Fabric Farms keeps traditional craft alive
18 January, 2023
Husband and wife Jeff and Rachel Ruetty have always aspired to become entrepreneurs and share the experience with their three children.
“There's a tremendous amount of baby boomers who are going to need to sell their companies in the next decade. And it's an interesting way to get into business," said Jeff Ruetty, Fabric Farms owner.
That opportunity happened in March 2021, when they took over ownership of the long-time fabric and upholstery business Fabric Farms of Hilliard after the previous owners retired.
With their combined experience in the corporate world and Rachel's love of interior design, the two millennials decided to breathe new life into a fraying industry.
“There's a lot of furniture that ends up in the landfill, and so when we started to think about that trend, and the amount of consumers and interior designers that were startingto use more vintage pieces, we noticed that there was a short supply of people who can do that work,” said Jeff Ruetty. And Fabric Farms has a crew of more than a dozen—from those involved in their apprenticeship program up to employees with nearly 50 years of experience.
“It's a grind, it's hard work. We are really grateful for our team. We have this business and we get to talk about it like we do it, but we have a team of people who have spent their entire careers learning to do this and building this skill,” said Jeff Ruetty.
And their hard work has paid off.
In 2021, the Ruettys met HGTV “Fixer to Fabulous” stars Dave and Jenny Marrs at Columbus' Home and Garden Show.
They kept in touch for a year, and over the summer, drove 12 hours to Arkansas, and appeared on an episode of the show, showcasing Fabric Farm's work.
“It was more than 100 degrees outside that day, so we were nervous and hot. But we pulled it together, we just said we're going to just be ourselves,” said Rachel Ruetty.
With that boost of exposure, the Ruettys hope customers who are renovating a space or redoing a room consider reupholstering and restoring as options.
The Ruettys are optimistic about the future of the business and instilling important life skills to a younger generation.
“Our middle daughter is actually in the process. It's something she's wanted to do is to learn to sew, So we for Christmas she got sewing lessons and is going to learn to sew," said Jeff Ruetty. "And I said we have lots of fabric and sewing machines and people who can help you learn how to do that. That's one thing we can really help you with."