Meet Lauryn Martin

By Leslie Moore

Meet Lauryn Martin

Petite, pretty and friendly, 29 year old Lauryn Martin knows the importance of reaching for your dreams. She began her career as a textile artist with little more than her strong sense of purpose, a liberal dose of creativity, a sewing machine and five huge trash bags filled with scraps of vintage fabric. Today she creates beautiful, functional art in the form of handbags, diaper bags, quilts, Christmas stockings, tree skirts…the list is nearly endless, from things most people would throw away.

Lauryn, how did you become a textile artist?

I was born and raised in Mullins, S.C., but growing up, my family vacationed in Cherry Grove nearly every year. After high school, I first wanted to go to the College of Charleston, but decided I wasn’t ready to move that far away, so I enrolled in Coastal Carolina University and began to study accounting. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I was not at all interested in accounting, so I switched my major to art. I’ve always loved to paint, but this wasn’t my path either, so I then transferred to Horry Georgetown Technical College. Mostly, my college career was spent trying to make my parents proud. They wanted me to do something safe so I could earn a living, and I did eventually graduate with an Associate of Arts Degree.

While I was at HGTC I met my husband Cory. We dated for eight months, were engaged for another eight months and then were married. After our wedding in Atalaya, we had to cut our honeymoon in Florida short because of Hurricane Katrina. My father-in-law has a roofing business in Wisconsin, and, after seeing how much damage was done by the hurricane, he wanted my husband and I to go with him to the area and see if we could help. So, we packed our things and moved to Mississippi for a year. I filled my car with fabric and a sewing machine, so while my husband and father-in-law worked, I sewed. And, sewed! My husband’s aunt had bought a tractor trailer filled with vintage fabric scraps from an apron factory, and Cory gave me five huge bags full of the fabric for our first anniversary. So, I had plenty to work with. I made pocketbooks, diaper bags, Bible covers, etc. And, people loved them – and bought them!

After we came back to North Myrtle Beach, I began working out of my home and gradually built up a good business. Each bag I create is unique and different. I had actually made my first bag to take on my honeymoon because I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted in any store. I don’t use patterns, so each piece I create is an original. You won’t see anyone else with something just like it.

Why did you open Heart & Sew?

About a year ago, I had a chance to open my shop, and even though I didn’t have much money, I decided to go for it. Currently, we have 80 artists who display their handmade work, ranging from paintings to jewelry, painted sneakers to wooden trucks, tutus, bags and aprons…the list goes on and on. I’m always looking for new and creative items to showcase, as long as it’s hand-made!

Quilts and bags from people’s treasured keepsakes are very popular. Sewing has almost become a lost art, and people have boxes of special memories that they don’t know what to do with. I just made a diaper bag from a father’s army uniform – and he loved it. I’ve also made quilts from baby clothes, tee shirts, whatever anyone wants to preserve. Right now, I’m making a special Christmas stocking from a friend’s son’s newborn baby clothes. I’m taking orders for Christmas items now.

Last summer we did classes with children that were so much fun. We called the classes “Crafty Tales.” One of our artists would read to the children and then do an art project with them revolving around the book. The kids loved it. We also do birthday parties for little girls. They pick out the fabric they like and design their bag. I then sew the bags together, and they can add little decorations if they like.

My strong faith in God supports me through the good and bad times. I owe everything to Him. Also, I am so blessed to have supportive people around me. My husband is my number one fan – I could not do this without him. And, thank goodness, I now have a couple of women who help me, Selena Defilippo and Jennifer Penegar. It was hard doing this alone, so I am thrilled to have help. Because of them, we were able to exhibit at the Dickens Christmas Show and are going to be at the Springmaid Arts and Crafts Show the first weekend in December. I am living my dream!

Contact Lauryn at 843-663-4739 or Heart & Sew is located at 1451 Hwy. 17 S. in North Myrtle Beach, and you can find them on Facebook.

About this writer

  • Leslie Moore Leslie Moore is the editor for Strand Media Group. A 25 year resident of Pawleys Island, she is blessed with a life filled with the love of family and friends and satisfying work to do every day.

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