From baby blankets to stuffed animals, beach towels to totes, and hats to socks, there’s almost nothing Allyson Yorks can’t customize.
In the front room of her Quincy, Mass. home, Yorks has transformed a small space into a bustling embroidery studio where she turns ordinary items into customized keepsakes with logos, names and monograms. She started Click + Stitch Embroidery on a whim about two years ago, and has turned it into the go-to shop for anyone looking to make a gift extra special.
“For a while this was just an expensive hobby,” Yorks said with a laugh. “But things really took off at the start of the pandemic.”
Yorks had no plan to be a crafter by trade. After graduating from Louisiana State University, she started working at the now-shuttered Scribbler shop in Needham, before pursuing her career in teaching. where There, she used the massive embroidery machine that now sits in her front room. When Scribbler closed, she took a chance and bought the machine.
It has 15 needles that all work in sync with one another, stitching whatever design in whatever color that Yorks has loaded via her computer. She has dozens of colors and thousands of fonts to choose from, and can embroider on almost anything. Her most popular items are baby blankets, stuffed animals, beach towels and hats.
“I’ve been in a good spot because all of the big stores want to do 100 of the same thing,” she said. “I find that so monotonous and boring. I love talking to people and designing and making it custom to the season or event.”
For Yorks, an office manager by day, Click + Stitch is mostly an evening and weekend activity. She makes between six and 10 items every night, and said if she’s home, the machine is running. While one item is embroidered, she can load other plans into the computer or talk with clients and work on designs.
“It’s fun, it makes me be creative. I like interacting with different people and making something custom,” Yorks said. “I was that kid who could never find her name on those custom license plates. In today’s world, nobody has a traditional name, but it doesn’t matter.”
A single name on a beach towel can take up to 20,000 stitches to get just right, and Yorks said it was a trial-and-error process to see which colors and fonts made the best products. Now, however, she’s got the hang of it.
“There are the ones where I’m sweating to death and so nervous to see how it comes out, but for the most part I can do what I know will look good,” she said.
Yorks stocks her own inventory of hats, jackets, towels, blankets and more, but will also embroider items brought to her. Towels are $45, baby blankets are $55 and outside items start at $12 each.
Photos in this post were taken by the wonderfully talented Greg Derr. They were originally published in The Patriot Ledger.