In the midst of the concrete and metal siding of Industrial Park in Florence, Alabama is a building that produces and sells 100% organic jersey cotton, feminine, hand-sewn apparel displayed and draped in a sea of whites and neutrals— a palate that is as soft, revitalizing, and comfortable as the clothing of Alabama Chanin. If you’re from The Shoals area, then you have heard of Natalie “Alabama” Chanin. Born and raised in Florence, Alabama, she has a deep love and commitment towards supporting and growing local business, made apparent in her own business model, which includes thoughtfully and methodically pouring her heart and soul into each design and collaboration that she creates, produces, and sells at The Factory, her store on Lane Drive.
Perhaps you have seen her clothing online or heard about the beautiful designs and quality fabric used in each piece, but it really doesn’t do it justice until you walk into The Factory and see the hand-stitched patterns, feel the texture of the fabric, and try on the feminine design that you understand the time and deep devotion in each dress or shirt that hangs throughout the store. Everything is made in the USA and to bring it even closer to home, many of the Alabama Chanin collaborations are made in Alabama and produced in their community. There is a story behind everything—Natalie Chanin’s personal friendships with designers, authors, manufactures, and chefs are an integral part of the decisions to create a product that is a part of the lifestyle company that encourages a love for our rich history and Alabama roots.
The café is open from 11:00am – 2:00pm, Monday thru Saturday and serves seasonal dishes that have received rave reviews for their incredible taste and healthy, locally grown ingredients that create memorable meals shared with friends and family. A few items on the current menu include farm-fresh deviled eggs, their homemade pimento cheese sandwich, quiche, roasted vegetables, and fresh cake. Some items are gluten free, vegetarian, and cater to the paleo diet or even a clean detox plan. The café displays a “Welcome Friends” sign and feels like you’re stepping into your own kitchen— creating a space that allows you to relax, invest in friendships, and indulge in the best of local fare from places like Jack-O-Lantern Farms and Bluewater Creek Farm. Every detail has been thought out and carefully cultivated to create a lifestyle that supports the best in locally grown culture and invites you to join in.
While discovering and touring The Factory you might notice a sign that says “Make What You Love”. This philosophy is precisely what has made Alabama Chanin so successful in that Chanin has made something that she loves and has provided the opportunity for you to learn, grow, create, and wear something alongside her that you will also love. At The Factory there is the air of possibility to create and connect with something great that celebrates who we are as America and more specifically as a Southern culture. So, if you haven’t had a chance to visit The Factory stop in anytime to shop from 9:00am – 5:00pm on the weekdays or 10:00am – 4:00pm on Saturdays or get a full, guided tour at 2:00pm during the week; you will not be disappointed by the incredible clothing, unique décor, or fresh food.