The Alabama Chanin Journal was unofficially launched back in 2006. In those early days, there was no editorial staff (or much staff at all). There was just Natalie and a couple of friends who pitched in here and there. The early blog posts had little in the way of structured format or consistent subject matter. There was no set schedule for posting, though we did like to post something at least once per month. Mostly, the posts focused on things Natalie found interesting: photography, books, cooking, recipes, and friends. We were trying to find new ways to express our creativity outside the bounds of traditional methods.
Initially, we were not sure if anyone even read what we were writing. But gradually, friends and followers began to email us or speak to us at events—mentioning things they’d read on our Journal. And so, we began to consider making our online Journal a true part of the Alabama Chanin way of life—and a reflection of our brand. Our Journal had become part of our authentic “voice”.
Over the years, we have been blessed with dozens of talented contributors and had the opportunity to address issues across all spectrums. For instance, we have reviewed hundreds of books, enjoyed a plethora of recipes, talked about personal moments in our individual lives, spoken passionately about our social and political beliefs, and shared with you some of who we are as individuals. Our somewhat disorganized publishing schedule was given a true format and structure. In addition to a schedule of weekly events and a Factory café menu, Journal readers can now look for weekly content under the categories of: Design + Fashion, The School of Making, Inspiration, In the Kitchen, and Travel.
Our online Journal has helped the company to define our path and values and allowed us the opportunity to communicate those ideas to so many people. It has also been a way to keep in frequent contact with our followers. As the Journal grows, all of Alabama Chanin grows.
Our company’s mission statement includes being an active part of our community—and while this refers to The Shoals and the greater north Alabama region, we realize that we have a growing online community whose voice is as important. The relationships we build here mean just as much.
What was once a project that Natalie undertook during the hours she should have been sleeping has now become a point of company pride and company identity. The Journal now has a small staff that is overseen by Natalie, and we work together to write posts that stimulate our audience, challenge them, and encourage community building. As we launch this new, updated version of the Alabama Chanin Journal, let us know what you find inspiring by commenting and spread the word by sharing favorite posts in your own community.
Thank you very much for this aspect of what you do! I look forward to the Journal entries every day and have learned so much reading and revisiting them (including the tip to visit Cafe Prückel in Vienna, where I was just two days ago). This space really is one of enrichment and elevation. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
I am so glad that you do this journal. As an artist myself, I really enjoy each entry and find them very inspiring…. I look forward to the link in my inbox each day. It is one of the few e-mails I do not immediately delete. I live in Connecticut where people are different… and it seems not many people are like me who sew, cook, garden, enjoy the beauty of nature, and a simple life… So I am very happy to know that there are others like me : ) I appreciate the time it takes to do your journal entries…. Thank you
I read every word every day. Many thanks for good information, inspiration, food for thought.
I’m also a daily reader of the journal, and have often shared posts with students in my U.S. History and English classes. Thank you for interesting and meaningful content. Looking frwrd to reading your posts over my morning coffee again!
In June I visited your kitchen,studio,store,factory,sanctuary – your place
Enjoyed the poached eggs
Inspired by what I saw
Look forward to getting to know you
As a native, proud Alabamian, and a life-long sewist, I have been following Alabama Chanin for many years. I have archived so many of the posts over the years to refer back to. And, I am the proud owner/creator of two Alabama Chanin skirts I made from the Alabama Studio books I collect. I treasure the latest book with Natalie’s signature and special gifts the most. Thank you so much for sharing your techniques with the world so generously. I am eternally grateful to have an understanding of the techniques so I can create my own versions.
i have often wondered who writes the journal. Thanks for the explanation. I have been a faithful follower for years, but I am remiss about commenting. I will try to do better in the future as I truly look forward to each journal entry.
I am so excited about the new look! I am a devoted Alabama Chanin reader and sewer now.
Just left the beach with friends and a new skirt to boot! all made while stitching and talking. LOVE!!!
I’ve been following Natalie for a long time and really admire the company and community she has built. I am a huge fan of her design principles and practice slow making using all her books. The Journal is a daily inspiration and thank you for sharing.
Over the past few months, I’ve been slowly reading through all the posts, starting with 2006. I’m finally up to 2014. lol Is there a way to search by month with the new format (which is very beautiful)?
Thank you for the kind words. You can search by month by typing in the following: journal.alabamachanin.com/20XX/XX (with the X’s being the year and month you wish to search).
For example, if you wanted to search July of 2010, you would type in journal.alabamachanin.com/2010/07
We hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any further questions.
Thankyouthankyou! I didn’t want to miss a post – each one a gem.
Love the new look – just gorgeous!
Natalie and the journal have been very inspiring to me for the last several years, and it just gets better. The posts help start my day with grace, reminding me of the pleasures of simplicity, quality and connection.
I have made small items (which I and others use every day) using the techniques, and now have wearable projects on my list. A corset top is coming along on an upcoming trip, as well as a wrap with an ambitious pattern on it. It’s wonderful that hand-sewing is so portable. My smaller pieces have come on day trips and even been created while walking with friends outdoors. Can’t say that for a sewing machine.:)
Thank you for enriching our lives through your journal. Here’s looking forward to many more years to come!
Natalie is incredibly inspiring to me, as a designer. Handmade means so many things to me. It means I am putting passion, love, tears and more into my items. It means someone in another country is not sitting in a factory being forced to make my item for me. It means I am reducing my carbon footprint on this earth by upcycling my designs. Reducing the waste, and reusing to turn something old and rejected into something new and glorious.Thank you, Natalie, for being an inspiration to us all. I am constantly told as a designer that when I become “big” I will need to outsource my designs to overseas factories, it is just a “fact of life”. Alabama Chanin id proof that I will never have to do that. I can keep my items handmade all the time:) I love you all! And I wish I could sew for you, but I live in Oregon!