Made by Hand — and Heart

homepsun trades blanket

Homespun Trades is in the business of handcrafted connections

For Sydney Grace, sewing wasn’t a family tradition passed down over the generations. It was born of her annual “summer bucket list” — a way to keep the fun flowing amidst the multiple summer jobs she worked to help pay for college. Amidst more far-flung creative items like “wear scuba gear to a car wash” was a simple, traditional one “learn to sew.”

The mother of her good friend offered to teach Sydney, and one July day, she sat down and studied up. And, as one does on a warm summer day, she turned out a pair of mittens.

She was hooked.

sydney homespun trades maker

“I loved that pair of mittens,” Sydney says. “And they got me addicted to the craft. It was so relaxing and therapeutic, and it made me want to pass those feelings on to others.”

She began sewing items for friends and family, loving the good feelings she got sharing something handmade and homespun. One night, inspiration struck and a business was born.

“Making something for others makes me feel like I’m a part of their family. Like I’m giving them not just something like a blanket or pillow, but a real connection with someone who cares about them. Everything I make is made by hand with my whole heart, and I think that comes through. I think that’s what people have connected with.”

And, in the craft marketplace, it’s also what makes her products stand out. There’s an honesty and wholesomeness to her products that makes you feel like you’re getting something made personally for you by someone who knows you.

“I was overwhelmed with trying to find a corner of the market, the thing that made my products unique,” she says. “But then I realized, it’s me. I connect with people. I love getting to know my customers and figuring out what they’d love to receive.”

She’s since been busy shipping her custom creations all over the country, and she believes her home state plays a major part in the success of her business.

“Minnesotans have this kindness to them that I’m not sure a lot of other states can claim. We’re always willing to help each other and to give each other a boost. It’s what I was taught and it’s how I live, so I think that comes through in my pieces. I think that’s the intangible thing people love about them.”

We at MinnBox couldn’t agree more.

You can get one of HomespunTrades' Minnesota blankets in our Cozy Cabin box!

Discover more of Sydney’s work at