Carrie McWithey- Fringe Outerwear

Carrie fringe

People are tired of crap. Perceptions of value are changing. Getting more for less is no longer a concept people appreciate. Artisan, hand crafted, and local are replacing these old fashioned, unsustainable ideas. I am an artist and hand crocheter who is working, hat by hat, to further this shift from buying cheap, to buying handmade. In order for me to continue on this path, I am looking for monetary assistance which will aid in the growth and sustainability of my sole-proprietorship.


Value has long been a term used to describe getting as much stuff as you can for the least amount of money. I believe people no longer subscribe to this idea, that more is better. Value, more recently, is being attributed to well made things crafted by talented people. For example, handmade soap, though 4 times as much as the value packs you can get at Target, is better value. The soap feels and smells better. It lasts longer than you might expect. Using something that is high quality, and locally made, as well as knowing you purchased this amazing soap from someone you see around town makes you feel good. All of these things add value.


For the last 15 years, I’ve created high quality, artistic hats, arm warmers, bags and shrugs. I’ve reached a point in my business where I can no longer make enough product to satisfy the demand of the changing times, the demand for valuable wares, while still finding time to design and create the way I could if I had more time and resources. My business has need to expand, from a one person operation, to a community of crocheters who use my tried and true designs to create a bounty of items to be sold at boutiques and art fairs in the area. This business growth will also require other local folks’ talents, as Fringe will need websites, marketing materials and people to work booths and tables at various shows, thus enriching the local economy with jobs.

Now is an incredible time to be alive and part of this change. For thirty years, we’ve outsourced, super-sized, value-added and maximized, but those old needs are met. We, the people, now thirst for sustainable and local. We support. We appreciate. I feel proud and fortunate that my craft is rising with this shift. People want great hats and warm shrugs. Let’s give the people what they want.

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