Queen of Threads, a charming monogramming and more shop on Nelson Rd. in Lake Charles, was first established in 2013 when Amanda Moreno told her mother, Kandy, that she wanted to buy a monogram machine. First, they purchased a single-needle machine to see if they enjoyed monogramming. They made a monogrammed headband for Kandy’s niece who wore the gift to school. “Everyone loved it and wanted to know where to get them,” Kandy said. “We soon had to come up with a business name. I thought of Queen of Threads because my maiden name is Queenan.”
Kandy says she loves sewing and taught herself how to applique fabric. She started by making custom burp clothes. “My friends would give them as gifts and then the recipient would in turn order more for their friends. I loved working with the customers and helping their ideas come to life. Soon after, I purchased a six-needle machine and began learning how to do more and sell items that I made.”
Business grew by word of mouth and the pair worked out of their home. Amanda created a Facebook page and within a year, they opened an Etsy shop. “Six to eight months went by before we sold a single item on Etsy – a monogrammed fleece headband,” Kandy said.
“But sales picked up and orders grew.” At this time, Amanda began teaching school, so I worked alone, filling local and online orders. I hired my first employee to help fill Etsy orders and I also purchased an additional machine.”
In 2015, Kandy met Doug Gehrig, retired owner of several local McDonald’s franchises. He suggested Kandy work out of one of his empty offices. “He mentored and guided me, and suggested I work the business into a store environment. Business continued to grow, and I hired a second employee. And in 2017, we moved into our current location at 4031 Nelson Rd.”
Amanda put her teaching career on hold to help her mom with the business. She helped create a business website and designed an inventory system to work with their point-of-sale system. She oversees all receiving and entering of merchandise as well as many other duties, like training employees, monogramming, and customer service. Kandy says of her daughter, “The business has grown so much; I could not have done it without Amanda. It’s been great to have a younger perspective on things and having her here allows me to be away at different times to care for my mom.
The best times are going to market and buying new things for the store.” Kandy adds that her husband has also been supportive and helpful. Amanda said she and Kandy love to brainstorm together. “I like to find new ideas and oversee the daily monogramming process behind the scenes. Mom likes to design and work with merchandising. We both take part in working with customers which we believe contributes hugely to our success.” The downside is that the pair rarely takes a family vacation, as it is difficult for them both to be away at the same time. And she admits that the day-to-day routine can be challenging. “We both wear many hats. It can become stressful.” Kandy adds that while they occasionally disagree, they always work it out. “Because we’re family.”
Queen of Threads offers monogramming on most items sold in store or customers can bring in their own items to be monogrammed. They also offer services for business customers, such as logos. They offer a baby registry service and carry a wide assortment of baby gift items and children’s clothing up to a size 8. They sell backpacks, duffels and travel pieces to monogram. For more information, find them on Facebook, Instagram, and online.