Q&A with Owners Manda Brandt and Robbyn Bybee
417 Home: Robbyn, you have a degree in elementary education, and Manda, you are an engineer by training. Why sewing?
Manda Brandt: My mom used to sew. She would do custom bridesmaids’ dresses and sewing for people in our home. And then my grandmother was always doing home decor sewing, so they both taught me from a young age. I enjoyed working in engineering, but I would still do home projects.
Robbyn Bybee: Nobody in my family sews really. But [when my family] moved into our current house, every window [was] wide open. I’ve always been somebody who likes to see something and figure out how it’s done. So I did my own drapes, and then friends asked me to do some stuff and it grew from there.
417 Home: Your first brick-and-mortar was in downtown Springfield. What are some advantages of your current shop?
R.B.: We do get some walk-in traffic, so just the visibility and curb appeal of our building is good.
M.B.: I think being in this community has been really great. I mean if we need wood repaired, there are people on the street that can do wood repair and painting, and it’s just fun to be in the creative atmosphere of C-Street.
417 Home: What makes for a good upholstery project?
M.B.: [People] should reupholster things that have great sentimental value or that are very well made.
R.B.: Or fit their space perfectly.
M.B.: If it doesn’t meet one of those things, then they can probably buy it cheaper.
417 Home: What home decor trends are you loving right now?
M.B.: We really like velvet and chenille-upholstered furniture.
417 Home: What is one resource you recommend for someone working on a DIY project?
R.B.: We love [the book] Spruce by Amanda Brown.