Photo by Anthony Mair
Fashion sense must be stitched into Meghan Boyd’s DNA. At age 3, she was already astute enough to hide a pair of navy-blue pants her mother had given her. The pants were emblazoned with skiing sheep. “I would put them in the trash or tuck them under a couch cushion,” she says. “They were just embarrassing.”
Eventually, she turned her lifelong passion for style into design degrees from Brenau University in her native Georgia. Later, Boyd was living in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina struck. She made her way to Las Vegas through friends, including local news anchorman Jim Snyder, who gave her a place to live while she got settled.
Boyd found her footing at Zappos, where she worked in the merchandising department for six years. This whetted her appetite for Las Vegas style and led to the launch of Stitch Factory, a co-working space and incubator for emerging designers. Inspired by the tech field, Boyd wanted to create a sanctuary where young creative-types could work in a social setting, something not easily managed in a profession with such bulky tools. “You can’t set up your sewing machine at Starbucks and feel like you’re a part of the community,” she says.
So she stocked an airy 5,500-square-foot former car dealership on Las Vegas Boulevard and Stewart Avenue with rows of sewing machines, cutting tables and dress forms, offering daily, weekly and monthly rates to rent stations. Stitch Factory had its soft opening in October, and local designers such as Ermelinda Manos are buying in and taking up residence in the building.
The space also hosts a rotating roster of classes such as Sewing 101, little black dress making and repurposing old garments, taught by International Academy of Design and Technology instructors. They’re open to whoever has an artistic bent they want to express.
Bringing people together with a shared passion is Boyd’s gift to the city that she ended up falling in love with. “I’ve been so lucky, and the community has been good to me, so it’s only natural to want to give back.”