Three Cheers for 30 Years
3 Marthas: an appliqués company you can trust.
When a company can boast 30 years of quality U.S.-made products, it calls for celebration—and 3 Marthas is doing just that. The Dallas-based brand kicked off 2018 with festivities at the Atlanta and Dallas markets, inviting buyers for giveaways, door prizes and special offers. It also unveiled updates on its signature birthday designs by modifying bibs and buntings with a nostalgic aesthetic. New handmade appliqués have been added to the mix, too. One notable bestseller is a little bear holding a balloon.
“We’re known for our appliqués,” says Juli Dewar, vice president and designer. “We take the art of appliqué and fine-tune it to create designs that delight mothers while preserving our classic craftsmanship.”
To streamline the creative process, Dewar now digitizes her sketches so all embroidery patterns can be produced in-house. “Before we had to outsource my drawings to be digitized,” she says, explaining that patterns had to be transferred back and forth several times in order to accurately communicate her vision. “Now I do it myself, and I’m able to engineer more creative designs,” she says, citing the 3-D tutu on her ballerina kitty series as an example. “I would never have had the patience to do that before,” she adds.
Beyond endearing designs, 3 Marthas is known for quality—visible in its thick cotton terry towels and bibs, and double-napped cotton burp cloths with an 8-ply center for extra absorbency. Each collection includes fine trimmings, like high-thread-count ginghams, imported grosgrain ribbons and waffle pique. For fall, Dewar expects muted and pastel colors to be strong, with gray continuing to gain popularity. “Ever since we added gray to our line, it’s performed incredibly well,” she says, adding, “I often read Earnshaw’s to get an idea of what’s trending each season and find ways to make each trend my own.”
On the marketing front, Dewar is ramping up 3 Marthas’ social media presence. “We want to beef up all our platforms,” she says. “Not only to connect with consumers but also to communicate with our stores about their 3 Marthas’ department.” For example, the company offers blanks so stores can monogram names and initials. “I love when stores share their monogrammed creations on Instagram—it’s such great inspiration for fellow retailers,” she says.
When it comes to working with retailers, Dewar says flexibility is key. Newer retailers often order products online, while older accounts prefer scheduling appointments to write orders, she says. The company also regularly mails catalogs. “3 Marthas is all about mixing the old with the new—it’s in our DNA,” Dewar says. “We mix the practical with the beautiful to create products parents use with joy season after season.”