inhabitat

Natalie "Alabama" Chanin

Natalie “Alabama” Chanin is the owner and designer of Alabama Chanin. Born and raised in Florence, Alabama, Natalie has a degree in environmental design from North Carolina State University. For over 20 years, she lived both here and abroad, working as a stylist and costume designer. She has made documentary films, is a mother of two, an avid gardener and enthusiastic cook. In the year 2000, Natalie returned to her southern roots after 22 years of traveling, living, and working as a costume designer, with the intention of producing a short documentary and 200 one-of-a-kind hand-sewn T-shirts. She produced a film, Stitch, which focused on traditional quilt-making in the south, with stories told by those who stitched and were warmed by those quilts. The 200 one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted T-shirts and garments launched the original Project Alabama, which led directly to the creation of Alabama Chanin. She continues to live and work in Alabama while designing, writing and lecturing about craft traditions, or “living arts,” using them to bridge generational, economic, and cultural boundaries.