Karen Templer owner of Fringe Supply Co

My name is Karen Templer. After years working in online and print publishing, I started Fringe Supply Co. in my kitchen in late 2012 (a year after starting the blog, Fringe Association), with a simple desire to put together a small selection of top-quality, well designed, hard-working tools and bags that would enhance a knitters’ experience of their craft — the sort of beautiful utility goods I was having a hard time finding. The community’s embrace of it, and of the Field Bag in particular, has made all sorts of good things possible.

As Fringe has grown, I’ve learned a lot. Mostly about the responsibility of owning a small business, being entrusted with people’s hard-earned money and making sure it continues to move through our economy and work for a wide range of people — by hiring, by partnering and collaborating with other small businesses, paying our fair share of taxes, and giving back. I now have a small but mighty team of employees who work remotely and in our warehouse-studio headquarters in Nashville. We’ve contributed to the growth of a local, woman-owned sewing factory with the ever-increasing demand for our bags, creating good jobs for sewers and allowing for our signature bags (Field BagPorter Bin and Town Bag) to be made locally, in a sunlit space we visit every single week. We love working with other businesses both here in Nashville and around the country (from printers to dyers to paper goods makers) with a similar dedication to making products as responsibly as possible.

And for the past several years, we’ve been able to donate a percentage of our revenue each quarter to help combat hunger and poverty around the globe. So far we’ve donated over $58,000 to Heifer International (much of it then doubled through their matching campaigns) toward their efforts to provide needy families with fiber animals that make real change in their lives, as well as doing ad hoc fundraisers for such things as disaster relief and the fight against rising hate crimes here in the US.

We’re doing our best to find or make tools and bags you can depend on to work hard for you, look great, last a good long time, and biodegrade when the time comes. We want you to be glad you spent your money here, in all the ways. We are far from perfect, but those are our goals and we’re doing our best to reach them.

We’re truly grateful for your support. 

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For occasional shop news and a steady diet of ideas and inspiration, please follow my blog, Fringe Association.

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