Sean & Sao Yang | Sewn Edge
Sean Yang and his wife, Sao, opened Sewn Edge in Walnut Grove, Minnesota in 2018 and have recently (August of 2019) expanded to Willmar’s Kandi Mall. They offer sewing and creative clothing alterations. We got to know them during our Startup Bootcamp for entrepreneurs earlier this year.
Sean came to the United States from Laos with his family in 1989 when he was just 7 years old. Once they got settled, his parents started several small businesses doing things such as craft and vendor shows, food booths at grand events and finally settling down to clothing alterations 10 years ago. Growing up, Sean spent lots of time helping and working in their businesses.
Sean says, “I come from a community that is very family oriented in their ceremonies, traditions and food. We all work together to make things happen and small family businesses are common.”
Eventually both Sean and his wife were helping out with the family business which inspired them to start their own. That’s when “Sewn Edge” was born.
After 2 years operating their Walnut Grove location, Sean and his wife recently made the brave and strategic decision to add a second location in Willmar’s Kandi Mall. Walnut Grove is a small community and they wanted to be in a higher traffic area, yet, still conveniently located near home to Walnut Grove. They considered Worthington and Marshall, but eventually decided on Willmar.
More from Sean…
How did Sewn Edge come to be?
“My wife comes from a really conservative family that believes in repairing and repurposing clothes – so she’s really creative and experienced at sewing! I grew up on the business operations side, which is the part I love. We realized that those two things make a great combination.”
What inspires your work at Sewn Edge?
“We believe that everyone deserves equal access to beauty – so we make beauty accessible by creatively redesigning and modifying existing clothing to give it new life. Our customers can bring in used or thrift store garments and we’ll transform them into beautiful, customized pieces. They end up spending significantly less than buying new clothes at retail prices. We can also modify clothing purchased online or in retail stores that doesn’t fit quite right.”
We believe that everyone deserves equal access to beauty – so we make beauty accessible…
Who is your typical customer?
“We can help anyone, particularly customers preparing for special occasions such as weddings. Brides can bring in off-the-rack dresses to get modified or bring in their whole bridal party in to get alterations done. We want our customers to feel comfortable and confident in the clothes they wear, especial during those important moments!”
What have been some of your biggest challenges?
“Renovating our new space in the Kandi Mall while getting used to a 90-minute commute has been the toughest and most recent challenge. I also made the difficult decision to leave my full-time job in order to make this new location work. I really enjoyed my position there but knew that it was now or never for Sewn Edge!”
What’s next for Sewn Edge?
“Well, I have five kids and one is already interested in the business. So, a third location is probably coming someday!
Overall, our vision has always been to give something back. We hope to do that by giving everyone the opportunity to look and feel beautiful at prices they can afford.”