and spark new enthusiasm for quilting!
Alongside the popular quilting tutorials, we helped standardize precut fabric, which has revolutionized the quilting industry. Because Mom uses precuts in her tutorials as the building blocks of a quilt, it was the perfect way to encourage people to get behind a sewing machine and try something new! Precut fabrics are bundles of fabric, cut into standard shapes and sizes, featuring an array of coordinating prints from a designer fabric line. In just a few years, Missouri Star Quilt Co. has grown to offer the largest selection of precut fabrics in the world!
Another factor in the company’s rapid success was the Daily Deal. It’s an extreme discount on quilting supplies with 40%-100% off every single day of the year! The Daily Deal still brings thousands of customers to the website each day, along with our affordable $5 flat rate shipping. Missouri Star Quilt Co. now ships thousands of packages every day to customers like you!
Our little hometown in Hamilton, Missouri has now become a quilting destination, attracting visitors from near and far. We even had a tour bus from Australia roll into town recently! It’s a quilter’s paradise with a dozen fabric shops and a Sewing Center for quilting retreats, right on the main street! What started off as a family business has now grown to include an entire community—and even though we aren’t all related, we sure feel like family. We hope you’ll come out and visit us soon!
– Sarah Galbraith