How a hobby turned into a successful clothing line for Philly native Lindsay Gradel
SewMuchCooler grew out of Gradel’s booming mask business, which started at the beginning of the pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought out a lot of creativity in people all over the world.
That is no exception for Lindsay Gradel, the owner of SewMuchCooler, an online-based shop that focuses on creating unique dresses for young girls.
“I actually started seven years ago, I’ve been making kids’ clothes primarily for girls,” said Gradel.
Along with the dresses that she makes by hand, she is now selling eclectic masks for people to wear during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The masks she sells have grabbed the attention of children, who are usually adamant about not wearing them.
“If we have to wear a mask you want to style it and wear what you want,” she said.
Her original plan was to create cool and colorful masks that will set the right moods for people who have quarantine blues.
“I was making my daughter’s clothes because it was just a hobby of mine, and now I have this company,” said Gradel.
Gradel also made headlines at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic when she donated almost 1,000 face masks for nurses who work in nursing and local hospitals in the Philadelphia area.
“It was amazing and it completely elevated my business,” she said.
She also stocks her sewing room with over 300 styles and colors of fabrics that will make one-of-a-kind designs for dresses and outfits for children.
“Now, because I am trying to get back into the clothing line again and make masks secondary, I am really pushing that now,” said Gradel.
Before her business boomed, Gradel was once a U.S Navy Veteran, after that, she went to CCP and then transferred to Temple University to receive a business degree.
“I have all of these skills from business school, and then I started making clothes so that was such a good business to start,” she explained.
With many parents still unemployed a year after the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Gradel made it her mission to price her homemade garments and masks at an affordable cost.
“I don’t want to mark my dresses for 50-60 bucks and I maybe sell only one dress,” she said.
Although her business is mainly online, she does sell her attire at other stores in Ardmore and Chestnut Hill.
“I have spaces in certain stores like Serendipity in Chestnut Hill, I go to my space and I fill it and rearrange it however I want,” she said. “I also have a space in Ardmore called CommonSpace, I go there and restock my face masks.”
With three little ones at home, Gradel is focusing on expanding her business once they go back to school in the coming months.
“I honestly take things day by day, because everything changes so drastically,” said Gradel.