Meg Sutton, co-owner of Belle & Union, has created a unique shop alongside her husband, Josh.
Their first flagship store in Quarry Village, San Antonio brings Southern hospitality to life with its range of American-made products, from custom greeting cards to cooking utensils. “Whether you speak with a drawl, East Coast boast or West Coast ease, we hope our homegrown wares, made from the heart (of Texas, that is), will always cook up a smile,” says Meg.
What moved you to take the leap of faith and start your own business?
After working for a year in the advertising industry, I knew it was not the right fit for me. I longed to be able to create—to make something that people could share and bring joy into their lives and the lives of the recipients. For me, starting a business was not just about the physical act of creating, but a desire to bring people together. The relationships in our lives are everything, so the act of building, strengthening, or sometimes mending those relationships through a handwritten note or artisan gift is the driving force behind why we make and offer the products that we do.
Share with us a rough patch and how you overcame it.
Our commitment to American-made has been our greatest asset but also one of our biggest challenges. There is little to no industry left domestically for our products, particularly in items such as papers, textiles, etc. Creating a fully US-made supply chain takes patience, persistence and passion to stay true to our mission. This means hours upon hours of research, requesting samples, moving forward inch by inch over the course of weeks and months, until we find the right partnership with other artisans.
What has been the greatest accomplishment that you/the company has had?
Sticking to that commitment of American-made has been such a challenge, but one that I’ve believed in from the beginning. For us it was not just about being able to maintain the highest quality we can, but something much deeper. As a former military spouse, I personally experienced what these men, women and their families sacrifice. Men and women leaving the comforts and familiarity of home to serve, spouses left behind to stand in the gap as both a mom and dad, and children missing precious time with their parents. I wanted a way to give back to them, a way to say thank you, to honor their service and their sacrifice. By keeping our products American-made, I feel we are doing just that.
What is your favorite part of being an owner of a 100% American-made business?
Developing relationships with other makers and artisans to bring our products to life has been a blessing, with many close friendships being formed.
What makes your products stand out?
From the story behind each design to the life of each maker, these products have heart and soul. We spent months creating our own supply chain for products such as our tea towels. From the cotton grown in West Texas, to the looms of the Carolinas, to being stitched and screen-printed in Georgia, we stayed committed to not only producing the best quality kitchen towels, but ones that we can proudly say are made 100% in the USA. It is this drive and determination that sets us apart.
What do you believe has made your business the success that it is?
Success is such an interesting thing – as it means something different to each and every person. For me, being able to support other makers through our collection is a success in and of itself.
What else would you like our readers to know?
We’ were wholesale-only for the first six years, but we longed for that one-on-one relationship with our customers and community. To be able to know them by name, their dog’s name, their birthday; to share in their triumphs and be their first stop when they need a card or gift. Opening our flagship brick and mortar was a big dream come true for the company—-and it is only the beginning.