Kudzu Embroidery: From Passion to Flourishing Business

By HILLARY TAPLEY

MARIETTA, Ga. — Kudzu Embroidery is not just a place to get towels and scarves monogrammed, it is a family business located in the heart of East Cobb, that hosts an outlet for creativity and style.

“It all began 12 years ago when I developed my knack for monograms,” said K.A. Brewer, founder of Kudzu Embroidery.

In the garage of her house in East Cobb, she would sew, stitch and knit her own monogrammed and decorative apparel. She made dish cloths, towels, shower curtains, jackets, sweatshirts and a variety of many other items that could be used by a family. Brewer has three children, for whom she was interested in getting towels, shirts and other garments monogrammed.

She bought an eight-head sewing machine, and began to pay it off by selling her items. The house-held business took off, thus giving her the immediate idea to start the small business Exceptional Embroidery in a minute shopping center off  Johnsons Ferry Road in Marietta.

The business first sold generic college football apparel, Walton High School apparel, and items for families. In the back of the store was one three-head sewing machine, which Brewer used for all of her work.

“I had a lot of help from my kids, which made tasks easier, but starting up a business is never an easy thing to do,” Brewer said.

As the business grew, the store expanded, as well as the staff. Maura Tapley of East Cobb was hired to work for Exceptional Embroidery in 2009.

“I had a passion for creating things that my kids can wear, and little things that I can decorate my house with,” Tapley said.

She went from just working the cash register, to sewing the items herself. The business continued to take off, and the store changed locations to a boutique shopping center in Roswell.

“This location was still too small, and wasn’t in the heart of East Cobb anymore, so that took away from its ‘homey’ feel,”  Tapley said.

Despite the location issues, Exceptional Embroidery was doing very well for such a small family-owned business. The business was awarded Cobb Small Business of the Year for several years in a row, and business continued to increase.

Finally, in 2010, Brewer moved the location to a large store in a shopping center in the midst of all the East Cobb shopping. Off  Johnson Ferry Road, and situated between East Cobb’s most popular boutiques, the newly named Kudzu Embroidery is considered to be Cobb’s number one spot for embroidery go-to.

This past month, Kudzu also announced that it is Cobb County’s newest Lilly Pulitzer hot spot. Selling everything from Lilly quilts, towels, mugs and even sorority letters, Kudzu is
now a popular spot among college girls as well.

“It is the perfect place to get all my girlfriends their Christmas and birthday presents. It makes for a great personalized gift,” said Caitlin Chriszt, a regular customer at Kudzu.

Pillow cases, fun stationery, and personalized aprons are not the only personal gifts that are available at Kudzu Embroidery. The business comes with a personal story as well, built from the ground up. K.A. Brewer and her flourished business is a prime example of how
hard work and inspiration can one day lead to be a hot-spot business in the heart of a big town.

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