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A person operates a sewing machine, stitching fabric with the word "HAND" partially visible. The sewing machine is labeled "SINGER." The person is focused on their work.

We’ve been lucky enough to cross creative paths with Melissa May Beaumont — and her impressive chainstitching talents — on several occasions. With a love for all things vintage, handcrafted, and original — we’d like to think we’re cut from the same cloth. Self-taught with her own Lockhart, TX-based business, Rancho Sueño, she shared the scoop on her favorite spots for treasure hunting vintage finds, and insight into her passion and the process that’s turned a hobby into something more.


A smiling woman with long hair sits at a table with a sewing machine, wearing a white top and denim overalls. There are rolls of fabric and framed pictures in the background.

Q:

Chainstitching is a true (and underrated) form of art. What trail led you to make your craft a career?

A:

"Chainstitching as my career has been the biggest surprise of my life. I had been in the same job for 14 years and was eager for change. I didn’t see any realistic prospects so I took up chainstitching purely with the intention of it being a hobby and a means for creative fulfillment. Through the magic of social media, I was surprised by the encouraging response I received from friends and strangers alike.

Within a year of starting to teach myself how to chainstitch, I gained enough interest in my work that I began to consider taking this on as my full-time job. It took me 6 months to get comfortable with this idea, but it's been 5 years — and I haven't looked back. The success may not last forever but I never thought I would be the kind of person that could be self-employed even for a short time. I am so grateful to have struck out in a time when people are longing for products that have a more thoughtful, human-made element behind them."


Q:

We love your Western aesthetic — where do you draw your inspiration from?

A:

"I adore whimsical advertising art from the 40s onward. I have an extensive collection of ephemera that I’ve been building for years. Things like vintage matchbooks, menus, souvenirs and magazines are my favorite sources of inspiration."

A collection of embroidered patches includes a cowboy on a bucking horse, a black and white mask, a floral pattern, and various animal designs on a textured dark gray background.
A shelf displays a framed illustration, a rubber gorilla figurine, a digital clock showing 12:08, and a blue pennant. Rolls of fabric and art supplies are visible on the lower shelf.

Q:

Your slogan is “Made with heart and hand.” It sounds like a labor of love, with both parts in equal measure. In a world filled with fast fashion, how long do you typically spend on a piece from start to finish?

A:

"From design to execution, pieces can take 4 hours to 40 hours! It just depends on how detailed the concept is. I am drawn to vintage chainstitching that goes for impact over intricacies, which helps for more manageable timeframes."

Q:

Many of the garments you source as your canvases are vintage. Without giving any secret spots away, do you have any tips for would-be vintage treasure hunters?

A:

"A large part of building my business came from participating in pop-up markets all around Texas that feature a lot of vintage vendors. These are folks who search relentlessly to curate a collection and specific vibe. I am happy to let the secret out of my favorite vendors: Potter’s Field Vintage and La Ropa Vintage."

Close-up of an embroidery machine stitching brown thread into fabric, with a partial view of a person’s hand with red nail polish beside the machine.
Shelves filled with colorful spools of thread organized by hue, with a "LIFE" magazine poster featuring a person in cowboy attire above.

Q:

Out of all the pieces you’ve made, is there one that stands out as a fave/particularly memorable?

A:

"Any piece that allows me to incorporate hand-lettering is going to be a favorite! Since there are no digital aspects to these antique machines, to me, you aren't getting the most out of the execution if you are using precise, digitally created fonts. I have a background in hand lettering so this has been the perfect marriage of skills!"

Q: Alright, we’re sold. What’s the best way to place an order?

A: www.rancho-sueno.com

Q: Yee haw! One final question for the road. Lockhart should be on more must-visit bucket lists. Got any hot spots — or spots to cool off that readers should check out?

A: My favorite hang-out in town is Old Pal Texas Tavern. They keep it cold and dark in there and you won't find a better jukebox!

Credits

Interview By

Team Tecovas