‘Not your grandma’s quilt shop’: Vaughn shares love of sewing in TJ’s Fabrics store

Published 8:33 pm Thursday, March 14, 2019

TJ Vaughan’s face lights up and her voice jumps when she starts to talk about sewing and her love for the craft.

“I have been sewing since (I was) 5 years old,” Vaughan said. “My mother sewed, my grandmother sewed. They would give me their scraps that I would lay my dolls on and cut around them. I had my own little machine that I wish I had still, I loved that thing. I couldn’t wait for my mom to get home from work, so I could show her what I had made.”

TJ’s Fabrics started its journey when Vaughan decided to add a small selection of fabrics for sale in her husband’s pharmacy store in 2002.

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“I was looking for fabric to make dresses for some little girls that I knew and looked all over south Alabama and asked, ‘where are all the fabric shops now?’” Vaughan said. “And there were none. I came back home and told my husband Greg, ‘We are going to add fabric to the store.’ He looked at me and thought I had lost my mind.”

After several years, Vaughn was ready to slow things down and retire but life had something else in store.

“After things not working out with retirement and not selling my business, we decided Troy was a great new location for it,” Vaughan said. “We were riding around one day and saw this location and thought, ‘this might be a good place.’ Greg finally told me that I couldn’t have any more space for the fabric store in his pharmacy or his business would be running in the parking lot.”

The connection with fabric, sewing and cotton runs deep in her.

“My family has always worked in cotton mills,” Vaughan said. “So, my dad was a little nervous when he found out I wanted to start selling fabric since all the mills had been shut down. He would be proud now and excited to see what we have built if he was still alive.”

Before opening in early January, Vaughn, her employee of over 10 years Savannah Scofield and her husband faced obstacles while building.

“There was so much rain when we started building,” Vaughan said. “I didn’t realize there was so much emphasis on water-run off in our parking lot. And then it rained and rained and rained. We were going to open in December, but we couldn’t get the parking lot done with all the rain. Savannah and I filled four U-Haul trailers and toted everything in ourselves.”

In the new store, Vaughn has an endless amount of quality fabrics, Baby Lock sewing machines and classes.

“I want to bring back sewing,” Vaughan said. “We are gonna have beginner classes for moms and even kids. All of our fabrics are good quality and it is not your everyday cotton. We are going to be certified to repair and service the Baby Lock machines.”

And, of course, she’s excited about sharing her love of sewing with the Pike County community.

“It’s the small things that make me happy and giving our best service is one of those small things,” Vaughan said. “We are here for you. This is not your grandma’s quilt store.”


Story by Jenna Oden