“Stickers are Public Thread’s calling card. Its how we get our name, branding and message out there in a beautiful, long lasting way.”

-Janay Brower, Owner, Public Thread

Every so often we like to feature our customers. This week, we’re excited to feature Public Thread, a customized apparel production business in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

We love working with people who have a greater vision for their work than simply making a profit, and Public Thread is exactly that. Their mission is clear:

Public Thread is about creating space for a resurgence of making things in our community again, and about reconnecting to what matters.

Public Thread is putting their values into action. But don’t take our word for it. The Founder of Public Thread, Janay Brower, has answered some of our questions about her business and mission. Let’s hear her take on it.


Jeff – “What is Public Thread?”

Janay – “Public Thread is a small batch cut & sew manufacturing business. Cut & Sew means that we take your designs, your fabric, notions, pattern, samples, and vision and we actually cut the fabric and sew your products. We can also do the pre-production design, patterns, samples and technical specs for the production process as well.

Think of us as a #differentkindoffactory that makes batches of clothes or accessories for designers or small businesses in Michigan and the U.S. We are located in Grand Rapids, MI and began production work in June 2016.”
Jeff – “What caused you to become so passionate about investing in your community and how is Public Thread doing its part to improve the economy?”

Janay – “It has been a journey, but I have been passionate about my community and working to make it better for all since I was in my late teens/early 20’s.
Through education, personal and professional systems I have grown so much in my understanding of the systems that are working both for and against sustainable, inclusive economic development and our overall human potential. I have worked in the public, nonprofit and most recently in the private sector which has allowed me to both be an advocate within and from outside these systems, and what I have seen first hand is both inspiring and incredibly challenging. We have so much work to do, but the good thing is there are so many powerful, connecting and creative individuals out there that are doing their individual and collective best to usher in a new understanding about how we are all connected and what happens to you, happens to me.

So, I am passionate about Public Thread and my community because the people in my community matter to me. I support creative people starting an apparel related business here in Michigan. I want their business to thrive and I want to be part of helping them thrive. I want the individuals that make our clothes to be paid living wages and be honored for their skills. I support the growth of the creative economy in Michigan. I want to be a support for a new designer that needs help to launch or grow their business.

I am actually working right now on what Public Thread needs to be and what we’ll do in the 2.0 version. We are working through what is feasible and how we sequence our work to ensure we achieve the greatest impact in the areas where our clients and the emerging system need us the most. We now have a year of operations under our belt so we are analyzing the data on production, costing and market demand. No matter where we pivot to in this next phase, we will retain a focus on supporting the talented individuals that cut & sew our apparel products, sustainability and re-use of materials, supporting designers and small businesses, and deepening the connections to what it means to make our clothes here in the U.S. again.”


If you want to learn more about Public Thread you can find them on Facebook. We suggest you check them out!

Also, if you’d like to be featured in our customer spotlight, drop us a line at info@customstickermakers.com