It starts with a stitch, then a chain, then a row.
In the small town of Duffield in southwestern Virginia, Rebekah Polder is creating some of the most luxurious and beautiful handmade throws and layette items we’ve seen.
The entire Polder family is committed to craftsmanship, and Rebekah is no exception. She helps her family run two businesses: her own brand, The Handcrafted Home, and the family’s collective brand, Polders Old World Market. There’s a lot that goes into running multiple businesses, but with 12 siblings in the family from ages seven to 34, there are a lot of helping hands. “We love it, working together as a team. It’s pretty awesome!” says Rebekah.
The family homestead is nearly 30 acres, home to Jersey cows, ducks and chickens, hogs and beehives. And a host of talented humans each creating items to add to the family business. “There is something that each family member can contribute,” she says. “Everyone has different skills, some baking, some sewing, some doing candles and honey. It runs in our family. We’ve always loved artisan-made goods. It was always kind of a dream to have a family business.”
While working for that family business, many of the kids have branched out with their own enterprises, including Rebekah’s crochet work as The Handcrafted Home. Her grandmother taught her the basics of crochet when she was seven years old, making scarves, hats, and washcloths. For a while, Rebekah let it fall to the side while focusing on other projects, but has picked it up again over the past few years, and has honed her skill, creating beautiful patterns and designs.
“I wish she could have been around long enough to see me actually use what she taught me to turn into a business. I would have loved that,” she says, remembering her grandmother who passed away last year. “Now I’ve kind of taken it to the next level and expanded my skills, and turned it into a business that I can pour my creative ideas and skills into. Handcrafting has always been important to our family, so I wanted to embrace that.”
Each Handcrafted Home Scrunchy Throw takes from eight to 12 hours to crochet, and since she’s always busy helping her family farm and running their social media accounts, she sets aside a few hours each day to work on her orders.
Rebekah has created her own patterns and incorporates a signature popcorn fringe that she created on a whim. And her soft-as-a-cloud baby scrunchy throws are a mimic of the larger versions. She uses 100% cotton yarn and suggests hand washing. ”A good rule of thumb is if it’s handmade and you want it to last, handwash!”
She is thrilled with how the business has thrived and is excited to see it grow and expand over the next year. She has aspirations to expand her line of products beyond her throws and baby throws. She also makes hand-crocheted lace, which started her online business, and would like to do more hats and baby items like socks. She’s taking custom orders for hats and more. She would also like to support other small American businesses by partnering with other brands and carrying their products that flow with her brand. “The home embodies all kinds of things so it makes sense for The Handcrafted Home to carry other products for the home,” she adds.
Follow The Handcrafted Home on Instagram @the.handcrafted.home and visit her website thehandcraftedhomeshop.com to see all of her designs and to get your hands on one of her amazing, cozy throws.
And check out Polder’s Old World Market for the family’s handcrafted wooden Dreamware kitchen products @poldersowm on Instagram.