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Hello! I’m your host and resident evil genius, and since you’ve wandered over here, I might as well tell ya a little about our weird and wonderful little company. My name is Niamh (say nee-uv!), and along with my totally un-phonetic name, crazy curls, and Irish genes, I was lucky enough to have inherited a love of art from a very early age, which is really to blame for the whole rest of this story. This love of art led me to art college and eventually on to the world of illustration, and along the way I landed this totally random internship at a company called Embroidery Library. It was at this internship that I was introduced to the nifty world of machine embroidery.

That internship soon blossomed into a pretty awesome full-time job, but the more I drew and learned, the more I found the machine embroidery industry lacked a certain type of art -- namely, all the weird stuff I was so fond of doodling in my spare time. Eventually, I approached Deb, the head of EL, with my idea for a new kind of approach to machine embroidery, and we set to scheming. What we came up with, out of a year of doodling, digitizing, and all-around hard work, was a shiny new company: Urban Threads!

 

Our relationship is awesome and a bit unusual. We operate as part of a larger team at Embroidery Library, an employee-owned company of just over 20 people right outside of Minneapolis, MN – but as Urban Threads, we work apart. This collaboration gives us the opportunity to create embroidery designs with the amazing quality and digitizing skillz that EL is known and loved for, while taking them in a whole new direction for stitchers (presumably such as yourself) who crave designs you’re just not going to find on the mainstream sites. As Art Director and Evil Genius at Urban Threads, I work with the fantastic artists, computer geeks, and other creative folks who make up our little team within our small company to bring these designs to life. Thanks to this unique partnership, you get the best of both worlds!

We offer designs in as many formats as possible, so people from all crafting backgrounds can join in the fun. If you're not into machine embroidery (yet!) you can still stitch your favorite designs in hand embroidery.

 

So, who is this unique and crafty consumer we speak of? You! And trust me when I say, “you” means a lot of different kinds of you! Urban Threadsters come from all ages and all walks of life. You might be a mum trying to find something to stitch for your finicky teenagers, or a hip granny who still could teach those kids a thing or two about style. Urban Threadsters are DIY teens, crafty dads and moms, embroidery entrepreneurs, hipster seniors, pirates (seriously!), professional vampires, and hobbyists bored with the usual. You are the offbeat, the creative, the whimsical.

Most importantly, our designs exist for you and your creative endeavors. One thing that sets Urban Threads apart from some companies is that our licensing policy allows you sell the things you make with the designs. You may use them to stitch unique creations for yourself, or offer a whole store of creative wares on Etsy, or use the designs as inspiration for everything from tattoos to cakes and even manicures. Our passion is sharing in your dreams and your creations, and we hope you take the designs places we never imagined they could go.

 

Every weekday around noon (Central time) we post a cool new design, and every Friday we feature a sweet new step-by-step tutorial, showing you cool new and creative ways to use your favorite designs. Plus, Urban Threads isn’t just a place to find cool new projects and designs, but also to share your own ideas and input with us and with other crafty folk! Got a great design idea? Submit a request! Want to share your latest hooping feat or crafty creation? Add it to the gallery! You can even see your own art become a machine embroidered reality by becoming a featured artist at Urban Threads.

I’m so glad you’ve come by to check out our crafty little domain, and hope you find what you’re looking for. Curious to know who else is running this crazy circus? Well, let’s meet some of the people just bonkers enough to work on Urban Threads.

 

Niamh – Art Director & Evil Genius

Niamh has been dabbling in the dark arts of Illustration since her teen years, and since diving into Urban Threads she’s found all sorts of fun creating, designing, and otherwise scheming with her cohort Karline and her nefarious stuffed rabbit, Craft Bunny. Besides drawing offbeat embroidery designs and MacGyver-ing together tutorials, Niamh enjoys reading, traveling, martial arts, movies where things blow up, and occasionally still freelancing illustration for magazines, concert posters, and children’s books. She also probably spends far too much time at her computer, trying to scheme up various ways of taking over the world with embroidery.

 

Karline – Marketing & Ringmaster

If you contact Urban Threads with a question, love note, or trifling amusement, Karline is probably the person you'll talk to. She does a little bit of everything to pull this whole bizarre show together, from setting schedules to enforcing deadlines to writing the occasional tutorial to lots of dry things involving databases. Karline was raised in the woods by a seamstress and a mad scientist and has been making things since forever. She is an editor, a knitter, a nerd, a rocker, a reader, and an amateur.

 

Danielle – Digitizing Diva & Space Cadet

Once upon a time there was an awesome gal named Danielle. She was born in a distant universe and raised by bouncy space cats. After teaching her the ways of color and design, they eventually sent her to Earth to learn to play with the other humanoids, where she decided to continue drawing and painting and go to art school. Upon coming to Urban Threads, she learned how to enslave androids and computers alike to produce embroidery. Danielle also collects Pez dispensers; likes reading fantasy and sci-fi books, traveling, belly dancing, and playing with her cats Luna and Nova; has more than 75 lawn gnomes, and has a horrible obsession with Halloween. Viva la Halloween!

 

Colman – Illustrator & Master of Skulls

At age two, Colman was given his first crayon. Shortly after that he realized that he loved to draw and that he would never stop. Since that time, he has given up crayons and moved on to the pencil, oil paint, digital illustration, and many other media. He has illustrated for many years for various screen printing companies, so the switch to designing for embroidery was a natural and painless evolution. Colman still makes digital illustrations, still makes oil paintings, and still loves drawing with a pencil, but to this day, he refuses to pick up another crayon. Colman is responsible for a good number of the skulls and flames here around Urban Threads; in fact, he tends to draw them even when we don’t ask for ‘em.

 

Taylor – Illustrator & Daydreamer

Growing up in northern Minnesota, Taylor has been passionate about art for as long as he can remember. When it was time to move out and "become an adult," Taylor went to school for graphic design and began his professional career drawing caricatures during the summer. (Imagine, a job where people pay you to make them look... less than flattering!?) After college, Taylor moved to the West Coast to study art and continued to draw caricatures at Legoland California. Eventually the artist's journey brought him back to the Midwest where he joined up with the UT crew, and the rest is history.

 

Angela – Code Wizard & Cowgirl

Ever since her young years and despite not quite knowing what a developer was, Angela always wanted to be one because that’s what her dad was. After her first high school development class she had figured out what it is a developer actually does, and thankfully was quite happy to become one. She eventually signed on to help run a strange little website called Urban Threads, and is now helping to bring crazy embroidery to the masses through this thing called “the internet.” When she’s not being our “IT guy,” you will find Angela riding, training, competing, and being an all-around cowgirl on her barrel horses in Waverly, MN, where she lives with her husband, Aaron.

 

Deb – Da Man

An executive powerhouse in jeans and flip-flops, Deb is the company’s president and fearless leader – and one of the people who developed it into the employee-owned commune of creativity it is today. When she’s not keeping us Urban Threads kids in line or bursting in with breaking news that foxes, not owls, are the hot new trend, she’s reading voraciously (Cold War fiction in particular) or traveling the world. Deb is an Aquarius, which explains a lot.

 

Craft Bunny – Mascot & Security System

The loveable furball of death and destruction was given to Niamh as a gift when she was in college as a token of her love of Monty Python and her strange obsession with fanged bunnies, and has been eating her scissors ever since. Craft Bunny’s hobbies include consuming large quantities of embroidery thread, showing off his fangs, occasionally taking over tutorials for his own uses, and otherwise wreaking havoc in the studio. He considers himself a very crafty individual, and we don't argue with anything with that many teeth. (Need your own fanged bunny? He's the creation of ToyVault and you can catch one on Amazon, among other places. Mind your fingers.)

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