With rap lyrics & pop culture phrases, local craftmaker Andrea Molzhon is stitching her way into RVA’s hearts with her embroideries

by | Dec 9, 2016 | ART

For the last three years, Andrea Molzhon has been stitching her way into people’s hearts with her online embroidery business, Stitchin’ in Richmond.

For the last three years, Andrea Molzhon has been stitching her way into people’s hearts with her online embroidery business, Stitchin’ in Richmond.

Selling a mix of snarky and floral-adorned handmade embroideries with everything from pictures of the family pet, to pop culture references, to silly puns, Molzhon has crafted quite a little niche business for herself.

“For a while I was doing mostly rap lyrics, funny sayings, and one word things like “Hustle” and just stupid stuff from TV shows and movies that I liked,” Molzhon said.

And with embroideries with the phrases “Nasty Woman” “Bitch Please” and “Ain’t Nothin’ Butta G Thang” stitched into them, they aren’t exactly what your grandma would knit you for Christmas either.

“People like Donald Trump give me ideas,” she said. “Pop culture is ever evolving; we’re never going to run out.”

Stitchin’ in Richmond is only a side gig for Molzhon, who works full time as a developmental psychologist at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, but uses her down time there to complete some of her orders.

“I run an intervention for teenagers and young adults that have cystic fibrosis and anxiety and depression,” she said. “I always bring stitching with me to work while I’m on the phone. I do orders at night and during the day when I’m at work, I work on side projects.”

An RVA native and Longwood University graduate, Molzhon picked up stitching in grad school as a way to get her friends presents while on a budget.

“A couple years ago when I was a still a grad student and I didn’t have financial aid anymore and I was really struggling, all my friends were getting married and having babies I needed to give them gifts that I didn’t have to pay for,” She said. “When I was broke, I was like, ‘what can I make?’”

Prior to that, Molzhon took craft classes her entire time at Midothian High School.

“We had a really cool crafts class it was the old garage that they have transformed into the arts and crafts room,” she said. “I’ve always liked making things versus buying.”

After creating wedding and baby gifts for her friends, Molzhon posted a few of her handmade wedding embroideries on Etsy and after some research into what else was on the market, the craftmaker realized she may have stumbled onto something good.

“I saw there was a lot of funny embroideries and I thought, ‘that’s a really good idea, I should make a couple of those,’” she said. “I did it just for myself, but then people saw them and really liked them.”

After getting positive feedback from people who were interested in the funny and catchy embroideries, Molzhon got to work.

“I came up with a ton of ideas all at once I kept a running notepad on my phone so when I was at red lights or when I got out of the shower I was typing in ideas,” she said.

She sells her pieces on Etsy, every year at the Bizarre Market, and other craft shows in DC and Norfolk.

And her business sees a big surge each year around this time for people looking for that special gift for someone.

“I have at least seven open orders on any given day during the holiday season,” she said.

You can hang the embroideries on your wall, or in your kitchen or on your tree as a decoration. They come in 3 inches or 6 inches and price can range anywhere from $12 to $75 or more depending on the detail of the project.

And to make these isn’t exactly a quick and easy process. Molzhon designs images on her computer using Microsoft Paint then after tracing the design onto fabric and setting it in the hoop, she hand-stitches each piece which can take days, even weeks depending on the piece.

“Sometimes I hold the fabric up to my computer screen and tape the fabric down against the screen and just trace it, I use it like it’s a light box,” she said. “The really detailed ones I have to do on the computer screen.”

Currently, her most popular designs are the Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down, I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie” and one for the pizza lovers all which you can find below:

In addition to the embroideries already available on her Etsy shop, Molzhon will also do custom orders such as the date and names for newlyweds or a picture of your pet.

Besides Richmond, Molzhon said most of her sales come from Northern Virginia, Charlottesville, Ohio, and California, and while she’s entertained the idea of putting her crafts in local stores, the local queen of embroidery is happy with where the business now.

“I think if my Etsy sales keep going the way that they are then I don’t need to do that,” she said.

However, Molzhon said she wants to keep expanding Stitchin’ In Richmond by doing more custom orders.

“I do some wedding gifts and baby stuff,” she said. “I was getting bored with just words, I’m more into the artistic side of things so I’ve been doing more custom house things and custom landscapes. “It’s nice to mix it up a little bit.”

Amy David

Amy David

Amy David was the Web Editor for RVAMag.com from May 2015 until September 2018. She covered craft beer, food, music, art and more. She's been a journalist since 2010 and attended Radford University. She enjoys dogs, beer, tacos, and Bob's Burgers references.

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