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Young Entrepreneurs: Sewn Together
March 18, 2016
LEWISBURG — Kaitlin Schuck always liked the stories. The background that revealed where a product originated. It’s no wonder she now is in the business of selling clothing and accessories from around the globe. They all tell a tale, and their sale helps people. “I loved buying items that had stories behind them,” said Schuck, owner of Threading Love in downtown Lewisburg. The store, in business for just 16 months, expanded faster than Schuck and her husband, Ryan, imagined. Earlier this month, Threading Love moved to a bigger location next to the Campus Theatre. The store sells clothing primarily for women ages 15 to 35, but has items for babies and baby boomers. “It’s almost like a mini-department store,” Schuck said, noting the books, packaged coffee, jewelry, purses and blankets. “We partner with about 65 brands,” she added. “Some are local artisans. Some of the U.S.-based (companies) are helping the homeless. They buy blankets and the blankets are donated to homeless shelters.” Threading Love also sells Tom’s Shoes. That company works with more than 100 partners in more than 70 countries to give a pair of shoes to people in need for every pair sold. “We partnered with about eight new brands,” Kaitlin said. “The goal is to continuously expand and keep upgrading.”
Kaitlin, 27, a Mifflinburg native, does her own designs of clothing they sell and works with a mission in Cambodia that rescues women from sex trafficking. The women make clothing that is sold at the store. “They provide health care, education,” she said of the mission. Threading Love’s flannels are its biggest product, though the Threading Love signature collection elephant pants, pajama bottom-like pants with elephant designs, are popular, too. Kaitlin has been buying merchandise based on what she finds in the marketplace. “A lot were brands I wear myself,” she said. Three companies even have reached out the store. “They found out our mission,” she said. But in choosing products, she is picky. “She spends countless hours researching the brands,” Ryan said. The store is primarily Kaitlin’s operation, but Ryan helps out. “I am very much behind the scenes,” said Ryan, 29, a Selinsgrove native. He works full-time as a recreation specialist at the Allenwood Federal Correctional Complex. The former Ohio State football player also was hired as an assistant football coach for Mifflinburg Area High School. The couple decided to open the business in Lewisburg, where they also live, because they like the downtown business atmosphere. “There is no question we want to stay local,” Ryan said. He said Lewisburg promotes downtown events. “It’s just a great community,” Kaitlin said. “The Lewisburg Downtown Partnership does incredible work to promote things online.” She said the biggest hurdle for them starting a business was their youth. “We could dream and dream big,” she said. “But some banks were apprehensive.” They received backing with the help of Bucknell University’s Small Business Development Center. “They gave us the tools to work with,” she said. “We had no background in business, but a bank gave us a loan.” Kaitlin has a degree in biology from Susquehanna University and Ryan has a degree in psychology. “Teaching classes taught me organization, speaking in front of people,” she said. They moved the business because it needed more than the 1,000-square-foot space in the 200 block of Market Street. The new space is about twice as big. “We couldn’t have done this without the support of our customers and employees,” Kaitlin said. They plan to set up a 5K race on April 30 where people can choose one of five causes to support. Threading Love will try to partner with a local charity.
“That’s kind of like what we’re trying to do here,” she said. “We always have that mission mindset.”
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Threading Love’s One Day Without Shoes
May 8, 2015
LEWISBURG — All retailers offer deals that are good for your wallet. Then there are those that offer deals that are also good for the planet. “Threading Love” at 214 Market St. in downtown Lewisburg, is one of the latter. The store, owned by Ryan and Kaitlin Schuck, opened last year and is dedicated to working with different brands and organizations that are all giving back to others in some way through their products, Kaitlin said. “The brands we work with vary in their mission and location, but all have the commonality of having a story behind their products. Threading Love’s mission is to bring together these brands that are giving back to others so we can provide our customers with the latest fashion that is changing the world,” Kaitlin said. So the newlyweds decided to get involved with a company they deal with called TOMS. TOMS is one of the leading brands in the give-back community and their “One for One” mission has gained worldwide recognition, Kaitlin said. For every pair of TOMS shoes you buy, a pair is donated to a child in need and that gained serious attention from the Schucks. From May 5 through May 21, TOMS is holding a campaign where it gives shoes to children in need. Simply taking a picture of your bare feet and posting it on the social media site, Instagram. “There is no cap on how many pairs they will give,” Kaitlin said. “This is the perfect opportunity for everyone to get involved without needing to purchase anything and help make a difference in so many lives. “Kaitlin and Ryan decided they needed to bring attention to the campaign to the Valley, she said. “To create awareness for this campaign and support this amazing brand we work with, Threading Love is doing a series of events and giveaways to help people locally and on social media get involved,” Kaitlin said. “To give a pair of shoes to a child in need, all you need to do is take a picture of your bare feet and post it on Instagram with #ThreadingLove and #WithoutShoes. The hashtags are important because that is how both us and TOMS and tracking the amount of shoes that will be given away. As an incentive to get involved, Threading Love is giving away a pair of TOMS shoes from our store to the winner of a competition that is based on a points system. Points are earned by doing different challenges that create awareness for the “Threading Love ‘One Day Without Shoes’ Event.”
On May 18, the challenge to everyone is to try to go one day without shoes, Kaitlin said. “We will be holding an event at the store that evening from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. with giveaways, food, fun, and facts about the importance of shoes to celebrate. Through doing missions and traveling, I have been able to see first hand how important shoes can be for a child. Without shoes children cannot go to school which affects their education and life forever. Without shoes, children suffer from jiggers and sores that turn into life-threatening infections. But, we have a chance to make sure nobody goes without shoes.”
For more information visit www.threadinglove.com.
Threading Love: Downtown Lewisburg’s Newest Store
August 6, 2014