Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

Updated: October 16, 2023 Focus on Midcoast & Downeast

Dream weaver: Wiscasset entrepreneur cultivates community

Person holding woven towel Photo / Jim Neuger Hilary Crowell, founder and owner of the Cultivated Thread in Wiscasset, selling her wares at the Common Ground Fair in Unity last month.

Hilary Crowell is a former farm apprentice who runs a small-batch weaving studio in Wiscasset she founded in 2020.

She runs the Cultivated Thread from her home, making handwoven towels and other products sold online and at events. Crowell was a first-time vendor at the Common Ground Country Fair in Unity this year, selling woven towels, lavender sachets and gift cards made from discarded fabric ends.

“This is a really special fair for me,” she said at her stand under the big top. She previously participated as a farm apprentice working with draft horses.

At the Cultivated Thread, she’s a one-person operation who makes nearly all of the products herself, occasionally outsourcing less skilled tasks such as washing and ironing.

Crowell launched her business in 2020 and has seen growth every year since then, with sales from her website and events both up over last year.

“We have wonderful, loyal customers who share positive feedback, consistently shop with us and introduce the Cultivated Thread to their friends and family,” Crowell notes.

This fall, the company began making wool lap throws, with pre-orders in response to its newsletter selling out in 48 hours.

“We plan to continue producing a high-quality product in the small-batch fashion we’ve always used,” she said. “We have long-term plans for scaling, but they don’t include a dramatic increase in production or moving away from our current methods.”

The company is also making strides in its self-proclaimed mission of cultivating community, slowly moving into producing events that focus both on craft as well as creating space for neighbors and friends to connect, like the Nov. 25 holiday market at the Hive in Bowdoinham.

“We value honoring local resources, and continue to work with a neighboring grower and dyer to feature limited runs of botanically dyed napkins,” Crowell said.

Sign up for Enews


Order a PDF