Just weeks before her third baby was due, Christina Brunyate was craving a day trip to her favorite fabric shop in New York City.
“Going to a fabric shop—if you love textiles—it’s like therapy,” the Mayfield mother of four says. Brunyate never made it to New York that day, but it made her realize how disappointed she felt by Baltimore’s lack of fabric supply stores. So she decided, on a whim, to open Domesticity Fabric Shop and Sewing Studio.
Although she had no prior small-business experience, Brunyate found an affordable 250-square-foot space above Chop Shop Salon in Lauraville and, in May 2017, opened the kind of fabric store she’d been looking for.
She wanted to fill Domesticity with a collection of eye-catching and environmentally conscious textiles that rejected dull tones and traditional styles in favor of bright designs with clean lines and unique prints. Since she was taking care of two toddlers and a newborn at the time, the shop was only open three days a week, but Brunyate knew she was onto something.
“After I paid my rent for the first three months with [the profits from] opening weekend, I thought, ‘Maybe this will actually work,’” she says.
Since then, Domesticity has not only become a go-to spot for local makers to buy fabrics made from natural fibers as opposed to mass-produced fabrics, it’s now a community hub with stitching workshops and events. Brunyate hosts a handful of monthly events where attendees come to craft, stitch, and sip wine with the proceeds benefitting local organizations such as the House of Ruth or Baltimore Ceasefire.
With an ever-growing community of shoppers, it comes as no surprise that Brunyate’s operation quickly outgrew its one-room shop. In April 2018, she invested in an empty storefront just a few doors down and is planning to expand into the 2,200-square-foot spot by the end of this year.
“[There’s] a really good community here that wants to support you, and I’m just happy to help the city,” she says. Baltimore, Brunyate says, is worth investing in.