Aging Parents: Loving Life’s Leftovers One Stitch at a Time

by Joy Loverde

Spending sixty percent of my waking hours on airplanes going from here to there for work purpose offers me plenty of opportunities to meet fascinating people in the waiting area. Such was the case a few months back when I had the privilege to meet Sue Parrish, lead product designer for Keepsake Threads.

The story behind this wonderful company goes like this…

On July 3, 2009 Byron Carrier passed away. His wife, Mary, spent the next five months sewing 32 bears out of his clothing.  She surprised her children and grandchildren with them for Christmas later that year. Byron Carrier’s legacy lives on.  It lives on through the teaching that he did for so many years and it lives on as his clothing comes to life in Mary’s bears.   And so Keepsake Threads was born.

Mary’s daughter-in-law, Kathy Carrier, is the mastermind behind Keepsake Threads and a successful entrepreneur who understood the opportunity, felt the calling, and moved forward.  Kathy also owns a successful 250-person consulting firm, Briljent.

“The mission of Keepsake Threads is to serve the Lord by serving others,” says Kathy. Profits are donated to Hope International, an organization that serves the poorest of the poor across the globe with microfinance services

Today Keepsake Threads offers a wide variety of keepsake products that are custom made from your own sentimental clothing items.  The company is able to repurpose garments that are no longer worn, but hold special meaning, into goods that can be used and enjoyed on a daily basis.

Keepsake Threads features items from a fashionable women’s scarf, to pillows made from neckties, to a quilt displaying pieces of a treasured wedding dress.  They are also able to transfer photographs or sentimental documents, such as a page out of a journal or recipe book, on to fabric and incorporate that into a one-of-a-kind keepsake item.

If you or someone you care for is making their way through the grieving process, is preparing to celebrate a milestone (wedding, graduation, baby, etc.) or simply has clothing that is not worn, but cannot be parted with, why not check out and let your imagination run wild? They also have a phenomenal designer (Sue Parrish) on hand to help you craft the perfect item for your situation.

Please email them at or call 1-877-99THREADS and tell them Joy Loverde sent you.

3 Responses

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  3. What a fantastic way to help folks live on after they've passed. I wish I'd had something like this when my parents passed, and I'll be sure to let my friends know about it.