Made in Vermont: Dandylion Designs

Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 5:16 PM EST
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STARKSBORO, Vt. (WCAX) - Ashley Farland loves working with her hands. For 20 years, she did just that as a private chef. But the pandemic presented Farland with an opportunity for change.

“I decided to take on a new venture and I ultimately knew I wanted to work for myself,” she said.

For the past two years, Farland has been building up a brand called Dandylion Designs. It’s what she calls a masculine luxury brand.

“I take suits, or other deadstock... velvets, or... but it has to be the highest quality. And I turn them into home textiles,” Farland explained.

The goal is to turn out elevated home decor with sustainability and attention to detail in mind. And while she’s doing it now, it was a long road to learn a new craft.

“I had never turned on a sewing machine two years ago,” she said. “So, that was a big learning curve... huge.”

Farland says she learned from the best sewers and business owners in Vermont, and even works alongside some of them now. After learning the ropes, she’s started making her own pillows, blankets and other home textiles, using deadstock fabric from high-end designers.

“It’s the finest fiber, it’s the most luxurious. It drapes a certain way, it’s long-staple cashmere. It’s exquisite,” she said.

Aside from home textiles, Farland works with Treehouse Woodworking to design wooden wares for the kitchen, too.

While those have a slightly lower price, Dandylion Pillows will set you back a couple of hundred bucks. But Farland says these aren’t disposable pillows; they’re heirlooms that will last a lifetime. And since they’re made in very small batches, your new soft goods are nearly one of a kind.

“It does elevate to know that someone doesn’t look at your stuff and say, ‘Oh, I have that too, I got that at... whatever,’” Farland said.

Dandylion Designs also retails the work of five other Vermont artisan makers, like Queen City Dry Goods, hoping to curate a wide variety of beautiful home goods for customers to enjoy.

“It’s really a consideration for caring about the finer details,” Farland said. “I feel like a lot of times that gets forgotten or diluted in this world, and I think there’s a huge opportunity to kind of go back to true craftsmanship.”

Craftsmanship that’s only found in Vermont.